Knight of Norway

February 14th, 2012

A University of Nottingham scientist has received a New Year’s Honour with a difference…a Knight of the First Class from the King of Norway.
Professor Stephen Harding is Director of the University’s National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics (NCMH) and Scientific Adviser of the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age.
The Norwegian Royal Palace said His Majesty King Harald V has appointed Prof Harding a Knight of the 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. This is the highest honour for a foreign national who is not a Head of State for “outstanding service in the interests of Norway”.
In his role at the National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics, Prof Harding collaborates extensively with Norwegian scientists. But over the past 15 years he has also been a dynamic force in the scientific and historical investigation of the Vikings in North West England, and it is mainly in recognition of these activities he has received the award.
He has actively involved the public in his research, built around the highly successful Genetic Survey of Wirral and West Lancashire, done jointly with the University of Leicester and funded by a prestigious Watson-Crick DNA award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). That work led to a more extensive survey of the rest of northern England. This has involved lectures, school visits, heritage trails and the establishment of a website working in conjunction with Mike McCartney, brother of Sir Paul. More recently he instigated the establishment of a St Olav’s heritage walk between Wirral and Chester – last year it was joined by BBC’s Michael Wood who will be featuring it in a new TV series to be broadcast this year.
Prof Harding said: “I was shell-shocked when I received the news, but I would like to thank all the support I’ve had from many people especially Professor Judith Jesch and Dr Paul Cavill at the CSVA and Professor Mark Jobling and Dr Turi King at the University of Leicester. This award in all honesty represents a team effort”.
Peter Copland, Consul from the Royal Norwegian Consulate of Liverpool, said: “Norway has every reason to be grateful to Professor Harding for his enormous contribution towards unearthing the facts surrounding the country’s early colonial expansion and I would like to offer him my sincere thanks and congratulations for all that he has done to increase our awareness of the common heritage of the two countries.”

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One Comment

July 18th, 2018 at 1:13 am

denis john harding

I only recently found out my heritage after a recent visit to hardanger and was informed by a cousin of this. Our harding family tree goes back to mow cop 1790 the earliest records available your website has given me so much more information thanks.

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