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Issue 483, 5 June 2002

In the news

The first Leeds graduate to go into space will be Piers Sellers. The 47 year old will fulfil a lifelong dream when he joins the NASA Shuttle flight 112 in August according to the Yorkshire Post. Mr Sellers received a doctorate in biometeorology at the University in 1981.

The New York Times reported that the British claim to work longer hours than their European and American counterparts but are less productive. However, "the long hours are beginning to take a toll, it seems. Only 16 percent of those questioned said they would work longer hours than they do to help their organisation, compared with 21 percent who said they would in 1992," explained the business school's Professor Peter Nolan. His work on the UK labour force survey was also cited in Hansard's record of parliamentary debates.

Health-related activities at Leeds were profiled in the THES's feature on universities and the NHS. The University 'realigned its structures' to better reflect the needs of the local NHS trust and appointed a general manager with NHS experience to head the school, Peter Noble. The school and trust now share a research and development strategy. Professor David Cottrell explained the benefits of partnership with Bradford for widening participation: "The approach is in tune with NHS thinking on multi-professionalism, giving flexible entry into different professions rather than wasting talent."

An early England exit from the World Cup would have an impact on the FTSE 100 index  claims the business school's Dr Bill Gerrard, (see page 5).  The study by Dr Gerrard and Robert Hudson from the international institute of banking and financial services gained coverage across the national and regional media with the story appearing in the Daily Star, Express, Independent, Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, Financial News and on Real radio and BBC Radio 5.

The league table season continued with extensive listings in the Guardian. The subject guide highlighted geography at Leeds, which was placed 4th in a ranking of UK institutions. Earlier rankings in the Times had placed geography provision at the University in 9th place. Meanwhile general engineering at Leeds appeared in the Times' top 20 but not the Guardian's: another example of league table inconsistencies.

Dr Richard Howells from the institute of communications studies joined BBC TV's The Heaven and Earth Show to discuss if life really was better 50 years ago. As part of the Jubilee-based programme Dr Howells argued that: "Something we do a lot of in Britain is re-imagine the past through the golden haze of retrospect."

As the Reporter goes to press, we have heard that Dr Dean Waters from biology is due to feature on BBC TV's Tomorrow's World. He will be talking about research that applied his knowledge of bats to develop devices helping people with visual impairments.

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