I was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on 30 November 2005 by the University of Edinburgh. As you were probably not there, here are some photos. The other recipient at that particular graduation ceremony was John Hennessy, computer scientist and president of Stanford University. That medieval flat hat with which you get bonked lightly to get the degree is made out of the pants of either John Knox, or some guy a couple of decades later (the story varies). Among the people at the parties some of you may recognize the famous quantitative geneticist Bill Hill, who I knew since my postdoctoral year in Edinburgh in 1967-1968. Bill is the former Vice-Provost of that University. Also Grahame Bulfield, who I knew from that time and who subsequently headed the Roslin Institute when Dolly the sheep was cloned there. He is now Bill's successor as Vice-Provost.

picture 1     
In the hallway for a formal pose
(The sprig of heather is because
it's Saint Andrews' Day)
picture 2
Another formal pose.
picture 3
Another formal pose.
picture 4
Out on the building steps for a group portrait.
Front left is the left-wing Labor ex-MP
Tam Dalyell who was then the University's
Rector. Then Stanford University President
John Hennessy.
picture 5
Another group portrait. In the center is the
University's Vice-Chancellor (head) Timothy
O'Shea. Behind me and a bit to the center
is Vice-Provost Grahame Bulfield.
picture 6
Another one. In the upper-left is the official
called the Bedellus (the beadle) who actually
gets to carry a mace and wear a
three-cornered hat! Just like in Oliver Swift.
picture 7
Back in the lounge, talking with Bill Hill
while waiting for the proceedings.
picture 8     
More talking with Bill.
picture 9
Bill, Grahame, me.
picture 10
Me, Grahame (from back), and Bill.
picture 11     
The lounge with everyone talking.
I am barely visible rear center.
Tam Dalyell is in rear under the portrait.
picture 12
Out in the hallway again
for portrait with Grahame.
picture 13
... and another.
picture 14
Now we are getting our marching orders
from the impressively authoritative
Ms. Rio Watt who is off camera.
picture 15
Signing the official ledger
as slowly as possible to allow pictures.
picture 16
... and still signing ...
picture 17
... and signing.
picture 18
The two honorary degree recipients
chat with the Vice-Provost
and the Vice-Chancellor.
picture 22
On stage in the auditorium of
McEwan Hall. Standing while Grahame
Bulfield gives an address saying
why I deserve the degree ...
picture 23
... and trying not to interrupt ...
picture 24
... while he credits me
with a couple of things ...
picture 25
... which I didn't do.
picture 26
The Bedellus in the background but
not wearing his three-cornered hat.
picture 19
Facing the Vice-Chancellor ...
picture 20
... who bonks me with the ancient hat.
picture 21
... more of that.
picture 27
Giving my brief address
(no, I am not snarling).

I mean, how often does one get to wear the same sort of robe that Bill Gates wore? Or better yet, that Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling wore?

An anecdote: after I was bonked on the head with the hat I was handed a red cardboard tube with the degree in it. Then I proceeded to the podium and gave a brief address of thanks about 2 minutes long. When I sat back down I forgot to bring the tube with me. After some further ceremony and granting of degrees to students it was the turn of the other honoree, John Hennessy, who in addition to being president of Stanford University was important in the invention of reduced instruction-set RISC processors in for computers. After he got his bonking, his own tube, and gave his address at the podium, he came back to his seat on the stage which was next to mine. He had the presence of mind to bring my tube with him and pass it to me. I leaned over and muttered to him that I was the only person to be presented with the same degree on the same day by both the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and the President of Stanford University!