‘Average child’ Brian over the moon with CBE

FORMER Lydgate resident and world famous physicist Brian Cox hopes his recently-awarded CBE will inspire children to reach for the stars and follow a career path in science.

The Professor of Particle Physics at The University of Manchester was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to the promotion of science.

The CBE is the highest ranking Order of the British Empire award (excluding a knighthood and damehood), and other people to have received the honour include Stephen Hawking and Hugh Laurie.Joining the elite ranks, Professor Cox told the Independent: “I’m delighted and honoured to receive this award for the promotion of science.

“I was an average child from Oldham who became interested in the stars and managed to make a career out of it!

“If I could choose one thing to come from this award, it would be to inspire more children from Oldham to do the same! We need you after all!”

Professor Cox lived in Lydgate for many years and is still very closely connected with the village.

He is a patron of the Lydgate Community Association and “very proud” to be involved in the restoration of Lydgate Parish Hall and will be helping with fundraising events when possible.

He continued: “We live in a very difficult time, most obviously and urgently because of the pandemic but also because of declining trust in politics and public institutions.

“Science has an urgent and vital role to play in developing new treatments and ultimately the vaccines we need to fully defat the virus, but it also has a key role to play in the equally vital longer term project of rebuilding trust.

“Science is about understanding nature, and nature doesn’t care about politics, strongly held opinions or international borders.

“As such, science as a way of thinking teaches us how to think carefully and with humility about difficult and challenging problems. This is why the communication of science is so necessary and valuable in our society.”

Alongside his academic career and teaching, Professor Cox is the presenter of science programmes and the author or co-author of more than 950 scientific publications.

Before his academic career, he was a keyboard player for the British bands D:Ream and Dare.

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