CONGRATULATIONS to everyone within the Boyd Orr Centre; as announced just this past Thursday evening, the University of Glasgow has been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education on the basis of the work of the Centre. The award commends ‘outstanding achievement at a world-class level’ and is assessed by a specialist panel over several months, and then put forward by the Prime Minister to the Queen for Royal Assent. What makes the award rather special, is that it is the only award in the Queen’s honours list that is awarded to institutions, rather than to individuals. Only 20 of the biennial awards were made this year, across all of the higher and further education sector. That the Boyd Orr Centre would be awarded one, having only been in existence as a formal entity for just over six years, and building on a body of work that has largely been developed over the last ten years, is something rather remarkable. That the award is given to a group makes it, in my view, rather special – we can be rightly proud of the honours that the individuals around us receive, but this really does represent the work and dedication of the group.
Our submission included four case studies covering our work on rabies, foot-and-mouth disease, bovine Tuberculosis and with the Afrique One consortium. And yet these are only representative of a much larger body of work within the Centre – from malaria to E. Coli, from biodiversity measures to nematode parasites in sheep, the work of the Centre is diverse and bound together mainly by the general approach and ethos that the Centre operates under – high quality, interesting science where we work on systems of practical importance with an aim to make things better.
Much of the success of the Centre’s members is based on partnerships. Partnerships within the Centre, partnerships within the University (e.g. the Glasgow Polyomics Centre, and the MRC Centre for Virus Research), and a breadth of partnerships across the UK and abroad. It is this willingness to work with people on the basis of what they bring to us intellectually that has always impressed me, together with a willingness to expand personal intellectual boundaries in order to solve the problems at hand. I am very proud indeed to be a part of the Boyd Orr Centre.
Further details can be found in a news release. For those with an interest to see the impressive range of activities found deserving of a prize this year, the full list of winners is available here: http://www.royalanniversarytrust.org.uk/news/winners-announced-2013.