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Learned Society of Wales Awards

31 May 2018

Staff pictured at the Learned Society of Wales awards

Three academics have been recognised for their outstanding work at a prestigious awards ceremony.

The Learned Society of Wales Awards recognise excellence and celebrate Wales’s legacy of achievement.

The Menelaus medal for excellence in the field of engineering and technology was presented to Professor Graham Hutchings FRS.

Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute and current holder of Regius Professor, Professor Hutchings is one of the world’s most preeminent authorities in the field of catalysis.

Professor Lynne Boddy, of the School of Biosciences, is this year’s Frances Hoggan medal recipient. This award recognises and celebrates the contribution of outstanding women connected with Wales in the areas of science, medicine, engineering, technology or mathematics.

Professor Boddy is a fungal ecologist. Her work aims to deepen our understanding of fungi – which is vital to the terrestrial ecosystems of planet Earth. They are important sources of food to many species, including humans, present in cultivated fruit bodies, yeast in bread and beer, some meat substitutes and cheese. They also produce many wonder drugs as well as industrial chemicals.

She is a keen advocate, communicating her research to a wider audience by giving talks, participating in biology and nature events and through the media. Events include UK Fungus Day, which she is now trying to expand to International Fungus Day.

Professor Boddy said: “It is a great honour to receive this award, perhaps even more so because the medal is named after someone who had to struggle hugely to be given the opportunity to work in a STEMM subject.

“It is clear that very many students and collaborators have worked extremely hard and contributed greatly to the findings that have led to me receiving the Frances Hoggan medal. This award is as much for them as much as it is for me, and I thank them whole-heartedly for their tenacity, vivacity, experimental prowess and stimulating discussions.”

Dr Dawn Mannay, Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences, has been awarded the Dillwyn Medal for Social Sciences, Education and Business. The medal celebrates the contribution of exceptional early career researchers with a connection to Wales.

Dr Mannay’s research focuses on inequalities related to class, gender and education. She has worked with the Wellcome Trust on a project focusing on the experiences of marginalised mothers in Wales.

She has also been involved in research and impact activities with the aim of improving educational experiences and outcomes of children and young people in care. This included leading a Welsh Government-funded project investigating the educational experiences and opinions, attainment, achievement and aspirations of looked after children and young people in Wales (the LACE project).

Dr Mannay successfully established ExChange: Care and Education in 2017, a website hosting free-to-access materials, case studies, and best practice guides for stakeholders with an interest in the education of care experienced children and young people.

On winning the award, Dr Mannay said: “Given the history of the Dillwyn Medal and the reputation of the Learned Society of Wales, I was honoured to be nominated for and receive this award. I hope to continue my research and work with students to ensure that Cardiff University produces new generations of graduates who can contribute to creating a more equal and improved social and economic landscape.”

The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on May 24.

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