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British Science Association announces 2013 Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellows are individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the aims and purposes of the Association by promoting openness about science in society and engaging and inspiring adults and young people directly with science and technology. Recent winners include Professor Brian Cox, Revd Professor Michael Reiss, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Professor Marcus du Sautoy, Emeritus Professor Christopher Donald Frith and Professor Richard Wiseman.

The Honorary Fellows for each year are announced in September at the British Science Festival. The Fellows for 2013 are;

Professor Uta Frith

Uta splits her time between being Emeritus Professor at University College London and Visiting Professor at the University of Aarhus. Throughout her career she has worked to develop a neuro-cognitive approach to developmental disorders. She uses methods from experimental psychology to investigate a number of high-level cognitive processes to find out whether their failure might result in the core features of autism and dyslexia. Her aim is to discover the underlying cognitive causes of these disorders and to link them on the one hand to behaviour and on the other hand to the brain.

A bigger aim is to make this research relevant to the education of people with developmental disorders and to contribute to a better quality of their everyday life by a better understanding of their problems. Uta has made significant progress in making neuroscience relevant to education, chairing a Working Committee for the Royal Society Series, Brainwaves: Neuroscience, Society and Policy. She is also exploring the advancement of women in science, and wants women to share ideas that are interesting and fun. Her research has had a significant impact on the fields of neuroscience, psychology and education.

Roland Jackson

Roland Jackson held the post of Chief Executive of the British Science Association  from 2002 until 2013.

He was educated at Oxford University, obtaining a degree in biochemistry in 1976, a doctorate in molecular immunology, and a postgraduate certificate in education. He taught science in secondary schools for 9 years, ultimately as Head of Science at Backwell School, Bristol. During this period and subsequently he contributed to several national curriculum development programmes in science education, including SATIS (Science and Technology in Society), Nuffield Coordinated Science and Salters’ Advanced Chemistry.

He moved on to a position as Education Adviser for the international chemical company ICI, before joining the Science Museum in London in 1993 initially as Head of Education, before being appointed acting Head of Museum from 2001-2002.

He is a member of a number of advisory bodies in the public engagement field, and was appointed to chair the 'Science for All' Group set up following the previous Government's consultation on Science and Society. Other appointments include: Education and Public Outreach Advisory Panel (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council); Science in Society Panel (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council); Steering Group of the Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre for Public Engagement.

Dr Mark Lythgoe

Dr Lythgoe has made a significant contribution to promoting science in society through: his early career “science and art” collaborations, and promoting science in the wider community in radio and television. In 2004, Dr Lythgoe became the first science advisor to the National Theatre and he was the first scientist to exhibit at the Hayward Gallery.

His public engagement work has been informed by his concurrent Directorship of an internationally acclaimed research team at the UCL Centre of Advanced Biomedical Imaging.

In 2003 Dr Lythgoe received the Dorothy Hodgkin Award from the British Science Association for his science and art film “Mapping Perception” in recognition of his achievement in promoting the discussion of important developments in science. 

Clare Matterson

Clare Matterson has responsibility for medical humanities, public engagement, media and communications, Wellcome Library and Wellcome Collection. She joined the Trust in 1999 as Head of Policy, and produced the Trust's first Strategic Plan. Clare previously worked as a Management Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. She was a Senior Policy Adviser to the 1999 National Committee of Enquiry into Higher Education and is a member of the Science Museum Advisory Committee, the Kohn Award Committee for Science Communication, and the Government's High Level Strategy Committee for Science Education. She is also a Trustee for Enthuse - an initiative for science teachers - and a member of the BBC Children in Need Funding Committee.

Professor Sir Paul Nurse

Paul Nurse is President-elect of the British Science Association for 2014-2015.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001 and the Royal Society Copley Medal in 2005.  Paul Nurse is a geneticist, focusing on what controls the division and shape of cells. He was Professor of Microbiology at the University of Oxford, CEO of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research UK and President of Rockefeller University New York. He is currently Director and Chief Executive of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI).

He is currently the President of the Royal Society; he took up the post to start his five year term on 1 December 2010, and previously chaired the Royal Society’s Science and Society Programme.

Dr Kenneth Skeldon MBE

Ken has combined a prestigious research career with a formidable record in science and public engagement. Ken has engaged with hundreds of thousands of people live and many more through broadcast media appearances. In his role at the University of Aberdeen, Ken championed a region-wide science engagement strategy and secured one of eight RCUK Catalyst Awards for Public Engagement to the University of Aberdeen, creating a centre of excellence in this arena.

Ken has a long track record with the Association, extending back some 20 years. He co-founded the West of Scotland SATRO helping to embed CREST Awards in the schools outreach activities being undertaken at Glasgow University at that time. He coordinated and delivered activity at the first SET7 and National Science Week initiatives, aided by grants from COPUS. These catalytic activities included first performances of shows such as Arcs & Sparks that he has since presented to more than 100,000 people. As well as involvement at past meetings of the then BA, Ken Chaired the Glasgow Branch of the British Science Association for 4 years, during which time he formed the West Scotland Branch brokering new partnerships for science outreach across the region.

Most notable perhaps is his enthusiasm for stimulating others in quality 2-way engagement – particularly evident in his role as head of public engagement with research at the University of Aberdeen, where hundreds of researchers annually are empowered to engage with communities and share their work. It is for this expansive portfolio that Ken was awarded an MBE in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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