Tartan elite: Who are the Scots who have won a Nobel Prize?

As scientist becomes the 15th Scots-born winner of the prestigious prize, learn more about the others.

Tartan elite: Who are the Scots who have won a Nobel Prize? Getty Images

David W C MacMillan has become the latest Scot to win the prestigious Nobel Prize.

The Bellshill-born scientist was honoured alongside Benjamin List for developing a new tool for molecular construction.

He’s thought to be the 15th Scot to become a Novel Laureate – awarded annually to the greatest minds in a variety of disciplines.

So, who are the others?

William Ramsay (1904)

The Glasgow-born chemist discovered the noble gases, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

His work led to the development of a new section of the periodic table.

Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1927)

The Midlothian-born physicist and meteorologist’s study of clouds led to the invention of the cloud chamber particle detector.

Much of his work was carried out from an observatory on Ben Nevis, earning him the Nobel Prize for Physics.

John J R MacLeod (1928)

Born in Perthshire, the biochemist devoted his career to physiology and biochemistry.

He earned the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his role in the discovery of insulin.

Arthur Henderson (1934)

The Glasgow-born Labour leader had spells as home secretary and foreign secretary, but it was after politics where he carried out the work which won him a Nobel Peace Prize.

He was honoured for his efforts with the World League of Peace and chaired the Geneva Disarmament Conference.

In 2013, his Nobel medal was stolen from the home of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

Alexander Fleming (1945)

One of the most important scientific discoveries of all time earned the East Ayrshire-born scientist the Nobel Prize in Physiology.

The physician and microbiologist developed penicillin, the world’s first widely effective antibiotic.

He was also knighted for his achievements, and has frequently been declared one of the 21st century’s most significant figures.

John Boyd Orr (1949)

Born in East Ayrshire, the teacher, doctor, biologist, politician and farmer was the first director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

His scientific research into nutrition earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Alexander R Todd (1957)

The Cathcart-born son of a Glasgow Subway clerk got the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

James Black (1988)

Sir James, who was born in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, and brought up in Fife, developed propranolol, a beta blocker used for the treatment of heart disease.

His mining family were too poor to send him to university, but he was persuaded by a teacher to sit the St Andrews entrance examination and was offered a place. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988.

James Alexander Mirrlees (1996)

Sir James was born in the village of Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire, before being educated at Douglas Ewart High School and Edinburgh University.

He won a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1996 and a year later was knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Angus Deaton (2015)

The Edinburgh-born professor of international affairs and politics at Princeton was awarded the Nobel Memoria Prize in Economic Sciences in 2015.

The 75-year-old was educated at Hawick High School and Fettes College.

Fraser Stoddart (2016)

Sir Fraser Stoddart shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work developing the world’s smallest machines.

The Edinburgh-born scientist was knighted by the Queen in 2006.

David J Thouless (2016)

The Bearsden-born physicist shared the Nobel Prize for work opening up new possibilities in computing.

Richard Henderson (2017)

The Edinburgh-born molecular biologist and biophysicist shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Jacques Dubochet and Joachim Frank.

They were honoured for their work to improve images of biological molecules.

J Michael Kosterlitz (2016)

Born in Aberdeen, the professor of physics at Brown University in Rhode Island was honoured for his work on condensed matter physics.

He was also a pioneer in Alpine climbing in the 1960s, and was known for working routes in the UK, Italian Alps, and Yosemite.

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