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Honorary Graduates



Queen’s University Belfast is marking the historic occasion of our 175th anniversary by conferring honorary degrees on four outstanding individuals - world leaders in healthcare, medical science, engineering and the humanities.

We are delighted to welcome into our University community, the Presidents of the British Academy, the Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

The Learned Societies which they lead play a hugely important role in contemporary life. In their leadership of these institutions and in their academic mission they represent the values that Queen’s has stood for since the very beginning.

Anne Glover
Professor Dame Anne Glover

President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Professor Dame Anne Glover is a distinguished microbiologist. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh, she went on to undertake her PhD at the University of Cambridge.

On secondment from the university, she was appointed the first Chief Scientific Advisor for Scotland, a position she held for five years, and she later became Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Union between 2012 and 2014.

Professor Glover was awarded a DBE in 2009. She has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh since 2005 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.

She has said that her interest in science was inspired by watching Star Trek as a child. It seemed unbelievable, she says, that you could just spend your whole life imagining the impossible, then making it real – and that’s what scientists do.

She is also an outstanding role model for the encouragement of women in science, something which we support very strongly here at Queen’s through the Athena SWAN initiative.

Peter Kennedy
Professor Peter Kennedy

Immediate past President of the Royal Irish Academy

Professor Kennedy is a world expert in wireless communications and he was the 56th President of the Royal Irish Academy.

From 2000 to 2017 he held senior positions at University College Cork, including those of Dean of Engineering and Vice-President for Research Policy and Support. He is now head of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University College Dublin.

He has over 350 research publications, including four patents, and has played an influential role in Ireland becoming recognised as an international leader in the field of electronics and electronics design. He was elected to the Academy in 2004. He became Secretary for International Relations in 2012 and later his portfolio was expanded to include policy.

Speaking about the challenges of the global electronics industry, he has said, ‘It’s not good enough to be good enough. You have to be the best in the world at what you do.’

Robert Lechler
Professor Sir Robert Lechler

President of the Academy of Medical Sciences

The Academy of Medical Sciences is one of the youngest of the learned societies. Established in 1998, in a very short time it has become the leading voice of academic medicine, biomedical and health research in the UK. Professor Sir Robert Lechler has been its President since 2015.

He qualified in medicine at the University of Manchester in 1975. He then spent four years as a junior doctor training in general medicine and nephrology before embarking on a PhD in transplantation immunology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.

His research interests revolve around transplantation tolerance – how to persuade the immune system to tolerate the foreign organ while retaining full capacity to fight off infections and cancer.

In 2004 he was appointed Vice-Principal (Health) at King’s College London. He recently stood down as the founding Executive Director of King’s Health Partners, one of the largest centres for healthcare education in Europe, which was set up in 2009 and involves seven major London hospitals.


David Cannadine
Professor Sir David Cannadine

President of the British Academy

Professor Sir David Cannadine is a globally-acclaimed scholar and one of the most eminent historians of his generation. He was educated at Clare College Cambridge, where he took a double first in history, at St. John’s College Oxford where he completed his DPhil and at Princeton University where he was a Jane Eliza Procter Visiting Fellow.

He has held major posts at Cambridge and at Columbia University in New York and he is currently Dodge Professor of History at Princeton.

He has been a member of the British Academy since 1999 and President since 2017.

In interviews, he has reflected on the Academy’s role in today’s complex and conflicted world. He says – If we are to have wise and well-informed policies or wise and well-informed public understanding of the issues, then the humanities and the social sciences have a vital part to play.

Congratulations to our new Honorary Graduates

Academy of Medical Sciences logo

British Academy logo

Royal Irish Academy logo

Royal Society of Edinburgh logo


Queen’s is proud of its connections with the Learned Societies
Our community of academics includes:

  • Six Fellows of the British Academy
  • Two Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Four Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Thirty Members of the Royal Irish Academy
  • One Fellow of the Royal Society
  • Five Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh