All entries for August 2010

August 27, 2010

Warwick Week – Vince Cable, Radio 1, Universities that Count and Diabetes

Warwick in the News

Vince Cable MP visits Campus
The Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills was at the University on Tuesday visiting WMG. Dr Cable was visiting the campus as part of a tour of the Midlands to see three engines of economic growth. He took a close inspection of the “WorldFirst Formula 3 racing car” before meeting regional business leaders.
Read about Vince Cable’s visit in the Birmingham Post >>

RaW take over Radio 1
Warwick graduates, Adam Wilbourn and Ben Anderson will be taking over Radio 1 on the 30th August with their award-winning RaW show The Big Chewsie. The pair picked up Best Entertainment Award at the annual Student Radio Awards 2010 and also the prestigious Kevin Greening Award for creativity. The show airs at 4:00am on the 30th August (Bank Holiday Monday) but if you can't listen live you can listen again on BBC iPlayer.
Find out more >>

Announcements

Professor Nigel Thrift Appointed as Commissioner by the FCO
Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift has been appointed as a Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission Commissioner by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Professor Thrift started his three year appointment on 1 August 2010.
Read the story >>

Women in SET
The University has been recognised by the Athena Swan Charter for its good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET). The University has been awarded bronze status with the Chemistry and Physics departments both awarded silver status.
Read the press release >>

Warwick Counts!
We have been ranked joint third in this year’s Universities That Count (UTC) for its environment and social responsibility. Run by Business in the Community, the benchmarking scheme looked at 29 universities’ approach to, and management of environment and social responsibility issues.
Read the story >>

Warwick Arts Centre: Autumn/Winter Programme
Warwick Arts Centre promise to lift spirits this Autumn with their new season programme. The theatre programme includes The Author by Tim Crouch, Kneehigh Theatre return with two shows, The Red Shows and Hansel and Gretel and Simon Stephens brings his new play Punk Rock. There will be music from Polar Bear, The National, and the Divine Comedy, and South Africa comes to Coventry with Hugh Masekela and The Mahotella Queens. There is also a packed dance programme including Hofesh Shechter Company's highly anticipated new dance work Political Mother.
Book now on the Warwick Arts Centre website >>

Research News

Diabetes can cause a sugar coating that smothers body’s immune defences
Research led by the Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick has found that unhealthy glucose levels in patients with diabetes can cause significantly more problems for the body than just the well-known symptoms of the disease such as kidney damage and circulation problems.
Read more on Science Daily >>

Research Grants
Dr Matthew Turner, Department of Physics has received a research grant of £946,094 form the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to carry out research into mixed and active membranes.
Full list of grant winners >>

Vince Cable MP visits WMG

Pictured: Vince Cable MP with Kerry Kirwan of WMG


August 20, 2010

Warwick Week – A–levels, IGGY, Junk Food, Ofsted and 100 Days of Coalition

Warwick in the News

A-level Successes
Students across the country received their A-level results yesterday (Thursday 19th August). Warwick was as popular as ever with 23,349 UK and EU applicants for 2,851 places.

IGGY U in Botswana
This week, some of the world’s brightest young people are taking part in the IGGY U Summer School in Botswana thanks to a special partnership between the Botswana Ministry of Education and Skills Development (Education Hub) and the International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY). Young people from Botswana, South Africa, Brunei, Ghana, Tanzania, and the UK will enjoy special courses in Mathematics, Creative Writing, Chemistry, Physics, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
Read the press release

The Books That Made Me: China Miéville
China Miéville, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies and award-winning fantasy writer was interviewed for The Guardian Books Podcast this week.
Listen again - The Books That Made Me: China Miéville

Tax on junk food
With renewed calls for a tax on junk good, Professor Elizabeth Dowler, Department of Sociology argues that any attempt to promote healthy heating must also try to tackle some of the social justice issues that lie behind consumer choices.
Read the story


Science of Discworld
Honorary graduate and author, Sir Terry Pratchett was interviewed on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire this week. Terry Pratchett collaborated with Warwick academics Professor Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen on the Science of Discworld books.
Listen again (2:21.47)

Announcements

‘Outstanding’ result from Ofsted for Warwick teacher training courses
Teacher training programmes at the University of Warwick have been judged as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors. Ofsted, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills, has awarded the ‘outstanding’ provider status to the Warwick Institute of Education.
Read the press release

Success for Malaysian alumnus
Nadza Abdul (MBA 1995-96), the Chief Operating Officer of PosLaju National Courier, Malaysia's national and largest domestic courier company, was recently awarded the 2010 Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award. The award is one of Asia Pacific's most prestigious entrepreneurship awards.
Read more on the Alumni and Friends website

