University of York to award nine honorary degrees

Posted on 21 June 2001

John Barry, Oscar-winning composer, and life on Mars scientist, Richard Zare to receive degrees in July

The honorary degree of Doctor of the University will be conferred on nine distinguished people by the Chancellor of the University of York, Dame Janet Baker, at ceremonies on 12 and 13 July. The nine are:

Dr Margaret Aston is a historian who has written with great insight on topics from the dissolution of the monasteries to the English Reformation. Her work focuses mainly on art and imagery and on religious history and her books include The Fifteenth Century: the Prospect of Europe, and Faith and Fire: popular and unpopular religion. Although a private historian, in the sense that she holds no academic position, she has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is currently President of the Ecclesiastical History Society.

John Barry is the well-known composer of scores for films such as The Ipcress File, Born Free and Dances with Wolves. He first came to prominence in the film world with the score for the James Bond film Dr No in 1962, and went on to write scores for From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Service and You Only Live Twice. Born and educated in York, his influence on film music and his originality of invention and orchestration have made him one of the most celebrated composers in his field. Nominated for seven Oscars, he has won five.

Sir Iain Chalmers is the founding director of the UK Cochrane Centre, which reviews and synthesises rigorous evidence about the effectiveness of health care. As well as being the prime mover in ingraining evidence-based treatments in the NHS, he is acknowledged as the architect and leader of the worldwide Cochrane Collaboration. The Cochrane Library, which publishes the work of the Collaboration is seen as the definitive source of evidence about the effectiveness of health care. Trained first as an obstetrician and then as an epidemiologist, Iain Chalmers was knighted last year for his contribution to health services.

Trevor Copley is Chairman of St Leonard's Hospice, York. He trained originally as a solicitor and joined Rowntree as Company Secretary in 1967, becoming a member of the Board in 1973 and Chairman of Rowntree's Overseas and Export Division in 1978. For the last 22 years he has led a dedicated group of people, first in establishing York's hospice and subsequently in expanding it. St Leonard's is approaching the end of a successful fundraising campaign with a £2m target to extend its facilities, having provided care for 4,000 local patients and their families since 1985.

Professor Brian Heap is Vice-President and Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society and Master of St Edmund's College, Cambridge. In his research career as an animal physiologist, he specialised in hormone action in pregnancy, growth and lactation. More recently, he has been actively engaged in the debate on the potential significance of biotechnology for feeding the world's population. He has worked in developing countries, particularly China, on food security and population growth, and has been involved in bioethics in the UK and Europe. He is a former Director of Science for the Biotechnology and Biological Services Research Council, and a former President of the Institute of Biology.

Dorothy Heard and Brian Lake are experts in 'attachment theory', which seeks to understand not only a child's attachment to its primary carer, but broader attachments in human relationships. Both trained as doctors but followed different routes to their common work in psychotherapy. Dorothy Heard worked at the famous Tavistock Clinic on psychosomatic illnesses, while Brian Lake established the first department of psychotherapy in Yorkshire at St James' Hospital in Leeds in 1979. Their collaboration since has yielded much, in particular their well-known book, The Challenge of Attachment for Caregiving. They have had a close association with York's Department of Social Policy and Social Work for the last 15 years.

Professor-Doctor Michael Müller-Wille is Recktor of the Christian Albrechts Universität and professor in the Institut für Ur und Frühgeschichte in Kiel, Germany. The Institute is one of Europe's leading academic centres in archaeology, acknowledged as much for its teaching as for its scholarly publications. Michael Müller-Wille has earned a reputation over 40 years for the depth of his research into northern Europe in the fifth to the tenth centuries, setting the standards and defining the descriptive terminology for this turbulent age of the Viking warrior-traders.

Professor Richard Zare is the scientist who found evidence of life on Mars. In 1996, Professor Zare, along with colleagues from NASA, found mineral features characteristic of biological activity and microscopic fossils of primitive, bacteria-like organisms inside an ancient Martian rock that fell to earth as a meteorite. His work on the nature of the chemical contents of single cells also extends to such earthly questions as the fizziness of champagne. The recipient of numerous national and international scientific awards, Professor Zare is Chairman of the National Science Board of the United States and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. He is currently the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University.

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