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Issue 481, 7 May 2002


In the news

Phil Murphy's work on Malham Cove – see Reporter 480 – was covered by local and national papers. The Guardian suggested that the news that the Cove is more than three times older than originally thought probably wouldn’t have cheered up Wordsworth. His poem describes its formation as 'scooped from out the rocky ground' by giants, but cave diving earth scientist Phil Murphy has found that 'the Malham stalagmite must have been formed during a warm period between a glaciation which formed the Cove and a later one'. These formations are dated as around 26,000 years old, making the Cove at least 50,000 years old reported the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Research fellow at the Nuffield Institute Dr Jasmine Gideon joined Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4 to debate whether men in developing countries get sidelined by well-meaning projects designed to help women. Dr Gideon said: "There's growing concern that men are rarely mentioned in gender policy documents and when they do appear they're generally seen as obstacles to women's development."

The Observer profiled a study of fertility problems in women who gave birth to their first child by emergency Caesarean section. Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology James Walker explained that 'neither the medical profession nor women themselves realise the extent of the long-term problems Caesarean sections can cause'. BBC Radio 4 highlighted Professor Walker's concerns on the Today programme. Half of the 165 women studied who had undergone Caesarean deliveries had no more children, and 30% of these said this was 'due to infertility', reported the Daily Mail.

The University's special collections – Reporter 480 – were extensively featured in the Yorkshire Post, focusing on plans to protect and display the collections to the wider public, through funding being sought from the Heritage Lottery fund.

Dr Sarah Hudspith from Russian and Slavonic studies joined University Chancellor Melvyn Bragg's Radio 4 programme In Our Time to discuss the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. Dr Hudspith explained Tolstoy's critique of historical methods in War and Peace, and highlighted Tolstoy's search for truth through his depiction of human experience.

Sir Robert Ogden talked to the Guardian about his work to help more young people from Yorkshire study at university. The Ogden scholarships, aimed at people with no background in higher education from former Yorkshire mining communities, was established after a meeting with Leeds' Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Alan Wilson.  The scheme supports students from age 16 onwards with more than financial support. Kate Dillon acts as a mentor to students: "This support is crucial because students from these backgrounds can feel out of place both in sixth form and at university and if they don't integrate or connect socially that can lead to them failing academically."


 
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