Chapmanslade professor Nigel Brown hopes to continue inspiring a new generation of scientists, after being recognised by the Queen in her New Year’s Honours List with an OBE for services to science.

The 65-year-old, who moved to the village last year, is an emeritus professor of molecular microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, where he was head of the College of Science and Engineering.

Prof Brown was also director of science and technology at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council from 2004-08, the largest public funder of agricultural and non-clinical biosciences in the UK.

Prior to his appointment to BBSRC, he was professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Birmingham and he is still president of the Society for General Microbiology and a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council.

Prof Brown, who lives with wife Gayle and has three daughters, said: “I was delighted when I found out, although it was difficult keeping it quiet. Not even my kids knew.

“I was surprised when I found out, but I have worked with some very good people in the past and we have done some great work as a team, taking bioscience forward.

“The other thing I am proud of is that I have made sure there is an opportunity for scientists earlier in their careers to progress. I knew what I wanted study at university when I was 14 and that was because I had a good teacher.

“There were two other students in my class who ended up becoming professors, which shows the value of a good teacher. I was inspired by one individual, so one of the things I try to do is to inspire other youngsters.”