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Birthday Honours 2014

Date: 16/06/2014

A number of prominent Arts and Humanities scholars and AHRC grant holders have been honoured in the Birthday Honours list. We are pleased to offer our congratulations to everyone honoured.

Knight Bachelor

Professor Colin Blakemore FRS

Colin Blakemore is a leading neuroscientist, who was Waynflete Professor of Physiology and then Professor of Neuroscience at Oxford University for 33 years in total. He was Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council from 2003-2007 and is now Director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses at the University of London. His research has been concerned with many aspects of vision, the early development of the brain and the plasticity of the cerebral cortex. He has been an outstanding public interpreter of science and a notable public servant. Professor Blakemore is currently leading the 'Rethinking the Senses: Uniting the Philosophy and Neuroscience of Perception' project funded by the AHRC as part of the Science in Culture theme.

Professor Thomas Martin Devine OBE FRSE

Thomas Martin Devine is one of Scotland's leading intellectuals. He created a world-class community of Scottish historians at Strathclyde University and pioneered a Research Centre at Aberdeen and a Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at Edinburgh University. His thirty-six books include two best-sellers, The Scottish Nation and Scotland's Empire. The winner of many prizes for Scottish historical research and public engagement, he is the only humanities scholar elected to all three national academies in the British Isles for which he is eligible. Professor Devine led the AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies (2001-10). The centre promoted high-quality single-discipline, comparative and interdisciplinary research, and undertook postgraduate training with special reference to history, literary and cultural studies, and the languages of Ireland and Scotland.

Professor Richard Sorabji CBE FBA

Richard Sorabji is a leading scholar of the history of philosophy. He founded and directs one of the most ambitious international research projects in the humanities, the translation and editing of the ancient commentators on Aristotle, which recently celebrated its 100th volume. He has edited The Philosophical Review and served as President of the Aristotelian Society. More recently, he has contributed cross-cultural reflections, including a hard-hitting collection on The Ethics of War. Professor Sorabji led on the AHRC funded project Ancient Commentators on Aristotle which makes accessible the period of transition from ancient to medieval philosophy, 200-600 AD.

Professor David Eastwood DL

David Eastwood has had a distinguished career in higher education (HE). As Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, he established University Campus Suffolk, while also serving as a member of the Regional Assembly and Visit Norwich and as Chair of the East of England Association of Universities. He was pivotal in shaping the 2004 Education Act and served as the HE lead in the Tomlinson review of 14-19 qualifications. He was CEO of Higher Education Funding Council for England for three years before becoming Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham University, which The Times named University of the Year 2013/14. Professor Eastwood is a former Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board and is currently a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Dr. Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon has been the architect of the Natural History Museum's renaissance, with award-winning exhibitions and ever-increasing visitor numbers since his appointment as Director a decade ago. He has overseen the opening of the Darwin Centre, a new permanent art gallery, the Treasures Gallery, and a programme of events to improve public engagement with science. He is also actively involved with a number of charities and smaller institutions. Dr Dixon has been an advocate of the AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Research Programme.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

Professor Colin David Hugh Jones, FBA

Colin Jones is currently President of the Royal Historical Society. He joined the Queen Mary History department in 2006. He has taught at the universities of Newcastle, Exeter, Warwick, Stanford and Paris. He has held visiting fellowships at Princeton University, the College de France and the Columbia University Institute of Scholars, Reid Hall (Paris). From 2004 to 2008 he served on the History Panel of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, from 2006 to 2008 as Convenor. He has also served on the History of Medicine Panel (including as Vice-Chair) of the Wellcome Trust. Professor Jones led the St Aubin project funded by the AHRC. The Project focused on the highly unusual eighteenth-century book of caricatures, 'Livre des caricatures tant bonnes que mauvaises' which is held at Waddesdon Manor. The book is a collective enterprise, composed by the Saint-Aubin brothers, notably Charles-Germain, and appears to have been composed between the 1740s and 1770s. It was familiarly known as their livre de culs, and is shot through with an irreverent and sometimes politically dangerous humour.

Professor Michael John Worton

Michael Worton is an internationally regarded scholar of French literature and literary criticism, and has written extensively on French Literature, gender studies, art and critical theory. He has also been a longstanding champion of modern languages and the humanities in the higher education sector. Professor Worton joined UCL in 1980, as a lecturer in French Language and Literature. He was made a Professor of French in 1994 and in the same year he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Arts, before being appointed as Vice Provost (Academic) in 1998, a role that was expanded to include international affairs in 2004, which he retired from in 2013. Professor Worton is currently the chair of the AHRC Open World Research Initiative advisory Board.

For further press information please contact: Danielle Moore-Chick (AHRC) on 01793 41 6021 or d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk

Notes to editors

  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk


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