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University of Sussex awards honorary degrees

* 15 July 2002 *

University of Sussex awards honorary degrees

Four renowned academics with strong links to the University of Sussex will receive honorary degrees during the University's graduation ceremonies on 18 and 19 July at the Brighton Dome.

Dr Brian Manley, who lives at Ditchling Common, was Senior Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University's Council (its governing body) from 1996-2001. An engineer by profession, he devised the lightweight electronics systems that were adopted in Telstar, the first transatlantic broadcasting satellite. In 1958 he brought the channel electron multiplier to realisation, a device that remains the detector of choice for low-energy particles in space. Dr Manley holds the rare honour of being a past president of both the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Physics. In 1995 he received the CBE for services to engineering. Today, Dr Manley devotes much of his time to the Daphne Jackson Trust, which awards fellowships to women wishing to return to science after a career break.

Professor Norma Reid Birley's long association with academia began at Sussex in the 1970s when she read Mathematics. After graduating, Professor Reid Birley went on to hold a string of academic posts at universities throughout Britain and today she is the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, one of the most respected in South Africa. The University refused to practise segregation during the apartheid era and students actively protested outside government offices. Professor Reid Birley feels her Sussex connections helped during the selection process at Witwatersrand because the University of Sussex is so well known in South Africa.

Born in Barbados, Professor Kamau Brathwaite came to Sussex in 1965 to do a DPhil on Creole society. During his studies he also co-founded the Caribbean Artists Movement. Professor Brathwaite soon began publishing poetry, including Rights of Passage (1967), The Arrivants (1973) and the more recent Ancestors. His works draw heavily on the post colonial and racial issues of that period in the Caribbean and are often studied alongside the works of Coleridge and Shelly. In 1991 Professor Brathwaite moved to his current position as Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University.

Economist Professor Richard R. Nelson is currently George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Much of Professor Nelson's research has been directed toward understanding technological change, how economic institutions and public policies influence the evolution of technology, and how technological change in turn induces institutional and economic change more broadly.

* Notes for editors *

1. You are invited to send a photographer and/or a reporter to the ceremonies. Professor Norma Reid Birley (Doctor of Science): Thursday 18 July, 10.15 am. Professor Richard R. Nelson (Doctor of Science): Thursday 18 July, 3.00 pm. Dr Brian Manley (Doctor of Science): Friday 19 July, 10.15 am. Professor Kamau Brathwaite (Doctor of Letters): Friday 19 July, 3.00 pm.

2. For further information, please contact Benedict Brook or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email or

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