Established in 1988, The Fletcher of Saltoun Awards recognise and celebrate the innovators and entrepreneurs who shape the cultural landscape of Scotland in the fields of Science, Arts and Humanities and Public Life. Taking nominations from the Saltire Society membership to ensure a broad spectrum of nominee, the Fletcher of Saltoun Awards have acknowledged over fifty individuals in its thirty-year history, advocating the brilliance, significance and impact of Scottish Culture.  

Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1655 –1716) was an accomplished patriotic Scots writer, politician, soldier and Commissioner of the Old Parliament of Scotland. An innovative thinker and intellectual visionary, Fletcher’s contributions to Scotland’s heritage are celebrated annually by The Saltire Society through a commemorative lecture held in the Scottish Parliament. 

John Byrne & Prof. Les Mitchell 

John Byrne, Poet & Playwright

Arts & Humanities

Born in Glasgow in 1940, John Byrne has been an influential figure across Scottish culture for decades, contributing to the Arts and Humanities as artist, playwright and theatre designer. Byrne attended Glasgow School of Art and after graduating in 1963 he designed jackets for Penguin Books before becoming a full-time painter and exhibiting in London’s Portal Gallery in 1967. Under the pseudonym of ‘Patrick’ he produced dream-like paintings that were met with intrigue, generating much interest. Byrne is best known for the poignant realism of his successful written work that depicts working class life in Glasgow. His plays include Nova ScotiaSlab BoysCuttin’ a RugStill LifeWriter’s CrampNormal ServiceCara Coco and Colquhoun and Macbryde. His BAFTA award winning TV series, Tutti Frutti was adapted for stage by the National Theatre of Scotland and included a UK tour. Along with designing the sets for his own plays, Byrne has collaborated with others, such as director Robin Lefrevre on productions including Clifford Odets’ The Country Girl performed at the Apollo Theatre. An illustrator of stories and record cover designer for music artists including The Beatles and Gerry Rafferty, Byrne continues to paint from his studio in Edinburgh. He has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Paisley, Robert Gordon University, Gray’s School of Art, the University of Dundee, University of Stirling and The Royal Scottish Academy. Follow the link to hear Byrne discuss his adaptation of The Three Sisters for the Tron Theatre- 




Dame Evelyn Glennie, Percussionist 

Arts & Humanities

Dame Evelyn Glennie was born in Aberdeenshire and studied at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She is the first person in history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist, performing worldwide with the greatest orchestras, conductors and artists. Glennie paved the way for orchestras globally to feature percussion concerti when she played the first percussion concerto in the history of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992. Glennie has commissioned over 200 new pieces for solo percussion from many of the world’s most eminent composers to vastly expand the percussion repertoire. She regularly provides masterclasses and consultations to inspire the next generation of musicians. The film Touch the Soundand her enlightening TED speech remain key testimonies to her innovative approach to sound-creation. 

Leading 1000 drummers, Glennie had the honour of a prominent role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Awarded an OBE in 1993, Glennie now has over 100 international awards, including the Polar Music Prize and the Companion of Honour. She was recently appointed the first female President of Help Musicians, only the third person to hold the title since Sir Edward Elgar and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. 

Glennie is currently creating The Evelyn Glennie Collection with a vision to open a centre that embodies her mission to Teach the World to Listen. She aims to ‘improve communication and social cohesion by encouraging everyone to discover new ways of listening as proven in her book ‘Listen World!’. We want to inspire, to create, to engage and to empower’. Click the link to find out more about Glennie’s tours and upcoming projects- 


Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Astronomer 


Dame Burnell is an astrophysicist, best known for her discovery of ‘pulsars’ — rotating neutron stars that appear to pulse as the radio beam they emit sweeps repeatedly across the Earth. Together with her supervisor, Antony Hewish, their findings are considered to be one of the greatest astronomical discoveries of the twentieth century. 

Burnell served as president of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2002 to 2004, as president of the Institute of Physics from October 2008 until October 2010, and as interim president of the Institute following the death of her successor, Marshall Stoneham, in early 2011. In 2018, Burnell was awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Following the announcement of the award, she gave the £2.3 million prize money to help female, minority, and refugee students seeking to become physics researchers, the funds to be administered by the Institute of Physics, establishing the Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund.  

A role model and champion for young students and particularly for women in science, Burnell is the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Dundee in 2017. She succeeds Lord Naren Patel and is the fifth Chancellor of the University over its 50-year history, following HM The Queen Mother (1967-77), Lord Dalhousie (1977-92), Sir James Black (1992-2006), and Lord Patel (2006-2017). Follow the link to hear Burnell discuss the scientific life- 


L to R: John Angus Mackay, Lord Provist George Adam, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Prof. Alan Riach 

John Angus Mackay, Gaelic Activist

Public Life 

John Angus Mackay was born on the Isle of Lewis and is a staunch advocate for Scottish heritage and the Gaelic language. His book, Gaelic Guerrilla describes his astonishing achievements to educate and reverse the impact of ethnic cleansing on Scottish culture. Through his efforts in concert with a small group of others, he has made incredible progress in highlighting the thousand-year process of the eradication of Gaelic language. With humanity, wit, resolve and courage, Mackay is making the impossible salvation of the Gaelic language possible. 

His efforts to bring Scottish Gaelic language and culture to the forefront of Highland and Island education have resulted in an increasing number of young Gaelic speakers. Achieved against a sustained barrage of negativity, his outstanding achievement is the establishment of a Gaelic television channel. That channel now provides a fascinating range of programming attracting viewership figures well in excess of the total number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland. John Angus was also a gifted teacher, pivotal in developing community co-operatives in his native Lewis, in paving the way for the creation of the Crofters' Union and leading the development of the Gaelic Comunn na Gaidhlig, Bord na Gaidhlig, An Lanntair multi-arts venue, the University of the Highlands and Islands, and as its chairman, in turning round NHS Western Isles from crisis into a model small health board. Click here to read more about Gaelic Guerilla