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30 Dec 2006

Yes Sir - "If they followed protocol, his students could call him Sir Fraser," says the Los Angeles Times article, announcing the knighthood, bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Britain upon Professor Fraser Stoddart for Services to Chemistry and Molecular Nanotechnology. For one who does not take easily to firsts, it is ironic that he might be the first UCLA professor to become a Knight Bachelor!

Other Knights and Dames in LA include Dame Julie Andrews, Sir Clive Granger, Sir Eldon Griffiths, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Ben Kingsley, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Julian Ridsdale, Sir Ken Robinson, Sir Ridley Scott, Sir Howard Stringer, and Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Los Angeles Honorary Knights, who are not UK citizens and so are not entitled to use the title, include Lodwrick Cook, Placido Domingo, and Steven Spielberg.

Fraser welcomed the well-balanced piece in the December 30, 2006 California Section of the LA Times written by Larry Gordon, whom he feels says all the right things about him, his outlook, his science, and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). He is particularly grateful to Bob Peirce, the British Consulate General in LA, who came out with some extremely generous comments about his achievements and standing, and the spokesman at the British Embassy in Washington who put the honor in perspective.

This level of recognition only comes as a result of the dedicated support and deep commitment to a common cause by many people. They include almost 300 past and present group members and Fraserís academic colleagues at UCLA and, in previous times, at Birmingham, Sheffield and Imperial Chemical Industries. He is also much indebted to the stellar staff and supportive members of the CNSI who have helped him raise the profile of nanosystems science and engineering here at UCLA. Chemistry, however, still remains his first love and passion, and he looks forward to practicing it alongside highly talented graduate students and postdoctoral researchers for many years to come.

Itís with more than a tinge of sadness that Fraser and his two daughters, Fiona and Alison, reflect upon Normaís massive contribution to his and their accomplishments and successes, and yet was not spared to share in them. Itís just one of lifeís many twists and turns that they have to bear and accept in the knowledge that she would surely have been a proud spouse and contented mother today if she had lived to see it. As Lady Stoddart, she would also have made damn sure that his knighthood did not go to his head!

The CNSI press release can be found here.

The full list of honorees can be found here.

 

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