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Queen Elizabeth II Knights 'Father of Viagra' Dr. Simon Campbell

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Since the 1890s, the United Kingdom has been handing out New Year Honors recognizing contributions that have helped improve the British way of life. More than the usual number of scientists have made it on the 2015 list, one of the most notable of which is Simon Campbell, the "Father of Viagra."

Campbell worked with Pfizer for 26 years, helping develop three drugs aimed at addressing high blood pressure. One of these drugs went on to become Viagra, selling in 1998 and becoming a massive hit in the market.

The moniker "Father of Viagra" was Campbell's own because he honestly claimed that he didn't invent the erectile dysfunction medication. Rather, he simply laid down the ground work, making an unusual discovery and then letting others further develop that discovery until it became the little blue pill Viagra.

"I'm not on the Viagra patent," he said.

Campbell co-wrote the preliminary research proposal but even that didn't include a mention of erectile dysfunction as one of the conditions the drug hoped to take care of. He didn't sulk about it either, saying he was in New York when Viagra was launched, right on his birthday in March 1998.

During his time with Pfizer, he authored over 100 publications and patents.

Another scientist who picked up a knighthood is the YouTube sensation Professor Martyn Poliakoff, the man behind the "Periodic Table of Videos" series. A pioneer chemistry professor from the University of Nottingham, Poliakoff said he's slightly overwhelmed and excited about getting into the New Year Honors List.

His YouTube series is made up of short videos for each chemical element. It first came out in 2008 and has since garnered more than 80 million hits. Not bad for a science channel, right?

It's definitely good to see more scientists making it into the list, but even with increased prominence in Britain, they only represent around 10 percent of the awardees. Most of the award still went to individuals in technological industries.

Those who make it to the New Year Honors List are gathered from public nominations. Anyone can nominate anyone for displaying moral courage and accomplishing difficult things; improving the life of the needy; achieving change; entrepreneurship and innovation; long-term voluntary service; enhancing the reputation of Britain; and making a difference in their line of work or their community.

The 2015 list includes some 1,164 people, each one exemplary in their individual fields.

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