Reporter 454, 19 June 2000

In the News

The Chancellor’s installation and honorary degrees ceremony drew a large media pack to the University, with photographs and stories subsequently flashed across the country and abroad. The sight of artist David Hockney in his red corduroy slippers became headline news in the Sun, Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent on Sunday and Daily Express. The regional papers concentrated on the less frivolous matter– the installation of the University’s new Chancellor, Lord Bragg. The honorary degree ceremony was also featured on both BBC Look North and YTV’s Calendar.

As championed in the last issue of the Reporter, molecular biologist Professor John Findlay and his team are currently working on a diagnostic procedure based on the sex life of yeast. It may soon be able to pinpoint deadly chemicals in our bodies and the environment. The technique was covered in the Observer and the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Dr Kia Ng and computer software package MvM – music via motion, which uses a video camera to track a dancer’s movements in real time, ‘translating’ changes of position into music – was the front cover story of Reporter 452. Since then Dr Ng has recorded the system at work for Sky Television’s Technofile Extra, BBC News 24, Tomorrow’s World Plus and Look North. The software has also featured in the Financial Times and the Yorkshire Post.

Dr Ken Hart in the School of Psychology has gained widespread media coverage for his work in the field of forgiveness therapy’. Dr Hart runs a unique course that allows individuals to forgive their enemies and let go of grudges. So far he has appeared on several television programmes including GMTV, BBC1 Breakfast News, Channel 5 News and Yorkshire Television’s Calendar. He has also been heard on Radio 5 Live’s Late Night Currie, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Leeds and Radio Aire FM. In the printed word, the therapy has been heralded in the Daily Express and Yorkshire Evening Post.

The Independent featured a report on English degrees in the UK. The School of English was mentioned as one of the ‘best’ for both teaching and research; and to the question ‘Who are the stars?’ the answer was Professors Ed Larissy and Katie Wales.

A battle has begun over the place of the humble apostrophe in the English language – and it is dividing experts in Leeds. Dr Anthea Fraser Gupta of the School of English believes part of the apostrophe’s job could be abolished. The debate filled most of a page in the Yorkshire Evening Post, with MPs and schoolteachers weighing in.

Finally, Professor McNeill Alexander was a guest expert on BBC1 Breakfast News, to explain how the gecko lizard manages to cling to ceilings and windowpanes. It is down to the molecular interaction between the tiny hairs on the lizard’s feet and the surfaces to which they cling.

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