Glittering prizes

December 18, 1998

The poet and former curate R. S. Thomas, 85, has been appointed to an honorary professorship in the Welsh department, University of Wales, Bangor.

Cherie Booth QC has been elected an honorary fellow of the London School of Economics. Fellowships were also awarded to: Lord Wolfson of Marylebone, chairman of the Wolfson Foundation; Lord Wedderburn of Charlton, professor emeritus of commercial law; Rachel Lomax, permanent secretary to the Welsh Office; Shandi Modi, chief executive officer at the Institute for the Development of Economic Analysis, and Kadar Amal, minister of water affairs and forestry in South Africa.

Broadcaster Jeremy Paxman and home secretary Jack Straw will receive honorary degrees from the University of Leeds next July. The university is also to award honorary degrees to John Walker, who shared the Nobel prize for chemistry last year, and pianist Murray Perahia.

The Leverhulme Trust has awarded personal research professorships in the humanities and social sciences to six researchers, chosen from 303 applicants. The awards, totalling Pounds 1.8 million over five years from October, will meet salary costs and provide a modest grant for research expenses, enabling the recipient to devote at least 80 per cent of their time to original research.

The successful applicants (and research ideas) are: Jonathan Bate, professor of English literature, University of Liverpool (the place of poetry and the case of John Clare); Richard Blundell, professor of economics, University College London (semiparametric estimation and consumer demand); Geoffrey Hosking, professor of Russian history, School of Slavonic and East European Studies (the Russian people and the Soviet Union); Ruth Kempson, professor of linguistics, School of Oriental and African Studies, chair to be held at King's College, London (the dynamics of language); Dominic Rathbone, reader in ancient history, King's College, London (quantified economy of Roman Egypt and agrarian history of Roman Italy); Christopher Rowe, professor of classics, University of Durham (a study of the relationship between form and content in Plato's dialogues).

Lancaster University has awarded honorary degrees to: Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn professor of management studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and professor of organisation at Insead, Fontainebleau, France (DSc); and Anthony Bradshaw, emeritus professor of botany and honorary research fellow at the University of Liverpool (DSc).

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand has received an honorary degree from the University of Northumbria.

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