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Blog

Knighthoods for graphene and biophysics pioneers

By Hamish Johnston

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester have received knighthoods in the 2012 New Year Honours. The pair bagged the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics for their pioneering work on graphene – sheets of carbon just one atom thick. Both physicists were knighted for their “services to science”.

James Dacey visited the Manchester lab where graphene was first isolated and shot a video about how to make the material. The short film was one of our favourites of 2011 and you can watch it here.

Also receiving a knighthood is Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a biophysicist at the University of Cambridge who shared the 2010 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on the structure and function of ribosome.

Other physicists honoured include Jonathan Flint, chief executive of UK-based Oxford Instruments, and Philip Sutton, who has held a number of senior positions at the UK’s Ministry of Defence, including director of science and technology strategy. Both Flint and Sutton become Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 2007 Flint talked to me about how Oxford Instruments is making physics profitable, and you can read that interview here.

The honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) has been bestowed on James McLaughlin of the University of Ulster and on Mohamed El-Gomati of the University of York. Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) honours go to John Huddleston of AEA Technology, Derek Raine of the University of Leicester and Ian Miller of the University of Lancaster.

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