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Honorary Degrees for Experts on Heart, DNA, Shakespeare, & Holocaust Aftermath

The University of Warwick has announced the names of eleven people who will be awarded Honorary Degrees at its Summer degree ceremonies between 14th and 18th July 2008. They include experts on the human heart, DNA, Shakespeare, world trade, and the aftermath of the Holocaust. Details on press opportunities for each person will be issued nearer to the time of the ceremonies but biographical details on each of those people and the degree they will be awarded follows below:

Stanley Wells (Hon DLitt - Honorary Doctor of Letters)

Stanley Wells, former Director of the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford, took his first degree from University College London, of which he is now an honorary Fellow, in 1951. He studied for his PhD at the Shakespeare Institute from 1958 to 1961, and became a Fellow in the following year later being appointed to a Readership in English.

In 1978 he moved to Oxford to serve as founding Head of the Shakespeare Department of Oxford University Press and General Editor of the Oxford edition of Shakespeare’s Complete Works, first published in both modern and original spelling versions in 1986, and as General Editor of the multi-volume Oxford Shakespeare, now almost complete.

In 1988 he was appointed Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Shakespeare Institute, a post which he held until 1997. He is now Emeritus Professor and an Honorary Fellow.

Since 1995 he has held the honorary position of Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and now has his office at the Trust’s Headquarters, The Shakespeare Centre.

Since 1974 he has been a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, of which he became Vice-Chairman. He is now Honorary Governor Emeritus.

He was Chairman of the International Shakespeare Association from 1996 to 2001. He is a Trustee of the Rose Theatre and a Council member of the Globe Theatre.

In 1995 he was awarded the Walcott Award of the Library Association for services to bibliography, and he was made a CBE for services to literature in the Birthday Honours List, 2007.

His many publications include the books Literature and Drama (1970), Royal Shakespeare (1977), Shakespeare: the Writer and his Work (1978), Shakespeare: An Illustrated Dictionary 1978 (2nd edition 1985, revised as The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespeare, 1998 etc.), Re-editing Shakespeare for the Modern Reader (1984), Shakespeare: a Dramatic Life (1994; published by Norton as Shakespeare: A Life in Drama, revised edition as Shakespeare: The Poet and His Plays, Methuen, 1997), Shakespeare: For All Time (Macmillan, 2002, Looking for Sex in Shakespeare (Cambridge, 2004), Shakespeare & Co (Penguin, 2006, Pantheon, 2007), and Is It True What They Say About Shakespeare (Long Barn Books, 2007).

He is also General Editor of the Penguin edition of Shakespeare, he edited the annual Shakespeare Survey for Cambridge University Press from 1980 to 1999 and is an Associate Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and of the forthcoming revised Oxford Companion to English Literature.

John Edwards (Hon LLD - Honorary Doctor of Laws)

John Edwards began his professional life as a Quantity Surveyor.

He became Managing Director for Regeneration of Business in the Community where he led on brokering business engagement in partnership working with local communities and government.

For over 10 years he worked for the Rural Development Commission as Region Manager in the West Midlands and he rose to become Chief Executive and Director of Operations.

He joined the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM) in August 1999 as Director of Regeneration and Physical Development and was the project manager for workspace developments in the West Midlands and subsequently he led the small business support work. On 9th November 2000 he was appointed Chief Executive of AWM.

While there he led the team that devised the MG Rover Task Force in 2005, helped refocus Business Link in 2007, and was a leading player in attracting overseas direct investment into the West Midlands. In the past 3 years the West Midlands region has out performed all but London and the South East in attracting inward investment.

He was named Midlands Property Personality of The Year in 2007.

The Honourable Pierre Pettigrew (Hon LLD - Honorary Doctor of Laws)

The Honourable Pierre Pettigrew has had a distinguished career with success in both public and private sectors. He has led a number of senior departments in his 10 years as a minister in successive governments of Canada.

Prior to his election to Parliament as the member for the constituency of Papineau in March 1996, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed him Minister of International Cooperation and minister responsible for "la Francophonie".

Minister Pettigrew was promoted to the key department of Human Resources Development in October 1996 and from 1999 to 2003, he was a most active minister for international trade in the Chrétien Government and Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Martin Government.

In December 2003, Prime Minister Paul Martin appointed him Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for official languages. He was also the senior minister for Québec in the Government of Canada.

