Scientist Sir Peter Gluckman has been awarded New Zealand’s highest award in the Queens Birthday honours list.
Sir Peter has been added to the Order of New Zealand, a group to which only 20 living New Zealanders can belong to at any one time.
The internationally-recognised health researcher is the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.
He began his career working as a doctor, but after two years knew it was not the right path for him. Instead, he went to America and started doing research. He has now been involved in health research for the last forty years.
Over the years he has been involved in a number of health initiatives. These include a cooling helmet he co-invented to help babies suspected brain damage during birth and he also discovered that what a woman eats in the earliest stages of pregnancy may determine her child’s health later in life.
His role in advising the government has taken him all over the world; in the past week alone from Israel and Italy to Belgium, France and England.
Sir Peter has had numerous awards over the years which include the New Zealander of the Year, the Rutherford medal and he belongs to some of the most elite science organisations in the world.
Sir Peter was born in Auckland in 1949 to psychiatrist Dr Laurie Gluckman and school principal Ann Gluckman.
He attended Auckland Grammar School and had come to a crossroads about what he should do – medicine, or something else.