Dons and locals honoured

News

Oxford dons and locals have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to academia and the local community.

Professor Wendy James, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, was awarded a CBE for services to Scholarship, whilst  Professor Richard Darton, Professor of Engineering Science and President of European Federation of Chemical Engineering, was made an OBE for services to Engineering.

Before Oxford, James studied at St Hugh’s and spent five years researching in the Sudan. She said: “In Oxford – just as in Africa, I have always learned as much from students as I can offer them – particularly in the setting of my present college, St Cross.

“To appear in the Honours List was a complete surprise to me! But I trust that this recognition will help draw attention to the importance of plural approaches in the study of our common humanity.”

Darton added: “All engineering is a team endeavour… So I am greatly honoured by the award of an OBE – a pleasure for my family and friends – but I am conscious that my contribution has relied on the work of others. I regard it as an accolade for engineering.”

Professor Christopher Hood, Gladstone Professor of Government at All Souls College was also made a CBE for services to social science. He was part of the research team that coined the term ‘quango’ in the early 1970s.

Local resident Romy Briant was awarded an MBE for services to the Prevention of Domestic Violence in Oxfordshire. Describing what she did, she said: “I’ve for a long time worked…with a great interest in family relationships and child development – and also in being alongside vulnerable people… The Home Office estimates 12500 women will experience abuse in Oxfordshire this year – and this excludes men, older people and young people.”

Commenting on receiving the award, she said: “I heard about the award by letter from the Cabinet office – had no inkling beforehand…I am continuing to get lovely emails and cards (and teasing) and am feeling very cherished.”

Joanna Simons, Chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council was awarded a CBE for services to Local Government and said: “I’m delighted and privileged to be honoured in this way. The county council provides really important services and at this difficult time for the public sector I hope this can be seen as shared recognition for all of my colleagues who work so hard for people locally.”