Between 1985 and 1995, Pierre Pettigrew was Vice-President of Samson Belair Deloitte & Touche International (Montréal) where he acted as international business consultant.

Pierre Pettigrew served as foreign policy advisor in the Privy Council Office to Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau from 1981 to 1984. He also served as chief of staff to Liberal leader Claude Ryan during the first referendum in 1980. He also served as Director or the Political Committee of the NATO assembly in Brussels in the late 1970’s.

He is currently back with Deloitte & Touche in Toronto as Executive Advisor, International.

Over the last year he has chaired The Warwick Commission organised by the University of Warwick. This was an international commission of policy makers and researchers tasked with examining the global trading system and making recommendations about its future shape and direction. The Commission took evidence from a wide range of experts from around the globe. It launched its report in December 2007.

Eva Hoffman (Hon DLitt - Honorary Doctor of Letters)

Eva Hoffman is a writer and academic. She was born in 1945 in Kraków, Poland after her Jewish parents survived the Holocaust by hiding in Ukraine. Her family emmigrated to Canada in 1959. Upon graduating from high school she received a scholarship and studied at Rice University, Texas, the Yale School of Music, and Harvard University, where she received a PhD in literature.

She has been a professor of literature and of creative writing at several institutions including Columbia, the University of Minnesota, and Tufts. She was an editor and writer at the New York Times, including a stint as a senior editor of the New York Times Book Review from 1987–90. She has written a number of highly regarded works of non fiction: Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language, Exit Into History, Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews, and After Such Knowledge: Memory, History and the Legacy of the Holocaust, and the novel, The Secret. After Such Knowledge examined the sixty-year aftermath of the Holocaust and the multifarious implications of the children of Holocaust survivors’ (2 G or Second generation) experience. She is a visiting professor at MIT.In an interview in 2000, Eva Hoffman observed, "I think every immigrant becomes a kind of amateur anthropologist—you do notice things about the culture or the world that you come into that people who grow up in it, who are very embedded in it, simply don't notice. I think we all know it from going to a foreign place. And at first you notice the surface things, the surface differences. And gradually you start noticing the deeper differences. And very gradually you start with understanding the inner life of the culture, the life of those both large and very intimate values."

Professor Denis Noble (Hon DSc – Honorary Doctor of Science)

Professor Denis Noble is the UK’s leading systems biologist. He held the Burdon Sanderson Chair of Cardiovascular Physiology at Oxford University from 1984-2004 and is now Professor Emeritus and co-Director of Computational Physiology. He is one of the pioneers of the field of Systems Biology and led a team which developed the first viable mathematical model of the working heart in 1960. His research focuses on using computer models of biological organs and organ systems to interpret function from the molecular level to the whole organ. As Secretary General of the International Union of Physiological Sciences he played a major role in launching the Physiome Project: an international project to use computer simulations to create physiological models necessary to interpret the genome. One of his most famous books is The Music of Life published in 2006.

He was President of the Medical Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 1991-92. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1988 and an Honorary Fellow in 1994, an Honorary Member of the American Physiological Society in 1996 and of the Japanese Physiological Society in 1998. In 1979 he was awarded a CBE, and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Professor Noble is currently part of a consortium of four pharmaceutical companies that are using mathematical modelling to explore how new drugs may affect the heart.

Dr Tadataka (Tachi) Yamada (Hon DSc - Honorary Doctor of Science)

Dr Tadataka (Tachi) Yamada is President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s Global Health Program. In this capacity he oversees grants totalling over $7 billion directed at applying technology to deal with major health challenges in the developing world including TB, HIV, malaria, malnutrition and maternal and child health.

He was formerly Chairman of Research and Development and was a member of the Board of Directors at GlaxoSmithKline.

Prior to that, he was chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and Physician-in-Chief at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

His own research is in the field of gastroenterology. He has over 150 publications in this area and is editor of "The Textbook of Gastroentology". His studies resulted in key discoveries in the biological activation of peptide hormones, the structure and function of the receptors for the hormones that regulate gastric acid secretion and the regulation of genes involved in the acid secretor process.

He is a past president of the American Gastroenterological Association and the Association of American Physicians, a master of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in the United States and the Academy of Medical Sciences in the United Kingdom.

On September 19, 2007 Yamada was named Knight Commander of the British Empire.

Yesu Persaud (Hon DLitt - Honorary Doctor of Letters)

Yesu Persaud, is a leading and respected Guyanese business figures and philanthropist. He is also known for his support of human rights and democracy.

