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Political philosopher gets CBE honour to think over

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 01, 2013

By geraint thomas

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A SWANSEA woman has been appointed a CBE in recognition of her service to political science.

Professor Susan Mendus, who was honoured in the Queen's New Year's Honours list, is regarded as one of the country's most eminent political philosophers.

The former Mynyddbach School pupil, who read classics and philosophy at Aberystwyth, graduating with First Class Honours in 1973, before becoming a graduate scholar at Jesus College in Oxford, has recently retired as professor of politics at York University.

Born in 1951 she grew up in Waun Wen with brother Paul and parents John and Beryl Coker.

Her Swansea-based father, a retired BT worker, said: "She was always a very bright child and she could read before she started school, I don't know where she gets it from.

"We are very proud of her; she has worked hard all her life and is worth the honour she has been given."

Professor Mendus has published widely on topics in modern and historical political philosophy, with a special emphasis on the concept of toleration. In 2004 she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and from 2008 to 2012 she was vice- president (social sciences) of the academy. She is also a founding fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

Last summer Professor Mendus, was honoured with an honorary fellowship from Swansea Metropolitan University.

She was also called to appear before the Leveson Inquiry during which she gave her opinion as: "It is in the public interest that there be a free press because and insofar as such a press serves as a necessary bulwark against government duplicity or tyranny."

Her husband, Professor Andrew Mendus, said: "She had the letter from the cabinet office about a month ago but was sworn to secrecy. She told me but we were able to keep it under wraps."

As for the future, she has recently retired, he added: "She is looking forward to not having so many commitments."

Professor Mendus wanted to thank the JB Morrell Trust, which has helped sponsor her work on political and religious tolerance.

Others from the Carmarthen and Swansea Bay area to be mentioned in the New Year's Honours list include DVLA worker Phillip Gyles Hodge, Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, cricketer Robert Croft, Llandelio-based headteacher Susan Davies, Pontardawe campaigner Olive Newton and South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughan.

Also honoured were Lawrence's Roundabout Well Appeal founder Virginia Prifti, 54, of Llanmadoc, and Skewen doctor Dr Eleanor Williams.

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  • Dai_Chotomy  |  January 01 2013, 4:34PM

    Thank you for the information on this obscure woman and her even more obscure specialty. Could you now do the same for Olive Newton. Whatever she campaigns for has been completely missed by Google so it would be very nice to know something about her.

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