V Ramakrishnan: first Indian to head the 'Royal Society'

Comments (0)


Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has become the first person of Indian origin to head the 'Royal Society' - an iconic society of science in Britain.

He will take over from geneticist Sir Paul Nurse - another Nobel laureate - on December 1, 2015.

The prestigious gathering (Royal Society) - a communion of the world's most distinguished scientists - has been there since the time of legendary Issac Newton, year 1660 to be precise !

The Man

  • He is an American scientist of Indian descent and was born in Tamil Nadu in 1952.
  • He had shared the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize for discovering the precise structure of ribosomes - the molecular machines that manufacture proteins inside all living cells - with Thomas Steitz, of Yale University, and Ada Yonath, of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Jerusalem.
  • He is currently deputy director of the British Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University.


  • Nobel Prize (Chemistry): 2009
  • Padma Vibhushan (India's second highest civilian honour): 2010
  • Knighthood (title of "Sir"): 2011

Royal Society

  • Its president is a key advocate for science in the UK and the world.
  • Notable Presidents: Isaac Newton, Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, and Ernest Rutherford.
Practice Questions