MEDICAL academics feature strongly in a Queen's Birthday Honours list influenced by the 50th anniversary of the National Health Service.
Of the 29 knighthoods awarded, seven went to academics. Of these three are medics: Charles George (Southampton University), Brian Jarman (Imperial, London) and Netar Mallick (Manchester). A fourth, Dundee University biochemist Philip Cohen, is director of the Medical Research Council's protein phosphorylation unit.
The knighthood for David Watson, vice-chancellor of Brighton University, means the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals can now boast 14 knights and one life peer. Polish-born 1995 Nobel peace prize winner Joseph Rotblat, emeritus professor of physics at London University was also knighted on the FCO list.
Three of the six dames have academic connections: Gillian Beer, professor of English and president of Clare Hall, Cambridge; Betty Kershaw, president of the Royal College of Nursing, whose citation is for services to the nursing profession and nursing education; and Lorna Boreland Kelly, chair of governors at Lambeth College. Further education is also recognised by an OBE to Thomas McGrenary, principal of Cumbernauld College.
Medical professors were also to the fore among the CBEs, claiming five of the 95 awards. John Hardcastle (Nottingham), Harry Keen (British Diabetic Association), Catherine Peckham (Institute of Child Health, London) and Charles Ruckley (Edinburgh) receive the award along with Oxford's Denis Noble, whose fame as founder of the Save British Science campaign has distracted attention from his distinguished work on the heart.
There were also CBEs for two physicists: Archibald Howie (Cambridge) and Thomas Kibble (Imperial College).
In the civil service list senior Department for Education and Employment official Nicholas Sanders and Sarah Tyacke, chief executive of the Public Record Office, become Companions of the Bath.
The medical note continues among the OBEs with two awards for Medical Research Council staff: Diane Dunston, director of resource management and John Morton, director of the Cognitive Development Unit. Nursing education is recognised through an OBE to David Rye for services to the subject and an MBE for Gina Higginbotham, a lecturer at Sheffield University.
Other MBEs included Dai Dower, head of sport at Bournemouth University, whose award possibly also belatedly reflects his achievements as the leading British flyweight boxer of the mid-1950s, holding British, European and Commonwealth championships and challenging once for the world title.
Selected list, Noticeboard, page 29