British Academy Fellow
Professor Graham Loomes, Department of Economics has been elected to the Fellowship of the British Academy.  The British Academy Fellowship are approximately 900 scholars who have achieved distinction in the humanities and social sciences.
Find out more on the British Academy website

Comment

100 days of Coalition  - Professor Wyn Grant, Department of Politics and International Studies
This week Britain's Coalition Government marked 100 days in office. Why are we so preoccupied with a time span of 100 days when President Kennedy said that 1000 days was too little to achieve anything? The original Hundred Days was the period between the arrival of Napoleon in Paris after his escape from Elba to his removal after the Battle of Waterloo. The term gained political currency when President Roosevelt got the New Deal off to a good start in his first hundred days in office. As prime minister in the 1960s Harold Wilson promised 100 days of dynamic action, but the reality was more disappointing.

One test of success for the Coalition Government is that it has survived for 100 days without any major rifts appearing. Indeed, there have been fewer tensions between ministers than in many single party governments. There has been grumbling about their lack of influence from MPs the right of the Conservative Party and from Liberal Democrat backbenchers, but it has had little real effect.

The real tests for the Coalition Government are still to come. One will be when the Comprehensive Spending Review is published in October. Some cuts in public spending have already been announced, but then their full extent will hit home. Another will be getting the referendum of the alternative vote through Parliament and then, as far as the Liberal Democrats are concerned, winning it. 100 days is not a real test of five years.


August 13, 2010

Warwick Week: Extreme Sports, Internships, Tata, Diabetes

Warwick in the News

Swimming the Channel
Dr Karen Throsby, Department of Sociology, was on Radio 4 Women’s Hour this week discussing her plans to swim the channel as part of her research in to extreme sports, gender and obesity.
Listen again
Find out more about Karen Throsby’s research

Internships
This week, BBC News Magazine looked at the “must-have” role of internships for young jobseekers. Professor Kate Purcell from the Institute for Employment Research at Warwick comments on the importance of relevant work experience, particularly in competitive job markets.
Read the full story on the BBC website

Football wages and transfer fees
With the new football season underway, Professor Wyn Grant comments on transfer targets and football wages and how increasing costs are impacting on clubs decisions to buy new players.
Read the story

Announcements

Prof Lord Bhattacharya in search for Tata Chairman
Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharya has been announced as one of five experts on a panel to recruit a successor to Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Motors who is retiring in December 2012.
Read more on the Tata website

Read the story on the Times of India website


Government Advisor for Equality and Diversity

Monder Ram, Visiting Fellow at the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University has been appointed to the new government advisory group to shape best practice for equality and diversity. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has established the Equalities Advisory Group (EAG) to act as an advisory body to the BIS Equality and Diversity Governance Board.
Read the story

Research News

Research Grants
Professor Sallie Lamb, Professor of Rehabilitation and Director of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit has been awarded a grant of £2,509,848 for research in to the prevention of fall-related injuries trial (Pre-FIT). Dr Daniel Branch, Department of History has won a grant of £286,948 to research Empire loyalists: histories of rebellion and collaboration in the British Empire.
Full list of grant winners on the Times Higher Education website

Nurses and Type 2 diabetes
Research has shown that a training programme for general practice nurses has had a significant impact on people struggling to keep their type 2 diabetes under control. The research team has evaluated the impact of the ‘Warwick Diabetes Care Intensive Management of Type 2 Diabetes’ programme over three years. The course shows nurses how to help people initiate insulin therapy as part of their daily routine.
Read the Press Release



August 06, 2010

Warwick Week: TeachFirst, Niqab, Luck and Cloned Meat

Warwick in the News

Teach First Summer Institute on Campus
BBC Radio 4’s PM show were on campus this week (Wednesday) to talk to graduates emerging from the national Teach First Summer Institute. This is the first time the University of Warwick has hosted the Teach First event and around 560 graduates attended to complete the first stage of their six week intensive teacher training. Teach First is an independent charity founded to encourage top graduates, who would not normally enter teaching, to teach for at least two years in challenging secondary schools in London, North West, the East and West Midlands and Yorkshire.
Listen again on BBC iPlayer 0:32.45 (available until Wednesday 11 August)

A Woman’s Right to Choose Should Trump Niqab Ban
Dr Hellyer, Fellow of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations (CRER) has this week commented in The National (Abu Dhabi) on the “niqab issue” and a woman’s right to choose. He said, “…within traditions of the West, we are treading on dangerous ground when we begin to legislate what a woman can or cannot wear of her own volition.”
Read the full story on The National website

