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Professor Brian Sutton receives King's Award

At the King’s Awards ceremony on 25 November 2015 Professor Sutton was announced as winner of the 2015 award for “Most Outstanding Contribution to Public Engagement”.

Professor Sutton had been nominated by Louisa James, Anna Davies and Alkistis Mitropoulou for his work over several years, including schools talks, contributions to BBC radio and TV programmes, and collaborations with artists and musicians. His talks in primary schools include extracting DNA from strawberries, while for 6th form groups he talks about drug discovery in allergy and asthma research, and X-ray crystallography with laser demonstrations. Brian recently contributed to BBC radio programmes about Ray Gosling and Maurice Wilkins, and has been collaborating for three years now with glass sculptor Shelley James, exploring symmetry and quasi-symmetry in two and three dimensions, with exhibitions at the Royal Society and Somerset House.

Alongside architect Mehran Gharleghi, he co-curated an installation at the King’s “Fabrication” Arts and Humanities Festival this year, which generated a sculpture from DNA sequences input by members of the public. His latest project, however, was as science advisor to the West End production of “Photograph 51” starring Nicole Kidman as Rosalind Franklin.  This involved teaching the cast about DNA and X-ray diffraction, and demonstrating the X-ray camera that Franklin used to take the iconic photograph. 

Photo by Marc BrennerNicole Kidman and Brian Sutton