Sociologist and 7/7 survivor receives Honorary Doctorate from BU

An eminent sociologist who survived and became a symbol of the 7/7 terror attacks in London has received an Honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University.

Professor John Tulloch became a Doctor of Letters during the Media School graduation ceremony.

John, who grew up in Bournemouth, has held academic positions at universities in both the UK and Australia and has published more than 20 books, looking at everything from film history and theory, to Doctor Who and risk in the media.

He received worldwide media attention when his bandaged face following the Edgware Road bombing became one of the iconic images of the terrorist attacks, which took place on the London Underground in 2005.

John, who has previously worked with BU’s Media School on preparing for the Research Excellence Framework (REF), said his close connections with both the area and the university made receiving his Honorary Doctorate extra special.

He said: “It’s terrific, I’ve got two reasons to be pleased – one is that I come from Bournemouth, I spent all my primary and secondary education here, and secondly I’ve got a close knowledge of the staff in the Media School, having been an adviser to them last year.

“I admire the research, it’s very good research. It goes from comics to media ethics to globalisation. It’s very broad but it’s all very robust and it’s interdisciplinary and I like that.”

He added that the Media School students were graduating at a critical time for the creative industries.

“I think my central words of advice are that students are going into the media industries and creative industry at a very critical time, given that we’ve got worries about security state and surveillance, worries about phone hacking, and the Royal Charter on press regulation has just been signed.

“Therefore, they are going to be the people – in whatever creative industry they are in – to continue the struggle for democracy.”

More than 5,000 graduates from across Bournemouth University were handed their degree certificates in six different ceremonies at the Bournemouth International Centre.

Professor John Vinney, vice-chancellor of Bournemouth University, said: “Bournemouth University takes great pride in our Honorary Graduates.

“We recognise people who have excelled in their chosen field who will act as inspirational role models, both for our graduates and their families at the awards ceremonies and for our whole student body in the coming years.”