New Year Honours 2014

New Year Honours 2014


Ten senior members of the University of Oxford were recognised in the New Year honours which were announced on 31 December.

Professor Martin West, FBA, Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, was appointed to the Order of Merit. Regarded as one of the world’s leading classical philologists, Professor West was Senior Research Fellow at All Souls from 1991 to 2004. In 2000 he was awarded the International Balzan Prize for Classical Antiquity for ‘his masterful editions and explanations of Greek poetry from Homer to the Attic tragedy as well as for his groundbreaking research in the alleged and still violently debated relationships between Greece and the Orient.’ 

Professor Frances Kirwan, FRS, Professor of Mathematics and Fellow of Balliol College, was appointed DBE for services to mathematics. One of the UK’s leading mathematicians, Dame Frances’s research interests lie in complex algebraic and symplectic geometry, and in particular the study of moduli spaces and their topology. She is Chair of the UK Mathematics Trust, a body concerned with raising the quality of secondary mathematics education, and has served as the Convenor for European Women in Mathematics. From 2004 to 2006 she was President of the London Mathematical Society, the second-youngest president in the society’s history. 

Professor Paul Collier, CBE, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies,  and Fellow of St Antony’s College, was knighted for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa. Sir Paul’s research covers the economic causes and consequences of civil war, the effects of aid, and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural-resources rich societies. He is adviser to the Strategy and Policy Department of the International Monetary Fund, to the Africa Region of the World Bank, and to the Department for International Development (DFID). He is also Co-Director of the International Growth Centre, funded by DFID, which offers advice on economic growth to developing countries. Between 1998 and 2003 he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. 

Dr Noel Malcolm, FBA, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, was knighted for services to scholarship, journalism and European history. His main research interests are in British and European early modern intellectual history, with particular interests in Thomas Hobbes and in Western knowledge of and involvement in the Islamic/Ottoman world. Sir Noel said: ‘I am of course thrilled and delighted by this honour. I’m especially glad that the citation puts an emphasis on ‘scholarship’ – I think it is something that really matters, and is too often taken for granted. Without scholarship, all knowledge is uncertain. So I am particularly happy to see it recognised, in such a splendid way.’

Professor Peter RatcliffeFRS, Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine, Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, and Fellow of Magdalen College, was knighted for services to clinical medicine. Professor Ratcliffe’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which cells monitor and respond to hypoxia (low oxygen levels). Hypoxia is an important component of many human diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, and anaemia. He is also the director of the Target Discovery Institute at Oxford University, a major new collaborative research initiative which aims to link recent advances in genetics, genomics and cell and chemical biology for improved drug target discovery.

Professor Marian Dawkins, Emeritus Professor of Animal Behaviour and Emeritus Fellow of Somerville College, was appointed CBE for services to animal welfare. Her research interests include the welfare of farm animals, vision in birds, animal signalling, behavioural synchrony, and animal consciousness. Professor Dawkins said: ‘I hope the award will be seen as an acknowledgement that animal welfare has now become a scientific subject in the sense that what animals do and the effects of what is done to them can now be assessed scientifically. Animal welfare was not so long ago thought to be completely unscientific. I am very pleased if I have made some small contribution to helping it become a science.’


Professor John Kay, FBA, FRSE, Supernumerary Fellow and Investment Officer of St John’s College, was appointed CBE for services to economics. Professor Kay has been a Fellow of St John’s since 1970 and is the founding director of the Saïd Business School at Oxford. He has been the College’s Investment Officer for over twenty years and is Visiting Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics.


Ceridwen Roberts, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and member of Oxford Centre for Family Law and Policy, was appointed OBE for services to social science. Her current research interests are in the changing nature of family life and the interplay between family change and public policy. She works on the implications for parents and children of changes to adoption law, child contact and transparency and openness in the family courts as well as research on family networks and grandparents. From 1998 to 2004 she was the UK expert on the European Commission’s Observatory on the Social Situation, Demography and Family. She is currently the social science adviser to the Food Standards Agency’s Microbiological Safety Division. Speaking to the Ham and High newspaper, she said: ‘“I was really pleased that social science was being recognised as so often it’s the poor relation in terms of other subjects, so I’m really thrilled.’


Karen Hewitt, Tutor in the Department for Continuing Education, was appointed MBE for services to building academic and cultural understanding between the UK and Russia. Ms Hewitt said: ‘I was thrilled to receive the MBE for work which would not have been possible without the support of many colleagues at the Department for Continuing Education and throughout the University.  I first taught in a Russian university in 1989 and realised how difficult it was for intelligent and thoughtful Soviet university teachers to understood western societies and culture. They needed books and explanations and academic opportunities as their country was undergoing an agonising transformation. I was able to pioneer schemes which were supported by the Department for Continuing Education, by the University’s agreement with Perm State University, and later by St Antony’s College’s Russian Centre. In recent years, thanks to the Oxford Russia Fund, I’ve been able to bring thousands of books, especially of contemporary literature, to teachers and students all over Russia. The experience has been fascinating and academically absorbing.’

Also honoured was Dr Marios Papadopoulos, founder and music director of Oxford Philomusica, who was made an MBE for services to music in Oxford. In 2002 Oxford Philomusica was appointed the University’s first Orchestra in Residence. Dr Papadopoulos is a member of the Faculty of Music and a Fellow by Special Election of Keble College.