Chemistry World ed-board member Tony Ryan was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year honours list.

Chemistry World editorial board member Tony Ryan, professor of physical chemistry at the University of Sheffield, UK, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to science in the Queen’s New Year honours list. 


Professor Tony Ryan OBE

The details of the honour remain a mystery. Ryan can only speculate about what led to the nomination: ’I publish a lot of papers, I do quite a bit of public understanding, I’ve done the Christmas lectures and I was EPSRC media fellow,’ he said. 

Ryan’s current research is focused on making a fully functional nanorobot based on biological principles, and he has just published results of an artificial muscle with measurable forces. He gave the Royal Institution Christmas lectures in 2002.

Ryan is on record as having once considered assuming the role of communist revolutionary, but this didn’t prevent him from accepting the award. ’This is the kind of thing I’ve railed against in the past, but it’s such an honour for the university and it’s such an honour for the department that it would have been irresponsible for me to turn it down,’ he told Chemistry World.

Ryan’s pro-nuclear stance (see Chemistry World, February 2005, p24) prompted his father, who appears to have taken on the revolutionary role, to tell Ryan that he received the honour because he was a ’pro-nuclear government stooge’. A remark Ryan puts down to ’friendly father-son banter’. 

Katharine Sanderson