Richard B. Sher, PhD, a distinguished professor of history at NJIT, has been elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). Sher, of Maplewood, is one of only 44 new Fellows and one of five new Corresponding Fellows.
Sher, who is also a Fellow of the London-based Royal Historical Society, was elected to the RSE for his lifelong contributions to scholarship on the history and culture of 18th century Scotland and its relations with America.
His publications include Church and University in the Scottish Enlightenment (Princeton University Press, 1985), Scotland and America in the Age of the Enlightenment (Princeton University Press, 1990), and The Enlightenment and the Book (University of Chicago Press, 2006), which won the American Historical Association's 2007 Leo Gershoy Award for the most outstanding work in English on any aspect of the field of 17th- and 18th-century western European history.
A former Guggenheim Fellow, Sher was the recipient of the 18th century Scottish Studies Society's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and is the founding editor of that society's annual periodical, Eighteenth-Century Scotland, which is published at NJIT. Sher is now pursuing research on the 18th-century Scottish biographer James Boswell, supported by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Yale University Press will publish the book.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh (www.royalsoced.org.uk) is Scotland's National Academy of Science and Letters. Established in 1783 under a charter granted by King George III for the Advancement of Learning and Useful Knowledge in Scotland, it has included among its Fellows the economist Adam Smith, the novelist Sir Walter Scott, the physicists James Clerk Maxwell and Niels Bohr, and the biologist Charles Darwin. Although most of its Fellows have distinguished themselves in the sciences, medicine, or engineering, the society also has a smaller number of Fellows in the humanities. This multidisciplinary perspective makes the RSE unique among the five major learned academies in the UK, which also include the Royal Society of London, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Each new Fellow is recognized within his or her peer group as having achieved excellence within their discipline or profession. New Fellows are elected annually after a rigorous four-stage selection process, culminating in a ballot of the entire Fellowship. There are approximately 1500 living Fellows, including fewer than 50 Corresponding Fellows from Europe, Asia, and the Americas.