Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, has been conferred the honour of Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced today.
Sir Michael, who has led the Museum for the past 10 years, said he was ‘surprised and thrilled’ to receive the honour and that he has been ‘very fortunate’ to lead the Museum through a remarkable decade.
‘Being Director of the Natural History Museum is a privilege. I have always been conscious of building on the legacy of this iconic institution: caring for and developing its collection of more than 80 million specimens, conducting scientific research of societal relevance and inspiring the public, all with the aim of challenging the way people think about the natural world,’ Sir Michael said.
Sir Michael is responsible for the general administration of the Museum and reports to the Board of Trustees and Parliament through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
He originally trained in zoology at Imperial College, followed by postgraduate studies at the University of York, where he wrote his doctoral thesis on the host location behaviour of trematode larvae.
He is a former director general of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
During his tenure, annual visitor attendance has grown to almost five and a half million and the Museum is now the third most visited free UK visitor attraction.
Sir Michael said today’s recognition ‘reflects the work of all the staff, students and volunteers at the Museum who continue to build on the great legacy of its founders’.