A leading British scientist and world renowned composer will be among the eminent figures from the fields of business, science, music and journalism, to be honoured by the University of Aberdeen this week.
Distinguished medical scientist and doctor, Lord Robert Winston, best known for his pioneering work and research in the field of fertility, and Ayrshire-born James MacMillan CBE, one of today’s most successful living composers and conductors, will receive honorary degrees at the institution’s summer graduation ceremonies.
Local businessmen Douglas Craig OBE, Chairman and Managing Director of the global shipping and energy service company Craig Group, and Andrew Lewis, Chairman and Managing Director of the Goldcrest Company and founder and former chairman of Northsound Radio, will also be honoured.
Former University of Aberdeen academic Professor John Hughes FRS who, together with colleague Dr Hans Kosterlitz,
won an international race to identify naturally occurring endorphins which affect both how we feel pleasure and help fight pain, will also have an honorary degree bestowed upon him.
Two leading lights from the world of media, award-winning financial journalist, author and broadcaster, Anthony Hilton and journalist, historian and Editor of
Public Archaeology, Neal Ascherson, will also be honoured.
Also receiving honorary degrees are: Nobel Laureate and a director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Erwin Neher; Professor of Zoology and Principal of Jesus College, University of Oxford and the first chairman of the British Food Standards Agency, Lord John Krebs; Vice-Provost of Health at the University College London, Sir John Tooke; Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Daniel Wegner, and Michael Shattock OBE, one of Europe’s leading practitioners and scholars in the higher education sector.
The summer graduation ceremonies, which will take place at Elphinstone Hall on the institution’s King’s College Campus, are the first to be conducted by the new Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Ian Diamond.
Professor Diamond said: “The University of Aberdeen graduation ceremonies are a time to celebrate the achievements of our graduands, and I’m very much looking forward to being part of them for the first time.
“We are also proud to honour and welcome our honorary graduands into the University family.
“These exceptional individuals have attained distinction and acclaim in their respective fields and provide a strong example for our graduands of the success which can be achieved through dedication and passion.”
The University of Aberdeen summer graduation ceremonies take place from Monday July 5 – Friday July 9 at Elphinstone Hall.
Notes for Editors
The full list of honorary graduands and details of their ceremonies follow:
Monday, July 5 at 3pm
Lord Robert Winston FMedSci, Hon FREng, DSc, FRCS, FRCOG, FRCP, FRCPS(Glasg), FIBiol. Weston Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies, Imperial College London
Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London, runs a research programme in the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, on improvements in transgenic technology in animal models, with a long-term aim of improving human transplantation. He is also Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Chairman of the Royal College of Music and was voted “Peer of the Year” by his fellow Parliamentarians in June 2008 for his expertise and work on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Lord Winston’s research led to the development of gynaecological microsurgery in the 1970s and various improvements in reproductive medicine, subsequently adopted internationally, particularly in the field of endocrinology and IVF. His work on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis enabled families carrying gene defects to have children free of fatal illnesses. A past President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, he is also committed to scientific education and regularly writes or hosts popular science programmes for the BBC’s main channel and Discovery networks. He has presented several award-winning BBC television series, including
The Human Body, The Superhuman and A Child of our Time. Through these ground-breaking programmes he has made complex scientific and ethical issues accessible to the public.
Daniel Wegner BS, MA, PhD.
Social Psychologist, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Professor Daniel M Wegner is considered one of the most creative and original social psychologists of his generation. Professor Wegner, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has done groundbreaking work in thought-suppression, the illusion of conscious will, and other areas of social psychology. His book,
The Illusion of Conscious Will, tackles the long-debated notion of free will through the scope of experimental psychology. Daniel Wegner's ideas have sparked great interest among psychologists, neuroscientists, theologians, and philosophers interested in the nature of consciousness and freedom of action.
Monday, July 5 at 6.30pm
James Douglas Craig OBE, MA, CA. Managing Director, Craig Group
Douglas Craig is Chairman and Managing Director of the Craig Group, the Aberdeen-based global shipping and energy service company. This award-winning family business, with its heritage of fishing and oil related activities, is ranked within Scotland’s top 100 companies and has been recognised by the prestigious Queens Award for Industry. A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Douglas Craig joined the firm after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. He became Group Managing Director in 1988, advancing the business by taking its expertise into international markets. An active business leader, he has served on many economic and professional bodies including as a council member of CBI Scotland and as Chairman of the Institute of Directors in Aberdeen. Douglas Craig’s endeavours have been recognised through numerous awards. He was Grampian Industrialist of the Year in 2003, Scottish Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004, and is a Scottish Offshore Achievement Award holder. In 2004 he was awarded the OBE for services to business and to the community in North-east Scotland.
Tuesday, July 6 at 11am
Lord John Krebs Kt, FRS, FMedSci, BA, MA, DPhil.
