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Rugby legend John Beattie to receive Honorary degree at Abertay

8 July 2015

Scottish rugby legend and BBC broadcaster John Beattie will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Abertay University on Thursday 9 July.

He will be joined by the pioneering molecular and cell biologist Professor Dame Anne Glover and the developmental psychologist Professor Michael Lamb.

John was picked to play rugby for Scotland in his final year at university, and toured South Africa (1980) and New Zealand (1983) with the British Lions. He won 25 caps for Scotland in total, playing in the last team to win at Twickenham.

After injury in 1987, he started broadcasting for the BBC and has covered several Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cups for both radio and TV, as well as presenting programmes including Rugby Special and Sport Nation.

He currently presents the BBC Radio Scotland lunch time news show five days a week, is involved in BBC Alba's English-language coverage of domestic rugby, and commentates for BBC Scotland at international rugby games.

His charitable work has included the Wooden Spoon Society, rugby's charity for disadvantaged children, and the Hearts and Balls charity for those who have been badly injured or paralysed by rugby.

Professor Dame Anne Glover is renowned for her work studying how proteins are managed within our cells, the diversity and function of the microbial population in soil, and the development of biosensors to detect environmental pollution.

More recently she has been investigating how we respond to stress at the molecular level, which is particularly relevant to how we age and the stress on our cells imposed by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Professor Glover was the first Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland (2006-2011) and the first Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission (2012-2015).

In both positions she transformed the way science, engineering and technology were used and discussed within government, and worked to bridge the gap between science and policy.

She has worked throughout her career to raise the profile of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) to ensure not only that women are recruited into roles within SET, but also that they are supported to remain within the profession as their careers progress.

In recognition of this work, she was made a Woman of Outstanding Achievement in Science, Engineering and Technology in 2008.

In 2009, she was awarded a CBE for her services to environmental sciences, and became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to science in the UK and Europe in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

She is currently Vice-Principal for External Affairs and Dean for Europe at the University of Aberdeen.

Michael Lamb is Professor of Psychology at the University of Cambridge where he is Fellow and Director of Studies at Sidney Sussex College. He is a developmental psychologist who studies the roles that children play in the legal system – particularly how they should be interviewed – and the factors affecting children’s psychological adjustment.

For example, he and his colleagues have shown how developmentally sensitive interviewing improves the amount and quality of information obtained from young victims, witnesses and offenders in investigative settings.

Professor Dame Anne Glover will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Sciences in the morning ceremony.

In the afternoon John Beattie will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts, and Professor Michael Lamb will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

The Honorary Graduates will receive their awards as almost 1000 degrees are conferred in the ceremonies in Dundee’s Caird Hall.


For media enquiries, please contact Kirsty Cameron – T: 01382 308935 M: 07972172158 E:

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