Oxford announces honorary degrees for 2012

Seven leading figures from the worlds of science, the arts, intelligence and business are set to receive honorary degrees from the University of Oxford this year, subject to approval by Congregation.

The degrees will be awarded at Encaenia, the University's annual honorary degree ceremony, on Wednesday 20 June 2012.

Degree of Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa:

Baroness (Elizabeth Lydia) Manningham-Buller, DCB, MA Oxf, is the former Director General of MI5, the British internal Security Service, a post she occupied from October 2002 until her retirement on 20 April 2007. Specialising in counter-terrorism, she was senior liaison officer working with the US intelligence community over the period of the first Gulf War, before leading the newly-created Irish counter-terrorism section from 1992. She was appointed Chairman of the Court and Council of Imperial College London in July 2011. She is an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, where she read English.

Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa:

David John Moore Cornwell, MA Oxf, writes as John le Carré, one of the world’s most celebrated authors whose writing career spans 50 years and 22 novels which have been translated into 36 languages and adapted for film, TV and radio. He is renowned for his intricate espionage and political fiction. His accounts of the Cold War era in novels such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974) and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) were drawn in part from his own experiences working for MI5 and MI6. He is an Honorary Fellow of Lincoln College, where he read modern languages.

Professor Drew Gilpin Faust, AB Bryn Mawr, AM PhD Penn., is the President of Harvard University and holds the title of Lincoln Professor of History. The first woman president of Harvard, she is a historian of the Civil War and the American South, and was the founding Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She is the author of six books, most recently This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, which was a finalist for both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. She is a member of the Society of American Historians, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Sir Howard Stringer, MA Oxf, is Chairman, President and Chief Executive of the Sony Corporation, a post he has held since 2009. Prior to joining Sony in 1997, he had a distinguished 30-year career as a journalist, producer and executive at CBS Inc. As President of CBS from 1988 to 1995, he was responsible for all the broadcast activities of the company including entertainment, news, sports, radio and television stations. A member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, he is Chairman of the American Film Institute Board of Trustees. He is an Honorary Fellow of Merton College, where he read history.

Professor Charles Margrave Taylor, BA McGill, MA DPhil Oxf, FBA, is a philosopher and Emeritus Professor at McGill University. His writings have been translated into 20 languages, and have covered a range of subjects that include artificial intelligence, language, social behaviour, morality and multiculturalism. A pupil of Isaiah Berlin at Oxford, his contributions to the fields of political philosophy, the philosophy of social science, and the history of philosophy have earned him both the Kyoto Prize and the Templeton Prize. He is an honorary fellow of Balliol College, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and of Blackfriars, and has been a Quondam Fellow of All All Souls College since 1981. He is also a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa:

Dr Henry Joseph Macaulay Barnett, MD Toronto, is a neurologist whose work on stroke pioneered the use of aspirin for stroke prevention. After serving as Chairman of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at The University of Western Ontario from 1974 to 1984, he co-founded the Robarts Research Institute in 1986 and was named its first Scientific Director. His most famous work was leading the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET), which evaluated whether or not clearing a clogged neck artery in the hopes of averting stroke actually reduced a patient's risk of stroke or dying.

Professor William Daniel Phillips, BS Juniata College, PhD MIT, is a physicist and Fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park. In 1996 he received the Albert A Michelson Medal and in 1997 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with Steven Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji for his contributions to laser cooling, a technique to slow the movement of gaseous atoms in order to better study them. He was George Eastman Visiting Professor at Balliol College, working in Oxford’s Clarendon Laboratory, from 2002 to 2003. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.