UNT professor Richard Dixon was elected recently into the Royal Society. The United Kingdom's Royal Society is similar to the United States' National Academy of Sciences of which Dixon is also a member. They are both prestigious organizations dedicated to the understanding and advancement of science.

          “I am originally from the U.K. so my election into the Royal Society is especially exciting for me,” said Dixon, Distinguished Research Professor in UNT's Department of Biological Sciences. “There is no checklist of achievement to become a member. You do your best and work with those around you. I have collaborated with scientists from around the world as well as those right here at UNT. The more brains you can put on a problem, the easier it is to solve.”

          Dixon also serves as associate director of UNT's BioDiscovery Institute, one of four prestigious Institutes of Research Excellence at UNT designed to promote interdisciplinary research.

          “This is a great honor for Dr. Dixon and UNT,” UNT Provost Jennifer Cowley said. “To have a member of both the National Academy and the Royal Society on our faculty shows, once again, that the University of North Texas is one of the top research institutions in the nation. I'm proud of what Dr. Dixon has achieved.”

          Over the course of three decades, Dixon has become known as a world leader in the area of plant science. He studies the chemical makeup of plants and has used the knowledge gained to create better alfalfa hay for livestock and new, more effective, bio-fuel plants. He also says that the study of plants has kept him young. That, he added, and swimming.

          The Royal Society was founded in the 1660s to recognize, promote and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking were all members.