TWO Swindon scientists have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday honours list for their contribution to the town's research councils.

Monica Anne Winstanley and Helen Thorne scooped an OBE and MBE respectively in today's list.

Dr Winstanley is the head of the external relations unit at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Ms Thorne is head of the secretariat at Research Councils UK.

There was also a strong showing in the armed forces, with three Shrivenham-based officers getting MBEs between them.

Dr Winstanley, 55, moved to Cricklade in 1989 and has worked for BBSRC at North Star and its predecessors since 1979.

She said: "I was very flattered to find out I had been nominated so I'm delighted to hear I have been given it. I'm obviously very pleased and it is great to be recognised. Much of my work is directed at raising awareness of the work we do here so this will help."

Dr Winstanley trained as a biochemist in Edinburgh and completed a PhD in Birmingham.

She is passionate about bringing science into the community, and has built links with local schools and colleges. She said: "We arrange for members of the public to meet the working scientists so they can learn what it is really like. People often have the stereotypical preconception that scientists are not strong communicators and this initiative allows them to see that is not true."

Ms Thorne said: "I'm delighted to receive this honour for services to the administration of science.

"The UK has excellent scientists, engineers and researchers. Their ideas and inventiveness are responsible for some incredible advances in knowledge and understanding and have a huge if often unsung impact on our lives.

"I'm immensely privileged to have worked with all seven of the UK's research councils over the last five years - it has provided a wonderful insight into much of the exciting research we are doing in this country."

Another MBE went to Lieutenant Colonel Crispin Lockhart of the Blues and Royals. He is currently serving at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham and the award recognises his work over two years in the Army's change programme.

Major Christopher Boryer was also awarded an MBE.

He also serves at the Defence Academy and was recognised for his work as a military assistant at the European rapid reaction corps of Command Headquarters Allied Command.

Major Miles Brown, also from Shrivenham, received recognition for his previous duty as Chief of Staff at Joint Ground Based Air Defence Headquarters.