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Researchers honoured for work on coronavirus crisis

Six members of government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies included in Queen’s Birthday Honours

A number of academics have been honoured for their work on the coronavirus pandemic, including members of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.

Six Sage members were made Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their work during the coronavirus crisis:

  • Julia Gog, a professor of mathematical biology at the University of Cambridge.
  • Graham Medley, a professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • Catherine Noakes, a professor of environmental engineering for buildings at Leeds University.
  • James Rubin, a read in the psychology of emerging health risks at King’s College London.
  • Malcolm Semple a professor of child health and outbreak medicine at Liverpool University.
  • Lucy Yardley, a professor of health psychology at the universities of Bristol and Southampton.

Other notable researchers awarded in this year’s honours include Geoff Mulgan, the former chief executive of the innovation charity Nesta, who was knighted for services to the creative economy, and Jonathan Pearce, associate director of the Medical Research Council, who was made an a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Covid-19 research.

The list was due to be published in June earlier this year, but its publication was delayed to allow nominations for figures playing a crucial role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The honours follow criticism of the Sage group’s secrecy early on in the pandemic and come ahead of a promised inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Former chief scientific adviser David King, who founded Independent Sage in response to allegations of secrecy around the official Sage group, told Research Professional News: “I am very pleased to see them honoured in this way. The work is both important and stressful.”