Ralph Kohn

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Sir Ralph Kohn FRS FMedSci (born 9 December 1927) is a British medical scientist, recipient of the Queen's Award for Export Achievement for his work in the pharmaceutical industry.[1] Educated at Salford Grammar School, he won a scholarship to Manchester University where he obtained a PhD degree in pharmacology.[2]

In 1991, he set up the Kohn Foundation, which supports research and innovation in science and medicine, as well as the arts and education. The foundation endows several prizes for young scientists and musicians. It supports the Royal Society Kohn Award for science broadcasting and the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize and the Royal Academy of Music / Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series.[3]

Kohn was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006, in recognition of his contributions to science via the Kohn Foundation.[4] He is also an honorary fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.[5][6] In November 2008, he delivered the Bynum Tudor Lecture at Kellogg College, University of Oxford.[7]

His interests include music and singing (baritone). In 2004, he was a guest on Sue Lawley's BBC Radio 4 radio programme, Desert Island Discs.[8]

Ralph Kohn financed John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantatas project: "We should give them [artists]the sort of means which will allow them to lead a reasonable existence where they can devote themselves with heart, soul and body to their work", Kohn says. "But the patron should not be their possessor. As Clifford Curzon once said: ‘Isn’t it nice that we can give something to young artists so that we can lift them closer to the stars.’ That’s all it’s about." http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article5809887.ece

He was knighted in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to science, music and charity.[9]


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