Professor of Zoology, and Principal, Jesus College, University of Oxford
John Richard Krebs, Baron Krebs FRS is an eminent zoologist with an international reputation in the field of behavioural ecology. Knighted in 1999, he served as the first Chairman of the British Food Standards Agency until 2005. Lord Krebs was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford. He subsequently held posts at the University of British Columbia and the University College of North Wales, Bangor, before returning to Oxford as a lecturer in Zoology, with a fellowship at Wolfson College then Pembroke. Lord Krebs was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1984 and held a Royal Society Research Professorship in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University, from 1988-2005, until his appointment to the position of Principal of Jesus College in 2005. Lord Krebs sits as a cross bencher in the House of Lords. He is a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation, Chairman of the UK Science and Technology Honours Committee, Chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee and Chairman of the Royal Society’s Science Policy Advisory Group. He sits on the UK Climate Change Committee and chairs its Adaptation Sub-Committee.
Tuesday, July 6 at 3pm
Professor John Hughes FRS, BSc, MA, PhD.
Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge
Professor John Hughes FRS is a distinguished pharmacologist who, as a member of staff at the University of Aberdeen, played a pivotal role in one of the most important scientific discoveries in the institution’s recent history. One of the milestones in the history of neuroscience research was the discovery of ‘enkephalin’ by John Hughes and Hans Kosterlitz. John Hughes, a neuropharmacologist with particular expertise in the biochemistry and pharmacology of neurotransmitters, was recruited by Professor Kosterlitz and joined him in 1969. Kosterlitz subsequently established the Unit for Research on Addictive Drugs, of which Professor Hughes served as Deputy Director from 1973 to 1977. In 1975 Hans Kosterlitz and John Hughes were the first to show that morphine and other opiate drugs work by mimicking the action of a family of naturally occurring brain neurotransmitters (termed endorphins), the first two of which they isolated, identified and named enkephalins. These naturally occurring brain opiates help the body to cope with stress and pain. The discovery made possible the development of non-addicative yet powerful painkillers, transforming the lives of many thousands of people. It also revolutionised the understanding of how and why psychoactive drugs affect the brain, providing an insight into why some people become addicted to drugs.
Erwin Neher. Nobel Laureate.
Director, Department of Membrane Biophysics,
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen
Erwin Neher is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and heads its Department for Membrane Biophysics. As a doctoral student, Erwin Neher was drawn to the question of how electrically charged ions control such biological functions as the transmission of nerve impulses, the contraction of muscles and vision. He realized that in order to get answers to these questions he would have to look for the ion channels and developed the concept of the patch clamp technique as a way of discovering them. With his colleague Bert Sakmann, he set out to develop the techniques of patch clamping. In 1976 they published their landmark paper on devices which they called patch clamp electrodes. With these devices they were able to conduct various experiments to observe the intricate mechanism of ion channels. In 1991 Professors Neher and Sakmann were awarded the Nobel Prize for proving the existence of ion channels. The Nobel Committee also praised their work for helping in research on heart disease, epilepsy, and disorders affecting the nervous and muscle systems.
Tuesday, July 6 at 6.30pm
Anthony Victor Hilton MA.
Journalist, Author and Broadcaster
Anthony Hilton is an award winning financial journalist, author and commentator. On graduating from the University of Aberdeen in 1968, he joined the Guardian and subsequently worked on The Observer, The Daily Mail and The Sunday Express. He was editor of Accountancy Age for five years before spending three years as the Business Correspondent of the Sunday Times in New York. Whilst there, Anthony Hilton also worked as a mainstream reporter covering everything from the Iranian Hostage crisis, to the guerrilla wars in Guatemala and El Salvador, to the shooting of John Lennon, to the British challenge for the Americas Cup yacht races. He returned to Britain in 1981 to become City Editor of The Times. He next joined the Evening Standard where he was variously City Editor and Managing Director. His television work has included Channel 4’s Business Programme and The Stocks and Shares Show.
Wednesday, July 7 at 11am
Andrew Douglas Fyfe Lewis MBA FInstD.
Chairman and Managing Director, the Goldcrest Company (UK) Ltd
Andrew Lewis has played major roles in civic and commercial life in Aberdeen over four decades. He entered business life as a trainee with Ernst & Young in 1963 and subsequently held management positions with the trawling divisions of John Lewis & Sons Limited and Associated Fisheries PLC. In 1982 he founded Goldcrest, which remains his principal business interest to this day. In 2009 Mr Lewis stepped down as chairman of Northsound, the local radio station for Aberdeen and NE Scotland, a company he had founded some thirty years earlier. Throughout his career, Andrew Lewis has served the local business community. He was a Director of Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce for eleven years, and was the Chamber’s President from 1997 to 1999. He was a board member of the North of Scotland Water Authority. Mr Lewis also served as Dean of Guild of the City of Aberdeen from 2002 to 2006. In addition, Andrew Lewis has been Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Aberdeen since 1976 and was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his service.
Wednesday, July 7 at 3pm
Neal Ascherson MA.
