Speech — Guildford Roll of Honour Award Remarks, 24 October 2019

Good evening –

On behalf of the University of Surrey and Guildford Borough Council, thank you for joining us to celebrate Guildford’s inspiring leaders and thinkers.

In 2011, the University and the Council joined forces to create this award. Nominees must be judged to have made real impact for the benefit of the Borough – and the competition is fierce –!

The Guildford Roll of Honour showcases the town’s thriving enterprise culture and rich intellectual life.  With a world-class university as one of Guildford’s strengths, we are following the example of cities like Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Glasgow.  And, speaking for the University, it is so important to us that we are a good neighbour and a strong partner.

For example, Guildford Borough Council declared a Climate Emergency in July of this year, announcing important sustainability measures such as a ‘plastic-free borough’. The University stands ready to support the Borough in this crucial effort together with our world-class academics in the fields of Environment, Sustainability and related research and innovation. Further, our Blackwell Park development will offer truly sustainable living as we work towards Net-Zero carbon target. Together, we are stronger than ever in tackling the global challenges of our time.

The Roll of Honour has created an impressive group of ambassadors for Guildford – people who embody the spirit of this great town. Therefore I am absolutely delighted that Professor Simon de Lusignan is this year’s recipient of the Guildford Roll of Honour. My warmest congratulations to you, Simon!

Simon is a senior academic GP and Professor of Primary Care and Clinical Informatics; Chair in Health Care Management; and Head of Department of Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at University of Surrey.

He recently has also got a prestigious appointment with Oxford. Simon is not deserting us, however, as his role at Oxford is part time and will also help more collaboration across the Southeast. 

As an educator, he has developed innovative new courses including the UK’s first full time undergraduate informatics degree.

Simon’s role as the Director of the Royal College of General Practitioners Research & Surveillance Centre involves oversight of disease prevalence, partnership in a wide range of research with Public Health England, and leadership in a number of European research projects.

Simon has been a partner in his practice for over 30 years, driving the innovative application of research and teaching to health needs and issues in our local community – from his work with national flu statistics to his focus on integrating technology with clinical practice.

Simon is an iconic figure in Guildford and at Surrey (often seen on his bike across Guildford as well!) and one of our best ‘ambassadors’ for research, public engagement and impact. 

Simon, congratulations and thank you! Welcome to Guildford’s own ‘Hall of Fame’.