Cambridge confers 2023 honorary degrees

The renowned meteorologist and climate scientist Professor Dame Julia Slingo was sworn in as an Honorary Fellow of Darwin on Tuesday, ahead of receiving an honorary degree yesterday from the University of Cambridge.

Chief Scientist of the Meterological Office from 2009 to 2016, Dame Julia has also served as the Director of Climate Research at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, and is the founder of Reading University’s Walker Institute for Climate System Research. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, former President of the Royal Meteorological Society, and a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering. Dame Julia has led major research programmes in tropical meteorology and pioneered next generation climate modelling. In 2014 she was appointed DBE.

Dr Mike Rands, Master of Darwin, said:

I am delighted that Dame Julia has accepted an Honorary Fellowship at Darwin. Her research and leadership in meteorology has been transformative in the development of science and policy to address climate change. And I warmly congratulate Dame Julia on receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cambridge.

The Master and Professor Emily Shuckburgh, Darwin Fellow and Director of Cambridge Zero oversaw the swearing in, and hosted Dame Julia at a celebratory dinner in College.

Dame Julia said:

I am privileged and delighted to become part of Darwin College, and for personal reasons too. As the founding father of the Met Office, Vice-Admiral Robert Fitzroy has always been one of my heroes – but he was also the captain of the Beagle that took Charles Darwin on his momentous voyage around the world that shaped his views on evolution. At the end of my long career in meteorology it is such a pleasure to become an Honorary Fellow of Darwin College and to reflect on what these great men achieved. As Fitzroy said: ‘Man cannot still the raging of the wind, but he can predict it.’

Darwin alumna Professor Dame Linda Colley (PhD History 1972) also received an Honorary Degree from the University of Cambridge today. An Honorary Fellow of Christ’s, where she was the College’s first female Fellow, she has held posts at Yale and the LSE, and is currently the Shelby M. C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton.

Working chiefly on British, imperial and global history, Dame Linda is well known as an author, broadcaster and public speaker. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Historical Society, the British Academy and the Academia Europaea, and was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Oxford in 2021. In 2022 she was appointed DBE.

Back to News Page