Sarah Gilbert, the Oxford University professor who led the work to create the British vaccine against the coronavirus, has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Gilbert became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (the second-highest of the five degrees of the main British state award).
Scientists involved in vaccine trials and research into the efficacy of various treatments for coronavirus infection also received high honors. Orders of various degrees were awarded to dozens of Britons not only in health care, but also in the fields of culture, art, sport, charity, and others.
The Order of the British Empire was established in 1917 by King George V – the grandfather of Elizabeth II. In total, there are five degrees of this award. Traditionally, the list of recipients of the state award is published twice a year – before the New Year and in June, when the Queen celebrates her official birthday.