New Honorary Fellow Announced

The RMS have announced Prof Brian J Ford HonFRMS as a new Honorary Fellow of the Society


Professor Brian J Ford is a microscopist and former chartered biologist who has made a significant contribution to microscopy and biology and to the popularisation of these fields. Professor Ford, who is resident in Cambridgeshire, is known internationally for his thought-provoking lectures, books and broadcasts.

Professor Ford began his studies in botany and zoology at Cardiff University in 1959, leaving in his second year to set up his own laboratory. His early work was in plant physiology, publishing in Nature a theory on plant excretion which gave rise to the new science of phytoremediation. He has published on the microscopy of forged photographs, food science, microbiology, forensic analysis, cell microscopy and blood coagulation, to name just a few, and is currently publishing on the complexity of the living cell.

Professor Ford was awarded a Kodak Bursary in the 1970s and used this to fund a Research Associate position back at Cardiff University. His findings on early microscopy were published in numerous papers and books including, The Revealing Lens, Mankind and the Microscope, and The Optical Microscope Manual. The Japanese edition of his book Microbe Power led to new technologies for microbial recycling. In the 1980s Professor Ford unearthed the original microscopical specimens sent by Leeuwenhoek to the Royal Society in the seventeenth century, resulting in his book The Leeuwenhoek Legacy. In the 1990s Professor Ford compiled the first digital microscope manual for a scheme that gave a microscope to every state school in England, and later Wales. In 2006 he was appointed Visiting Professor at Leicester University and recently he was asked to authenticate two newly discovered Leeuwenhoek microscopes. You can read Professor Ford’s infocus article on these microscopes in our infocus archive.

Professor Ford has appeared as a panellist on Any Questions?, a correspondent for Newsnight, and for many years featured on Round Britain Quiz. He gained a record BBC Audience Reaction Index with his science programmes, presented his own weekly series including Science Now and Where Are You Taking Us? and was nominated for the Italia Prize by the BBC. He writes a regular column in The Microscope and in the past has contributed to The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and the Evening Standard. Professor Ford was also awarded the inaugural Köhler Medal in America.

Professor Ford was elected a Fellow of the RMS in 1962. He has served as Chairman of the Committee for the History of Biology and Fellow at the Institute of Biology, is President Emeritus of the Society for the Application of Research at Cambridge University, and Honorary Surveyor of Scientific Instruments and Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. He is a former Fellow at the Open University, is a dining member of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, an Honorary Member of Keynes College, University of Kent, and a Fellow of Cardiff University where he was for many decades a member of the University Court.

On receiving his Honorary Fellowship, Professor Ford said “The list of RMS Honorary Fellows is an astonishing catalogue of such very distinguished names, I cannot easily express the magnitude of this generous gesture. I would like to thank the RMS Council for their thoughtful endorsement; it is accepted with overwhelming humility and warm appreciation.”

Professor Brian J Ford will be presented with his Honorary Fellowship at mmc2017. You can register to attend the Congress on the mmc2017 website.



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