British Science Association awards Fellowship to University of Leicester geneticist

Posted by er134 at Sep 09, 2016 12:30 PM |
Dr Turi King awarded prestigious prize for inspiring people through science

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 9 September 2016

Images of Dr Turi King available to download at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/m0k0ittm2587de1/AABZ81pbfPiT_d0lK-LPSMHNa?dl=0 Image credit: University of Leicester

A prestigious British Science Association (BSA) Honorary Fellowship has been awarded to a University of Leicester geneticist for her outstanding dedication to engaging and inspiring people through science.

Dr Turi King, Reader in Genetics and Archaeology at the University of Leicester will be presented with the accolade at the BSA’s annual gala dinner in London in November.

She joins the Association’s illustrious rank of Honorary Fellows alongside individuals such as Sir David Attenborough, Lord Winston, Professor Alice Roberts and Professor Brian Cox.

Each year, members of the BSA are invited to nominate individuals to be considered as Honorary Fellows. Those shortlisted must have made a significant contribution to promoting science as a fundamental part of our culture and society. Alongside Dr King, comedian and actor Ben Miller, mathematician and TV presenter Dr Hannah Fry, artist Jess Thom and BBC Horizon editor Steve Crabtree were also given Fellowships this year.

Dr King said: “I am so pleased to be named as an Honorary Fellow of the BSA. I share the Association’s values of helping more people engage with science and feel part of it. I'm looking forward to being involved in future projects with the BSA’s team.”

Dr King led the DNA analysis on the skeletal remains of King Richard III found in a car park in Leicester in 2012. The discovery attracted worldwide attention and Dr King was at the forefront of media interviews communicating the science to the public.  Her research not only confirmed the skeleton was that of the last Plantagenet king but also determined what his hair and eye colour would have been.

She is carrying out the whole genome sequencing of Richard III which is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Leverhulme Trust and Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of genetic fingerprinting at the University of Leicester.

Dr King is passionate about communicating science to the public and has appeared in, or advised on, numerous radio and TV programmes as well as giving regular talks about her research.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Paul Boyle, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Dr King in recognition of her outstanding contribution to making science more accessible to the wider public.

“Her work on the Richard III project was crucial to the identification of his mortal remains and she continues to work tirelessly to communicate her research by giving regular talks locally, nationally and internationally.”

Katherine Mathieson, Chief Executive of the BSA, said: “I am proud to be welcoming Ben, Hannah, Jess, Steve and Turi as Honorary Fellows of the Association.  They have each made a significant contribution to bringing science to a broad and diverse audience; challenging attitudes to who ‘does’ or is interested in science – and how we perceive it as an integral part of our cultural identity; and positioning science as something for all.  We are very much looking forward to working with them in the future.”

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Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Turi King at: tek2@le.ac.uk

The British Science Association (BSA) believes that science should be part of – rather than set apart from – society and culture, and is owned by the wider community. Our programmes encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with science, become ambassadors for science, and ultimately to be empowered to challenge and influence British science - whether they work in science or not.

Established in 1831, the BSA is a registered charity that organises major initiatives across the UK, including British Science Week, the annual British Science Festival, regional and local events, the CREST Awards and other programmes for young people in schools and colleges. The BSA also organises specific activities for professional science communicators, including a specialist conference and training.

For more information, please visit www.britishscienceassociation.org

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