The Reporter
Issue no 487, 27 January 2003
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In the news

Professor of environmental toxicology and chemical weapons expert Alastair Hay talked to national and regional media about the effects of ricin, after traces of the poison were found in a London house. Interviewed on the BBC national news he explained how the ‘route of exposure’ determines ricin’s effects. Responding to Jon Snow’s questions on Channel 4 news he outlined how ricin can be extracted from castor beans. Asked about access to the poison, Professor Hay said: “You shouldn’t have ricin other than in a registered laboratory in the UK.” Professor Hay was also interviewed on BBC News 24, BBC Radio 2 and Calendar and quoted in the Yorkshire Post.

Civil engineering’s Dr Clive Beggs has identified a potential new weapon to tackle hospital infections (see pages 6-7). His project was reported in the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, and on the New Scientist web pages and BBC News online.

As international media watched tensions with North Korea grow, honorary research fellow in sociology and modern Korea Aidan Foster-Carter explained the likely impact of South Korea’s presidential election on the region in an article for the Financial Times. Writing in the Daily Telegraph he outlined Korea’s history and recalled that half a century ago Winston Churchill dismissed the area saying ‘Korea does not really matter now’.

Work to restore Bramham Park’s water features, see Reporter 484, was featured on BBC Look North. Geography’s Dr Joe Holden described how use of ground penetrating radar has helped to identify former water supply networks, in what reporter Sean Stowell described as the ‘garden makeover of the century’.

Behavourial science lecturer Dr Andrew Hill joined Channel 4 documentary ‘Skinny kids’ to discuss how many young children are aware of pressures to be thin. In the Sunday Times he highlighted his research findings that primary school children associated fat body shapes with being ‘stupid and unpopular’.

Research by professor in leadership studies in the Nuffield Institute for Health, Beverley Alimo-Metcalfe, gained extensive national media coverage. ‘Women make better bosses’ wrote Janet Street-Porter in the Independent on Sunday as she pondered a career spent in ‘large organisations full of male executives’. Professor Alimo-Metcalfe’s study found that both men and women rated female managers as more effective, reported the Times and Daily Telegraph.

Archaeological finds by Dr Roger Martlew and his team of students from continuing education – see page 4 – made the front page of the Yorkshire Post. The Yorkshire Evening Post described how ‘Indiana Bones’ and his team had found items previously unseen in the north of England. BBC Leeds online and BBC Radio Leeds also covered the story.

Work to make the BBC Domesday videodiscs visible once more by Paul Wheatley’s team of digital preservation experts from the University library and ISS gained extensive media coverage. The project was featured in the Guardian, Daily Mirror, Independent and Yorkshire Post. The BBC’s media correspondent Nick Higham examined the problems of preserving digital information for BBC News 24 and BBC News online.

Professor Peter Meyer’s longer lasting plants (see Reporter 480) has been highlighted as one of’s top science stories of 2002.

See press cuttings, and University press releases online.



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