This year's Annual Fellows’ Meeting was held in virtual format for the first time and took place on Thursday 3 December.
The meeting included the formal AGM of the Academy and a review of the year’s activity. Fellows heard short presentations from the President, Executive Director and a series of other speakers who outlined various activities focussed around the COVID-related work which has dominated the year.
Annual General meeting:
Formal items of business covered at this year’s AGM were as follows:
1. Approval of the minutes from last year’s AGM (held 3 December 2019)
2. President’s report:
Fellows voted to invite the following individuals to become Honorary Fellows:
Sir Bruce Keogh
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser
Professor Lucio Luzzatto
Results of the 2020 Council election
The results of the Academy’s first electronic Council election were announced - this election having seen a record 40% voter turnout rate.. The following Fellows will be joining Council for 2021:
Professor Mandy MacLean, MBE FRSE FMedSci
Professor Neena Modi FMedSci
Professor Eleanor Riley FMedSci
Retiring members of Council, Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Professor Hilary Critchley and Professor Julie Williams were thanked for their service to Council.
Summary of the Fellowship election 2020
The President provided a summary of this year’s Fellowship election, including a breakdown of specialist, gender, regional and diversity spread of this year’s elected Fellows.
Fellowship election 2021
Fellows received a report on the Fellowship election for 2021, which included detail on numbers of candidates, diversity, geographic and gender spread as well as breakdown by discipline. The remit and membership of Sectional Committees for the coming year and details of the election timetable were also highlighted.
The names of the 11 Fellows passing away this year were announced.
3. Treasurer’s report
Academy Treasurer, Professor Ed Bullmore, presented a financial overview for the year ending 31 March
The audited Annual Report and Financial statements were approved for the year ending 31 March 2020
PKF Littlejohn were re-appointed as auditors for 2020-21
A small inflationary increment of 2% was approved for Fellows subscriptions 2021-22
4. Next Academy President
Professor Dame Anne Johnson was formally announced as the next Academy President, taking office with effect from this Annual Fellows Meeting.
5. Other business
There were no additional items of business for discussion.
To conclude the formal business of the AGM, the President thanked funders, the staff and particularly, the Helix Group for all their support during the year.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. We are grateful for everything our Fellows do to support the Academy, but must ask for more to help navigate this difficult time. Please consider donating to the Academy so we can continue to meet the demand for our work.
Review of 2020:
Following talks from the President and Executive Director, a series of short talks were presented summarising our work in 2020, from bringing patients into our policy reports to rapid-response career support. The speakers were: Dr Rachel Quinn & Professor Guy Thwaites; Dr Virginia Newcombe; Nick Hillier and Mandy Rudczenko, and Professor Paul Stewart.
Handover to next President:
Academy Vice President (Clinical) Professor Paul Stewart chaired the formal handover to the next Academy President.
Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance presented a tribute to Robert Lechler’s Presidency of the Academy, which was followed by Robert Lechler’s own reflections of his experience as President. Fellows were then offered a preview of the new portrait marking Robert Lechler’s time as President before Dame Anne Johnson gave an introductory address to formally signal the start of her Presidency.
Jean Shanks Lecture 2020:
The afternoon concluded with the 2020 Jean Shanks Lecture ‘Palliative care for the 21st century’ presented this year by Professor Irene Higginson OBE FMedSci, Professor of Palliative Care and Director, Cicely Saunders Institute, King's College London.
The various parts of this year’s Annual Fellows’ Meeting and Jean Shanks Lecture were attended by approximately 150 Fellows in total as well as a number of external guests and the Academy staff.