This Astrophysicist (and Guitarist) Is Now a 'Sir'

Queen's Brian May gets the honor from King Charles
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2022 9:31 AM CST
This Astrophysicist (and Guitarist) Is Now a 'Sir'
Queen guitarist Brian May performs during the Platinum Jubilee concert taking place in front of Buckingham Palace, London, on June 4, 2022.   (Jonathan Buckmaster/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Queen guitarist Brian May is now a “Sir.” May, who also has a doctorate in astrophysics and is an animal welfare advocate, received a knighthood Friday as part of the UK's annual New Year's Honors list, per the AP. The guitarist, who was honored for services to music and charity, joked that he hopes the knighthood will give him “a little bit more clout.” He was among hundreds of artists, community leaders, and athletes who were recognized on the first such list to be signed off by King Charles III. (See the BBC for more winners.)

“Maybe a few more people will listen to me than would otherwise, you know, if it’s Sir Brian on the phone,” said May from his house in Windlesham, Surrey. May has campaigned against badger culling and fox hunting through an animal welfare group he founded in 2010—named Save Me after the 1980 Queen song. “I’ve felt for a long time that we had this false idea that humans are the only important species on the planet, and I don’t think an alien visitor would view it that way," he said. "I think every species and every individual has the right to a decent life and a decent death. That’s kind of where I come from."

He acknowledged that he already had “a certain amount of power in the world, mainly because of music, obviously,” which allowed him to go into other areas, such as astrophysics and do work in stereoscopy, or 3D imaging. He received his doctorate from Imperial College, London in 2007. “I do a lot in that area now, which I think is in its way a great service to mankind," May said. “I give them stereoscopy and they give me the chance to play in nice observatories all around the world.”

(More knighthood stories.)

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