Reporter 457, 23 October 2000


Geography researcher Hilary Shaw helped the Guardian field a challenging question last week. A reader of the popular ‘Notes & Queries’ column asked whether there could possibly be more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all the planet’s beaches. The answer was, of course, a guesstimate – but suggested that the number of stars exceeds the number of sand grains by at least a factor of ten.

The experiences of Dr Tony Sewell were highlighted in the Independent this week following the news that black men are three times more likely to be jobless. The education lecturer believes there are still divides between blacks and whites. He said: "The vast majority of the black population still occupy the indexes that link to poverty and social exclusion."

According to a recent survey, 60 percent of girls aged between 14 and 15 believe they are too fat – prompting the Guardian to ask, can parents do anything to help? On the answering panel was Professor Andrew Hill of the School of Psychology, who argued that yes, parents can show by example that you can you can accept your body and shape.

Communications lecturer Dr Richard Howells was featured in the Yorkshire Evening Post stressing the importance of film and TV to the 21st-century world and the need for us all to understand it. He believes trips to the cinema and watching programmes on TV are important educational experiences.

The Leeds Student is once again the student newspaper to beat. Nominations for the National Student Journalism awards were announced in the Independent last week, with the Leeds tabloid topping the table. The paper – no stranger to competition laurels – has received nominations in five categories.

A new research centre at the University is aiming to redefine Jewish and cultural studies, according to Professor Griselda Pollock and Dr Eva Frojmovic, writing for the Times Higher. Thanks to a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History is renewing the tradition of Kulturwissenschaft associated with the German polymath Aby Warburg.

A study of inequalities in health by the School of Geography, which argued that a modest redistribution in wealth would have a significant impact on mortality rates in the poorest areas, was picked up by newspapers in Scotland and Ireland as well as the British Medical Journal – and throughout the media.

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