Lancaster University

This is archived news from Lancaster University. You can find up-to-date stories in our current news section.

Honorary Degrees 2010

03/05/2010 11:40:36

The presenter of Top Gear James May and renowned broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell DBE are among six people distinguished in their field who are to be awarded honorary degrees at the July degree ceremonies.

The others include the President of the British Medical Association Professor Averil Mansfield CBE, distinguished scientist Professor Kang Shaozhong, paleoclimatologist Professor Lonnie Thompson and the head of the regional supermarket chain Edwin Booth.

Most of them have connections with the North West: James May is an alumnus of Lancaster University while Dame Joan, Professor Mansfield and Edwin Booth are all from the region.

Dame Joan Bakewell [For DLitt]

Joan Bakewell first became well known as one of the presenters of an early BBC Two programme, Late Night Line-Up. She was appointed CBE in 1999 and DBE in 2008. She was Chairman of the British Film Institute from 2000 to 2002. She is currently Chair of the renowned theatre company Shared Experience.

Joan Bakewell writes for The Independent in the 'Editorial and Opinion' section. Typically, her articles concern aspects of social life and culture but sometimes she writes more political articles, often focusing on aspects relevant to life in the United Kingdom.

In November 2008 Joan Bakewell was appointed as a voice for older people by the Government. She was nominated for an Honorary Doctorate for her work toward raising the profile of age equality issues and encouraging public debate.

Mr Edwin Booth [LLD]

Edwin Booth is the Executive Chairman of E. H. Booth and Company. He is the fifth generation head of the eponymously named regional supermarket chain, Booth’s. Under Edwin Booth’s leadership, the supermarket chain has expanded greatly and the company currently employs over 3000 staff in its 26 branches.

In 2006, Edwin Booth was appointed Chairman of the National Independent Supermarket Association. In 2007 he was Chair of Business in the Community’s The Prince’s Seeing is Believing Alumni North West Board, sitting alongside the Dean of our Management School and the Pro-Chancellor.

This award is to recognise the achievements of a highly successful local businessman whose career embodies the skills and values necessary for success in a highly competitive commercial environment.

Professor Kang Shaozhong [DSc]

Professor Kang Shaozhong is the Director of Centre for Agricultural Water Research in China, and a Distinguished Professor at the China Agricultural University.

Kang Shaozhong is a very high profile scientist in China and is a member of the Government committee currently writing China’s five year plan for agriculture. His research focuses on finding ways to use water more effectively in agriculture to deliver food security for people in China’s most water scarce regions.

Food Security is a high profile issue on the international agenda. China will be a big player in the continuing debate. Kang Shaozhong is a leader in this field in China with currently more than 5000 ha of experiments underway with food producers in China’s driest regions.

Professor Averil Mansfield [DSc]

Professor Averil Mansfield is President of the British Medical Association.

She was educated at Liverpool University and took a medical degree in 1960. She also holds a Masters in Surgery in 1972. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Royal College of Surgeons.

She was a consultant vascular surgeon at the Royal Liverpool Hospital from 1972-1980 and before moving to St Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College London. She became a Professor of Surgery at the hospital in 1993 and was the first UK female to achieve this. Professor Mansfield established a new initiative at the Royal College of Surgeons designed to encourage women into surgery.

Professor Mansfield originates from Lancashire. She has been invited to the School of Health & Medicine to give a talk to students and local clinicians. This award is to recognise the esteemed career of a local born woman of distinction: the first female Professor of Surgery, and now the President of the BMA.

Mr James May [DLitt]

James May is an award-winning British television presenter and journalist, and a graduate of Lancaster University. He is best known as co-presenter of the motoring programme Top Gear, and he has also presented a variety of other programmes, including James May on the Moon, James May’s 20th Century and James May’s Big Ideas.

May has written articles for several publications, including CAR Magazine Top Gear Magazine, as well as a weekly column in The Daily Telegraph. In 2000 he won the Guild of Motoring Writers Journalist of the Year award.

A keen flautist and pianist, James May studied music at Lancaster University, where he was a member of Pendle College.

Professor Lonnie Thompson [DSc]

Professor Lonnie Thompson, a paleoclimatologist and Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences at the Ohio State University, has achieved global recognition for his drilling and analysis of ice cores from mountain glaciers and ice caps in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. He and his wife, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, founded and run the ice core paleoclimatology research group at the Byrd Polar Research Centre at the OSU.

Lonnie’s work has been internationally recognized with significant honours and awards including the award of a National Medal for Science (the highest honour the United States can bestow upon an American scientist), election to the National Academy of Science, the World Prize for Environmental Achievement and the Dan David Prize.