Professor Lord Robert May of Oxford, AC, OM, Kt
Lord May (1952) is currently a professor at Oxford University and is a member of the House of Lords, having been appointed in 2001. He was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government 1995-2000 and President of the Royal Society 2000-2005. His long and distinguished academic career has included appointments as Royal Society Research Professor at Oxford University, 1989-1995; Professor of Biology at Princeton University, 1973-1988; and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Sydney University, 1970-1972. Throughout his career, he has made major advances in the field of population biology by the application of mathematical techniques and has played a key role in the development of theoretical ecology through the 1970s and 1980s.
He was knighted in 1996 for services to Science and received an AC in 1998 for service to science and scientific research, particularly in the area of biological conservation involving the interaction between population, resources and the environment, to scholarship and to the formulation of science policy. In 2002, Bob received the Order of Merit, a British honour established as a special distinction for people of the highest eminence. The order is limited to 24 living people.
His many other honours include: the Royal Swedish Academy’s Crafoord Prize (for bioscience and ecology); the Swiss-Italian Balzan Prize (for “seminal contributions to [understanding] biodiversity”); and the Japanese Blue Planet Prize (“for developing fundamental tools for ecological conservation planning”). In 2007 he was awarded the Royal Society’s Copley Medal, the world’s oldest prize for scientific achievement. The last High Old Boy to win this medal was Sir John Cornforth (1933), who like Lord May, was taught science at Sydney High by Lenny Basser.
Mr James Wolfensohn, AO, KBE
James Wolfensohn (1949) now heads Wolfensohn & Co an investment and advisory firm founded in 2005) that provides strategic advisory services to major corporations regarding their expansion and operations in emerging markets. He was President of the World Bank 1995-2005 and, on retirement from that position, was appointed Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement to help coordinate Israel’s planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and spearhead Palestinian reconstruction efforts.
Prior to 2005, James had a long career as an international investment banker and has also served on boards of various private and public companies, philanthropic and cultural organisations. He has also served as an officer in the Royal Australian Airforce, represented Australia in fencing at the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956 and received an honorary knighthood (KBE) from the Queen in 1995 in recognition for his contribution to the arts; and an AO in 1987 for service as a financial and economic advisor to government and for service to people with disabilities.