Honours awarded to Cambridge academics

Louis Mian 2 January 2021
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

In the 2021 New Year Honours, four Cambridge academics have been given recognition for their work, with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor Usha Goswami, Professor Val Gibson, and Dr Michael Weekes all receiving awards.

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, a fellow of Trinity College and the director of the Autism Research Centre, has been knighted for services to people with autism.

In 1999, Baron-Cohen established the first clinic in the UK for adults with suspected Asperger Syndrome.

Baron-Cohen said that the honour ‘came as a complete surprise’ and that he accepted it ‘on behalf of the talented team of scientists at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, and on behalf of the Autism Research Trust, the charity that has supported us.’

‘The basic needs and human rights of autistic people and their families are still not being met by statutory services, due to insufficient funding, so we are creating a new charity, the Autism Centre of Excellence, to address this gap,’ Baron-Cohen stated.

Professor Usha Goswami, a fellow of St John’s College and director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, said she was ‘deeply honoured’ to be awarded a CBE for services to educational research.

She previously received the Yidan Prize for Education Research, in September 2019, for her work on neuroscience, which enables educators to better help children with dyslexia learn languages.

‘I have been interested in children’s development since training as a primary school teacher and it is wonderful to have my research recognised in this way,’ Goswami explained.

Head of the University’s High Energy Physics group, School of Physical Sciences Equality and Diversity Champion, and Trinity College fellow, Professor Val Gibson has been given an OBE in recognition of her services to science, women in science, and to public engagement.

She stated that ‘it is an honour to be recognised for all three of my passions: research into the most fundamental particles and forces of nature, including the mystery of why we live in a Universe made of matter and not antimatter; support for gender equality and diversity in science; and the public engagement activities I have undertaken over many years.’

Dr Michael Weekes, a researcher at the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease, has received, for his services to the NHS during Covid-19, a BEM.

He explained that he was honoured to ‘have had the chance to be part of the team that set up Covid testing for Cambridge University Hospitals.’

‘I’d particularly like to acknowledge the contribution of Steve Baker, Rob Howes, and Giles Wright, who played vital roles in testing and organisation.’

‘I hope that vaccination will soon mean that hospitals become even safer places to work and be cared for,’ Weekes stated.


Read more at: https://www.cam.ac.uk/news/cambridge-academics-recognised-in-2021-new-year-honours