Communicating microbiology

Nottingham University’s Professor Richard James has won the SfAM Communications Award 2008.

NottinghamUniversity’s Professor Richard James has won the SfAM Communications Award 2008, which recognises people who have been successful in raising the profile of their work in applied microbiology.

Awarded by the Society for Applied Microbiology, with nominations made by members of the society, the award carries a cash prize of £1,000.

Prof Richard James said: ’The escalating media interest in hospital superbugs in the UK has resulted in an increasing demand for expert comment, which I have been happy to help provide. It is my impression that the quality and accuracy of science reporting in the UK media has improved considerably. I would like to think that I and many other scientists have played a part in this process.’

Prof James is a microbiologist who has lectured on the problems of healthcare-associated infections for 30 years. He is a member of the Medical Research Council College of Experts and is currently helping NHS colleagues to develop the MRSA screening system that will be introduced in English hospitals by 2009..

NottinghamUniversity’s director of communications Jonathan Ray said: ‘One of his particular strengths is that he is democratic in his media dealings. Whilst Professor James has engaged with politicians, senior leaders in higher education and in the health service, as well as with his peers worldwide, he has also made a substantial and sustained effort to connect with wider society.’

Professor Richard James will receive his award on Wednesday July 9 at the SfAM summer conference dinner at Stormont, Northern Ireland, where he will also act as after dinner speaker.