Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun

Prof. Paul Mealor, Composer

Arts & Humanities

Professor Paul Mealor was awarded for Contribution to the Arts and Humanities in the 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun AwardsPaul Mealor has been described as ‘the most important composer to have emerged in Welsh choral music since William Mathias‘ (New York Times, 2001) and his music is ‘marked by something outside of himself that is beautifully spatial and evocative of landscape… it illuminates both our past and our future‘ (The Guardian, 2011). He was appointed a Free Burgess of The City of Aberdeen in 2012 by The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, and is President and Patron of many Welsh and Scottish organisations.   

Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government


On Friday 30 OctoberThe Saltire Society announced the fourth of six recipients of the 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun Awards. Professor Jason Leitch was awarded for Contribution to ScienceProfessor Leitch has demonstrated application of scientific method to a major public health issue, and has done so in a considered, collected and highly communicative manner. His scientific skills have been of enormous public benefit, an in particular his skill in making their scientific knowledge accessible, his calmness and leadership in a time of crisis and his evident deep understanding of both scientific and public issues. His contribution to the application of science in a critically difficult time has been a model of excellence.

Sarah Mason, Director of the Saltire Society, said 

Jason Leitch has been a steady voice in a time of uncertainty, his calm and clear approach to disseminating information while being understanding to the general public’s worries has been admirable..

We are delighted to have this opportunity recognise Jason Leitch’s work with the 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun Award for Science.


Jason Leitch said: 

I can’t believe there is much good news inside a global pandemic but what a wonderful honour and privilege you’ve given me. […] It is a great honour to accept this award on behalf frankly not just me but my broader family but also all of those who have cared for people who have been sick […] and everybody who has stepped up to do more than they conventionally would have had to during this really difficult time. So, thank you so much again. 


Professor Wilson McLeod, Professor of Gaelic in the Celtic and Scottish Studies

Public Life

On Thursday 29 OctoberThe Saltire Society announced the third of six recipients of the 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun Awards. Professor Wilson McLeod was awarded for Contribution to Public LifeProfessor McLeod is Professor of Gaelic in the Celtic and Scottish Studies department of University of Edinburgh.  The Gaelic-speaking community is, sadly, a small one in today’s world.  He has worked tirelessly as a scholar and as a citizen to keep that world from becoming smaller, let alone being relegated to the history books.  He is highly regarded among both members of this community and in the Saltire Society membership.  

Sarah Mason, Director of the Saltire Society, said:  

Wilson McLeod’s tireless work to ensure that Gaelic not only receives the recognition it deserves but thrives in Scotland’s culture makes him a rightful recipient of the Fletcher of Saltoun Award. 

We know that Wilson will continue to be the advocate for Scotland’s indigenous language of Gaelic and look forward to seeing what the future brings

Wilson McLeod said: 

I’m deeply honoured to receive this Award from the Society. After centuries of marginalisation and denigration Gaelic language and culture have gained a level of appreciation and respect from government, public institutions, and civil society in Scotland that allows us to be more optimistic again about their potential to enrich the lives of future generations. […] I hope to continue to play my part in this important work in the years to come and I’m very grateful for this recognition from the Society. Mòran taing.  

Professor Devi Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh


On Monday 26 OctoberThe Saltire Society announced the second of six recipients of the 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun Awards. Professor Devi Sridhar was awarded this prestigious prize for her outstanding Contribution to Sciencework which has rarely been so pivotal as through the COVID-19 crisis 

Sridhar has a background in public health interventions and investigated the international response to the West African Ebola virus epidemic, and what reforms were needed to heal a global system for outbreak response. She partnered with the Harvard Global Health Institute and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to independently analyse the global response, establishing ten essential reforms to prevent and respond to pandemics.  

Sridhar has been a leading expert in the current response to the COVID-19 pandemicwith her commentary giving clear and understandable information to the public while she continued research into the international response. Sridhar noted the importance of looking beyond our national bubbles and called for co-ordinated efforts to stop the spread of the virus.  

Sridhar is an adopted Scot, having moved to the UK from Florida to continue her studies. Sridhar has become one of the most important independent scientific voices in the world and this remarkable effort made her a clear choice for the Fletcher 2020 Panel.  


Lesley Riddoch, Broadcaster 

Public Life


Lesley Riddoch, award-winning broadcaster, journalist, commentatorauthor and podcaster, was selected for a Fletcher Award for her outstanding contribution to Scottish Culture. Lesley is a weekly columnist for The Scotsman and The National and a regular contributor to the Guardian, Scotland Tonight, BBC Question Time and Any Questions. She has been Director of Nordic Horizons, a policy group which exchanges expertise between the Nordic nations and Scotland, since 2010. In 2016 Lesley was inducted into the Society’s Outstanding Women of Scotland community.  

The Saltire Society Council members selected Lesley for her tireless efforts to tell Scotland’s stories and to bring new ideas to light. 

Sarah Mason, Programme Director of the Saltire Society, said:  

We are delighted to be able to honour Lesley Riddoch through our Fletcher of Saltoun Awards. Lesley has been a steadfast campaigner and activist in Scotland for many years and we know will continue to be so for many years to come. 

The Fletcher of Saltoun Awards aim to celebrate and bring light to some of the individuals who dedicate their expertise and time of the betterment of our nation and internationally.  Their work and recognition of the work they do is more important than ever. 

Lesley Riddoch said: 

I’d like to say a massive thank you to the members of the Saltire Society and the panel that have nominated and selected me for this amazing Award. It’s come completely out of the blue and at a great time actually when the COVID crisis has left us all a bit isolated and maybe a bit down, so this has really bucked me up. [...] What I've got now is this fabulous Award and a great feeling of pride because of this recognition by my ain folk. 

Doddie Weir OBE, Activist and former Rugby Scotland Captain

Public Life

Doddie Weir OBE, is one of Scotland’s larger-than-life sports personalities who can always be spotted at events sporting a bold tartan suit. Doddie’s rugby career saw him captain Scotland over 60 times and he quickly became a fan favourite at Murrayfield. It was in 2017 that Doddie revealed publicly that he had motor neuron disease (MND).  

That November, Doddie and the rest of the Trustees launched the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation with two clear aims: to raise funds for research into potential cures and to give grants to individual MND sufferers to live life to the full, which they now disseminate through partnerships with MND Scotland and the Motor Neuron Disease Association. The Foundation now provides millions of pounds to research MND as well as supporting other charities to assist people living with MND with housing adaptations and respite.  

Doddie Weir said: 

I am so excited for a couple of reasons; one it is the first time I’ve had my tartan jacket on since March […] and the other I would like to thank the members and the Council of the Saltire Society for nominating and awarding me the Fletcher of Saltoun Award this year for Contribution to Public Life. It is a great honour and privilege to be considered for this Award and I am so grateful for your support.