A small number of Irish scientists have been elected as new fellows of the Royal Society, the prestigious British based academy of distinguished international scientists.

Fellowship of the Royal Society is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth.

Past Fellows and Foreign Members have included Newton, Darwin and Einstein.

Election to fellow of the Royal Society is considered a significant scientific accolade, and only a small number of other Irish scientists have been afforded the honour in recent years.

Among the new Irish fellows is Tipperary born Dr Michael Lynch, the founder and former chief executive of Britain's largest software company Autonomy, which was bought by Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for almost $11bn.

Dr Lynch is also a former non-executive director of the BBC, an investor in a number of technology start-ups and a board member and advisor of a range of British institutions and companies.

Also named on the list of 50 new fellows and ten foreign members of the Royal Society is Professor Liam Dolan, Head of the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford.

Originally from Dublin, he graduated with a degree in Botany at University College Dublin, before carrying out a PhD research project on plant developmental genetics at the University of Pennsylvania.

After 13 years running his own research group at the John Innes Centre Norwich, he moved to Oxford as the Sherardian Professor of Botany in 2009.

He was awarded the Presidents Medal of the Society of Experimental Biology in 2001 and was elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation in 2009.