He has received several international and national awards including: the Gandhi Organisation Plaque for his contribution to promoting Indian culture in Guyana, the Cacique Crown of Honour for the development of new industries in Guyana in 1983, and the Glory of India Award and Certificate of Excellence by the India International Friendship Society in 2005. In 2006 India honoured him with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his outstanding contributions in business and Indian history and culture. Persaud is a founding member of Guyana’s Indian Arrival Committee which was later converted into the Indian Commemoration Trust. He is single-handedly responsible for creating the Monument Garden which marks the arrival of the first batch of Indian indentured labourers to Guyana in 1838.

He has risen from working in the cane fields of Guyana to become one of that country’s leading business figures. As well as being the Executive Chairman of the Demerara Distillers Group (DDL) of Guyana, he is the founder and Chairman of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development in Guyana which stimulates and finances entrepreneurs and small businesses; the Chairman of Guyana's first indigenous private sector bank, Demerara Bank Ltd; the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission of Guyana; past President of the Guyana Manufacturers Association; the Vice President of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Association; and a member of the Advisory Group to the Caribbean's Chief Trade Negotiator, Sir Shridath Ramphal, on Caricom international negotiations.

He is an associate Fellow of the University of Warwick’s Centre for Caribbean Studies.

Hon. Dr Justice G.W. Kanyeihamba (Hon LLD - Honorary Doctor of Laws)

Hon. Justice Dr. G. W. Kanyeihamba, is a senior Ugandan Judge, Professor of Law and has held high office in all three branches of Uganda’s government: parliament, the executive and the judiciary.

He was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to the University of Warwick where he obtained a PhD He has been a prolific writer on Ugandan law and politics and his works include the leading university textbook called "Constitutional Law and Government in Uganda"

He has participated in the revision of constitutions of a number of Commonwealth countries including his own Uganda. He was the Chairman of the Constitutional Committee at the Moshi Conference of Uganda exiles that helped to remove Idi Amin from power. In the government that followed he was the Attorney-General and later Minister of Justice.

In the Constituent Assembly which debated, adopted and promulgated the 1995 Uganda Constitution, Prof. Kanyeihamba was elected the Chairman of the Legal and Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly.

For nearly fifteen years, Prof. Kanyeihamba was a member of the Uganda National Legislature and for ten of that period, he was a Cabinet Minister, first of Commerce, and twice, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General. Since 1997, Justice Kanyeihamba has been a Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda.

In March, 2000 he was asked to participate in the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR) "Meeting of Government and Non-Government Experts" on the 30th Anniversary of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention, 27 - 29 March 2000. While there he introduced the idea of bringing together Africa's judges, magistrates and administrators who determine Refugee Law matters into the decision-making institutions of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and of the United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR), by way of resolution. He lobbied for the idea and convinced the Conkray Meeting to adopt it.

He is also a member of the Uganda Human Rights Initiative, Chairman of The Committee on Judges' Terms and Conditions of Service, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the newly founded Kabale University.

Uganda’s "Sunday New Vision" newspaper has described Prof. Kanyeihamba as a good case study of a principled and impartial judge.

Professor Stephen Nickell (Hon DSc - Doctor of Science)

Professor Nickell is presently Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford. Before that, he was a professor at the London School of Economics. In addition he is or has been an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee Bank of England, a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Economic Association, a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, President of the Royal Economic Society, President of the Economics Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Chairman of the ESRC Research Grants Board and a Member of the ESRC Council, a Governor of the National Institute of Social and Economic Research, a Founding Member of the Council of the European Economic Association, Editor of the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, and a member of the Treasury Academic Panel.

Professor Nickell is an outstanding empirical economist. He is best known as a specialist in the causes of unemployment, and particularly for pioneering work on the causes of mass unemployment in the UK in the 1980s. This work transformed both economists' understanding of the relationship between the supply and demand sides in an imperfectly competitive economy and the way that undergraduates throughout the world now learn about the labour market in modern macroeconomics. He is one of the worlds most highly cited research economists.

His single most cited work, in the Journal of Political Economy (1996), demonstrated clearly for the first time from empirical evidence that more competition among firms really does raise the rate of growth of productivity

 For further details please contact:

Peter Dunn, Press & Media Relations Manager University of Warwick,
Tel: 024 76 523708, Email:

PR33 28th April 2008