John Ashworth (biologist)

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John Ashworth

Sir John Ashworth (born 27 November 1938)[1] is a scientist and educationalist. He was educated at West Buckland School and Exeter College, Oxford.[1] He obtained a PhD degree at Leicester University and was a lecturer and reader there before taking up a post of foundation Professor of Biology at University of Essex in 1974. His scientific research at the time focused on developmental biology and cell differentiation, with a particular interest in the slime mold.

John Ashworth joined the UK government's Cabinet Office in 1976, where he acted as the chief scientific adviser to the government, initially on secondment, and then as an undersecretary in the Cabinet Office from 1979–81. He became vice-chancellor at the University of Salford from 1981–90,[2] and then director of the London School of Economics from 1990–96. He is also a former chairman of the British Library board 1996–2001, the Institute of Cancer Research (deputy chairman) 2003–07, and Barts and the London NHS Trust 2003–07.[3] He is a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Richmond, The American International University in London, a private liberal arts and professional studies university based in Richmond upon Thames and Kensington.[4]

He retired in 2007 and was awarded a knighthood for public services in the Queen's New Year Honours list 2008.[3] He was made an Honorary Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford in 1983.


  1. ^ a b "Ashworth, Sir John (Michael)". Who's Who 2011. A & C Black; online edn Oxford University Press. Dec 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Think tank steals metal man as chief scientist man". New Scientist. 92 (1276): 221. 22 October 1981. 
  3. ^ a b Moon, Vanessa (2 January 2008). "A knight's tale". Daily Gazette. 
  4. ^ "Richmond Admissions, Top London University for International Students - Richmond University". 

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Government offices
Preceded by
Dr Robert Press
Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government
Succeeded by
Sir Robin Nicholson
Educational offices
Preceded by
Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel
Director of the London School of Economics
Succeeded by
Anthony Giddens