Journalist and Historian, Editor Public Archaeology
Neal Ascherson is a distinguished Scottish author and journalist. Educated at King’s College, Cambridge he eschewed an academic career in favour of journalism. He first joined the Manchester Guardian, moving on to The Scotsman (1959-1960), The Observer (1960-1990) and the Independent on Sunday (1990-1998). Between 1975 and 1979, he also worked in Edinburgh as Scottish Politics correspondent of The Scotsman. Neal Ascherson, Central Europe correspondent for the Observer during the later stages of the Cold War, contributed scripts for the 1998 documentary series The Cold War and also the 1974 series The World at War. In recent years, he has also been a regular contributor to the London Review of Books. He has lectured and written extensively about Polish and Eastern Europe affairs and, in 1992, was awarded the Polish Order of Service by President Lech Walesa. In 2008 Neal Ascherson was appointed a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and has been editor of Public Archaeology, an academic journal associated with UCL. His publications included The King Incorporated (1963), The Polish August (1981), The Nazi Legacy (1985), The Struggles for Poland (1987), Games With Shadows (1988), Black Sea (1995) and Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland (2002).
Thursday, July 8 at 3pm
Michael Lewis Shattock OBE, BA(Oxon), MA(Oxon).
Visiting Professor and Retired Registrar
Michael Shattock is one of Europe’s leading practitioners and scholars in the field of higher education policy, governance and management. Michael Shattock was educated at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He subsequently became a university administrator. From 1969 to 1983 he was variously Deputy Registrar and then Academic Registrar at the University of Warwick. He then served as Registrar until 1999. He was awarded the OBE for services to Higher Education in 1988 and was further recognised by honorary degrees from the Universities of Reading and Warwick. Michael Shattock is currently a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education, University of London where he founded an MBA in Higher Education Management. In addition to fulfilling numerous national and international advisory roles including on the establishment of universities outside Europe, he has conducted major enquiries both in the UK and internationally. Professor Shattock has published some eight books and over 70 articles; his book
Managing Successful Universities has been widely translated.
Thursday, July 8 at 6.30 pm
James Loy MacMillan CBE, BMus, PhD, FRSAMD.
Born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1959, James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful living composers. His music is notable for its extraordinary directness, energy and emotional power. References to Scottish folk music imbue James MacMillan’s work with a strong sense of the vernacular, while strongly-held religious and political beliefs coupled with community concerns inform both the spirit and subject matter of his music. His breakthrough pieces
Tryst and The Confession of Isobel Gowdie were commissioned and premiered by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra respectively. James MacMillan’s first major opera Ines de Castro was written for Scottish Opera and premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 1996. His second opera, The Sacrifice, was premiered and toured by Welsh National Opera in 2007, and won a Royal Philharmonic Society award. His St John Passion, co-commissioned by the LSO, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Radio Choir, was premiered under the baton of Sir Colin Davis in 2008.
James MacMillan is internationally active as a conductor, and has recently taken up the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie, following 9 years as Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic. He has conducted orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Melbourne Symphony. Highlights of his 50
th birthday season in 2009 included 'James MacMillan: The Story so Far', a season long focus on his music in Rotterdam, in which he conducted both the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Royal Flemish Philharmonic, while in London MacMillan conducted the Britten Sinfonia at the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, in a new production of his music theatre work Parthenogenesis.
This year, Dr MacMillan has been the focus of an ‘Artist Portrait’ by the London Symphony Orchestra. Having conducted the orchestra in the 2009 City of London Festival, further highlights included the world premiere of his new Violin Concerto with Vadim Repin, conducted by Valery Gergiev
Friday, July 9 at 11am
John Edward Tooke MA, MSc, BM, BCh, DM, DSc(Oxon), FRCP, FRCPI. FRCGP(Hon), FAcadMed(Hon), FMedSci.
Vice-Provost (Health), Head of the UCL School of Life & Medical Sciences and Head of the UCL Medical School; Former Dean, Peninsula Medical School and Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry
Sir John Tooke is Vice Provost of Health at the University College London, having relinquished his role as the Inaugural Dean of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in November 2009. Sir John has made major contributions as a clinician, an academic and as a leader in the medical profession. He is an internationally recognised authority on the complications of diabetes, the founding Dean of the first new UK medical school in three decades, and author of the most influential report on the future development of the medical profession in recent years. In addition, Sir John’s health service research interests have resulted in new screening and care approaches for diabetic eye disease and foot problems. Apart from clinical and academic leadership, Professor Tooke has played major roles in the development and regulation of his profession. He was chair of what has become known as the Tooke Inquiry into the shortcomings of the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) initiative, which left post-graduate medical study in disarray in 2006. He had also previously led a High Level Group for the Chief Medical Officer on Overcoming Barriers to Clinical Effectiveness. As immediate past chairman of the Medical Schools Council, formerly the Council of Heads of Medical Schools, Sir John has been the champion for the whole medical school sector.
The Communications Team
Directorate of External Relations, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen Phone
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29 June 2010