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York awards four with honorary degrees

Posted on 20 January 2015

The University of York is to award honorary degrees to a playwright, chemist, criminal psychologist and medical scientist next week.

They will receive honorary doctorates at the University’s graduation ceremonies on 23 and 24 January, along with 1265 students receiving undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.

Every year the University confers honorary degrees on people who have made a significant contribution to society. Honorary graduates are selected from nominations by members of the University and often have existing links with academic departments or are York alumni.

Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn is an English playwright, novelist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is best known as the author of plays Noises Off, Copenhagen and Democracy, in addition to novels Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong and Spies, for which he received critical and commercial success.

Born in 1933, Michael Frayn grew up in Ewell, Surrey before completing two years of National Service, where he learnt Russian at the Joint Services School for Linguists. In 1957 he graduated with a degree in Moral Sciences from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and then worked as a reporter and columnist for The Guardian and The Observer, establishing a reputation as a satirist and comic writer.

Michael Frayn’s plays have had successful runs at the National Theatre and on Broadway, and his novels have won numerous awards. He has also written screenplays for film and TV, and in 1994 presented the Australian leg of the BBC’s Great Railway Journeys of the World.

Professor Odile Eisenstein

Professor Odile Eisenstein is one of the world’s most distinguished computational chemists. An Honorary Visiting Professor at York since 2001, she is a Director of Research Emeritus at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France and founder and former head of the theoretical chemistry group at the University of Montpellier.

Professor Eisenstein’s area of research is organometallic chemistry which involves the use of organic molecules in combination with metals, often with important industrial applications in catalysis. Through her research and leadership, she has demonstrated that computational chemistry is an essential part of understanding chemical reactions of importance in catalysis and organometallic chemistry.

A member of the French Academy of Sciences, her awards include the CNRS Silver Medal, , the Organometallic Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society, and the Sir Edward Frankland medal and Lectureship of the Dalton division of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She is also Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

Professor Adrian Raine

Professor Adrian Raine is a psychologist and biological criminologist, noted for his prolific research into the neurobiological and biosocial causes of violent crime. He is University Professor and Richard Perry Professor of Criminology, Psychiatry, and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and the University's fourth “Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor”, in recognition of his impact in the applied field of neurocriminology.

Professor Raine received his bachelor's degree in Experimental Psychology from Oxford University in 1977, and his D.Phil. in Psychology from the University of York in 1982. After working as a prison psychologist, a lecturer in Behavioural Sciences at Nottingham University, and Director of the Mauritius Child Health project, he emigrated to the USA in 1987 where he was endowed with the Robert G. Wright Professorship of Psychology at USC in 1999.

Achieving international recognition for his research, he has won 18 awards, and published five books and over 350 journal articles.

Professor Sir Michael Brady (FRS, FREng, FMedSci)

Professor Sir Michael Brady has made outstanding contributions to developing computer-based post-processing for a variety of medical images. He has applied his work to a wide range of medical problems, particularly breast, liver, and colorectal cancer. His theoretical work has led to improved image quality, increased image precision, and substantially improved the robustness and accuracy of medical image analysis.

An Emeritus Professor of Oncological Imaging at Oxford University, he has a strong commitment to commercialisation of science, in particular to entrepreneurial activity.

A BP Professor of Information Engineering at Oxford University from 1985 to 2010, he was previously a Senior Research Scientist in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Institute of Physics, the British Computer Society, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

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