The DECIDE consortium was invited to a reception at Birmingham City Council House (the Town Hall) which was both a great pleasure and privilege. Partners, the Marie Curie Fellows, and persons who support DECIDE on finance and administration were given a very warm welcome by Councillor Steve Bedser, the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing. Alongside delightful wine and canapé, everyone listened to an excellent lecture on the history of Birmingham and its development, from Dr Jonathan Reinarz (Director for the Centre of the History of Medicine), and Rhodri played his violin most beautifully. Everyone had then what might best be described as a ‘fun time’ visiting the Council Chamber and Mayor’s Parlour, and was given a tour of photographs of past Mayors of Birmingham.
On behalf of the consortium, Professor Andrew Kutner (DECIDE co-Chair and from Warsaw) presented a picture to Councillor Bedser. This had been made available by the Director of the Maria Sklodowska Curie Museum in Warsaw and was of Marie Sklodowska Curie receiving an honorary degree from the University of Birmingham a century ago.
On Thursday, September 12, 1913, the University of Birmingham conferred honorary doctoral degrees on Maria Sklodowska Curie, R W Wood from John Hopkins University, Professor H A Lorentz of Leyden, Dr. Svante Arrhenius from Stockholm, and Dr Franz Keibel from Freiburg. Sir Oliver and the British Association conferred the first honorary degree received by Maria Sklodowska Curie. Sir Oliver introduced Mme Curie “as the discoverer of radium and the greatest woman of science of all time”.
Professor Kutner emphasized that it is a great tradition of Birmingham to continue to support people of science from all over the world, including this reception for DECIDE.
Many thanks go to the Birmingham City Council for providing support for the wine and canapé, and to the City for a wonderful evening. More thanks to Councillor Steve Bedser for hosting us, and the persons who made the event possible. They are the Leader of the Council Sir Albert Bore, Honorary Alderman John Charlton CBE, Mark Barrow, Mike Murray, and Andrew Holdsworth, and the Development and Culture Directorate.