The Conservation of Luck
In the first of a new series in the Telegraph, Professor Ian Stewart, Institute of Mathematics, takes a look at how we perceive luck and chance and discusses our chances of winning the lottery!
Read the full story on the Telegraph website

Announcements

Pro Vice-Chancellors 2010-2011
The following academics have been appointed by the University Council to act as Pro-Vice-Chancellors for 2010/11: Professor Koen Lamberts, Department of Psychology for a period of up to 5 years from 1 September 2010; and Professor Tim Jones, Department of Chemistry for a period of up to 5 years from 1 September 2011. They will join Professor Higgott and Ann Caesar who will continue their role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor during 2010/11.Professor Tim Jones has also been elected as Chair of the Board of the Faculty of Science for the 2010/11 academic year.
More information on insite

Mike Glover appointed as Academic Registrar
Following the appointment of Nicola Owen as Deputy Registrar, Dr Mike Glover has been appointed as Academic Registrar and will take up his new role in early October. Mike joined Warwick in January 2002 as Finance Manager in the Leicester Warwick Medical School and was subsequently appointed Senior Assistant Registrar and then School Secretary of Warwick Medical School.
Read more on insite

Research Director of Crop Centre Appointed
The University of Warwick has announced that Dr Rosemary Collier is to take up the role of Research Director of the University’s Crop Centre, part of the new School of Life Sciences, in October.
Read the press release

Research News

The Future of Warwick Ventures
From 1 August, Warwick Ventures began operating as a wholly owned subsidiary company of the University. This development comes just after the 10th anniversary of the creation of Warwick Ventures. During that time it has assessed over 500 inventions, filed over 100 patents, signed 60 licences and created over 40 spin-out companies which now employ almost 200 staff. Chairman, Kevin Gamble, says, "This is an exciting move in the next phase of the development of Warwick Ventures. Those academics and departments who wish to explore the commercial potential of their research will find that from now on Warwick Ventures will be able to make swifter decisions.
Read the press release

The Future of HD TV

Professor Alan Chalmers, International Digital Lab, WMG, has been working with IBM in Austin, Texas, on new technology to enable existing TV sets to display HDR (high-dynamic-range) images that display light and contrast in a way much closer to how the human eye sees them than ordinary photo or video.
Read more in The Engineer

Warwick Comment

Cloned cows: a safe food for humans? Dr Keith Leppard PhD, Department of Biological Sciences
The entry of cloned cattle meat (and possibly milk) into the human food chain is currently preoccupying the British media and the public. But is it just a scare or is there justifiable concern? Let me say at the outset that, if the rules turn out to have been broken, then that should not be condoned. But equally, it needs to be questioned whether the rules themselves are appropriate – is there any reason to think eating cloned animal meat is unsafe?

A cloned animal is special in the way that it is originated, but as a source of food, its safety will be determined in exactly the same way as that of an animal conceived naturally (or what passes for naturally in modern farming!). When we consume meat, we are actually ingesting a complex collection of chemicals that has been put together by the animal it comes from. And the composition of that chemical mix will be determined by the genes of the animal – which code for the enzymes that create the chemical mix - together with the environment it has experienced, most importantly, what the animal has eaten and drunk.

By definition, when an animal clone is created, it has the same genes as an already existing ‘normal’ animal – which we could have eaten with no safety concerns. And once out in the field, the cloned animal is exposed to the same environmental factors as any other animal in the same field. So, there’s no logical reason to expect cloned animal meat to be any different in its chemical composition from normal animal meat and it should therefore be predicted to be safe to eat, even before complex testing to prove the point. And careful reading of the news reports suggests that these tests have been done anyway – and have shown, as logic would predict, no significant difference between the chemistry of natural and cloned meat.

A further point is that the current debate doesn’t apparently refer to the consumption of meat coming directly from a cloned animal, but rather to meat taken from the naturally conceived offspring of such a clone. Any concern about the safety of that meat must be even more tenuous than any worries about the clone itself.

The only potentially valid concerns about the use of animal clones in the human food chain come not from safety considerations, but from ethics. Some people simply regard cloning of animals as morally wrong, while others oppose it on grounds of animal welfare. Everyone is entitled to a view on these points. But from the safety perspective, which should be the issue of concern to the Food Standards Agency, I would argue that a cloned cow should be every bit as fit to eat (or not) as a naturally born one.


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