The Downing crest on the front gates

Four new Honorary Fellows elected

Downing College is delighted to announce the election of four new Honorary Fellows: Professor Emily Greenwood, Professor Ed Bullmore, Professor Rachel O'Reilly and the artist Ai Weiwei. They will be formally admitted later this year.

Professor Emily Greenwood studied Classics at Downing from 1993-96 and is widely recognised as an exceptional classicist.  Success began at a comparatively young age, with a sequence of tenured professorships at three leading Ivy League Universities: a professorship in Classics, with a secondary appointment in African American Studies, at Yale, followed by a professorship in Classics at Princeton, and since 2022 she has held a prestigious and named Chair in Classics and Comparative Literature at Harvard. 

Her research spans ancient Greek literature, classical reception studies, translation studies, intellectual history, postcolonial studies, and Black Studies. Books include Afro-Greeks: Dialogues Between Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century (2010), which was joint winner of the 2011 Runciman Award, and Thucydides and the Shaping of History (2006). 

Professor Ed Bullmore came to Cambridge as a Professor of Psychiatry in 1999, after undergraduate and graduate degrees at Oxford and King's College, London, where he played a prominent role at the Institute of Psychiatry. 

His research mainly involves the application of brain imaging to psychiatry. He has introduced an entirely original approach to the analysis of human brain anatomy, involving graph theory and its application to small world networks. This has had an enormous impact on the field, especially in relation to understanding the biological basis of schizophrenia and depression. His work has been key to the understanding of the 'wiring' of the human brain.

He was Head of the Department of Psychiatry from 2014 to 2021 and is currently Deputy Head of the School of Clinical Medicine and Director of the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre. 

Professor Rachel O’Reilly is a leading research chemist in the area of polymer synthesis and the head of school for chemistry at the University of Birmingham.

She studied Natural Sciences at Fitzwilliam College and carried out her PhD research at Imperial College, followed by postdoctoral work in the USA. In 2005 she returned to Cambridge, as the first Mays Wild research fellow at Downing from 2005 to 2008. She then moved to Warwick, becoming a full professor in 2012. In 2017 she moved to Birmingham to become the Head of School. 

Her research focuses on polymers, including synthesis using organometallic catalysts, self-assembly of complex polymers, and biomimicry related to DNA and viruses. Her work is interdisciplinary, involving chemistry, biochemistry and materials sciences. In 2022, she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist, documentarian, and activist. 

His work has been shown around the world to great acclaim. He encapsulates political conviction in his sculptural installations, photographs, films, writing, social media and public works, fusing traditional craftsmanship and his Chinese heritage to comment on political and social issues.

In 2016 he exhibited Cubes and Trees at Downing, starting a close association with the Heong Gallery. This led to him designing the new Cedar 22 sculpture for the College, made from the timber of the Blue Atlas cedar that had stood in the East Lodge Garden for nearly 200 years. 

Published 25 May 2023