Figures associated with University receive Queens birthday honours

An archaeologist whose work helped to establish a new branch of her discipline is one of several figures associated with the University of Leicester to be honoured in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Marilyn Palmer, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Archaeology, has received an MBE for services to Industrial Archaeology and Heritage. She joined Leicester in 1988 and served as Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History from 2000 to 2006. She has taught industrial archaeology in adult education for over thirty years and has been working to establish the discipline within mainstream archaeology in academic departments.

Professor Palmer said: "I am delighted by the award of an MBE for services to industrial archaeology and heritage. I have tried to make what used to be thought of as a subject only for enthusiastic amateurs into an academic context as part of the study of the development of human civilisation. I sat on many committees for The National Trust, English Heritage, etc, as well and hope that there too, industrial archaeology now has  higher profile. However, I could not have done this without the support of my colleagues in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, and Professor Graeme Barker, the former Head of School, who gave me every encouragement."

Honorary graduate and former member of staff Professor Frances Ashcroft was awarded a DBE for services to Medical Science and the Public Understanding of Science.  Professor Ashcroft was an MRC Research Fellow (1978-1981) in the laboratory of Professor Peter Stanfield in the Department of Physiology, the forerunner of the Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology. Dame Frances subsequently went to an academic position in Oxford, where her work uncovered a link between the metabolism of glucose by pancreatic B-cells and the secretion of insulin.  She was instrumental in the discovery that the link between increased metabolism of glucose and insulin secretion was an ion channel that responds to changes in cellular ATP concentration and this has led directly to highly effective treatments for diabetes. Dame Frances received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Leicester in 2007.

Alumnus and honorary graduate Dr Philip Campbell has been knighted for services to Science, in recognition of his role as Editor of the journal Nature. He graduated from the Department of Physics in 1977 and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1999.

Also represented again in the honours were those involved in the search for Richard III.  More information on individuals associated with the city to be honoured is reported in the Leicester Mercury.

If you are aware of anyone associated with the University of Leicester who has been honoured this year you can let the News Centre know at