The Reporter
Issue 495, 26 January 2004
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In the news

Leeds graduate Mark Byford was appointed acting director general of the BBC in the wake of the Hutton report. In an interview with the University’s Review magazine he explained how he had met his wife at the student law society’s St Valentine’s disco in 1978 and got his date home thanks to the loan of a car by young law lecturer Geoff Hoon, now defence secretary. The Press Association circulated the story which was picked up by news outlets across the country.

Leeds will be the base for a new distributed institute for atmospheric composition, reported the Guardian, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC online.

A new British Library online database of Northern dialects will draw on pioneering work by Leeds University researchers, reported the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and local papers across the UK. Recordings of native Yorkshire voices made in the 1950s are included.

Professor Peter Walker’s mission to create an artificial glass liver (Reporter 495) caught the attention of the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post and BBC online. The mechanical engineer has won £320,000 of funding to develop the organ and ‘improve understanding of how the liver works,’ reported the Yorkshire Evening Post.

British Heart Foundation research into cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins, concluded that they can also have an impact on heart tissue. Cardiovascular research fellow Dr Karen Porter explained how statins help reduce the chance of heart failure on the BBC 10 o’clock news. Her team’s findings were also reported in the Yorkshire Post.

French lecturer David Looseley was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour about Edith Piaf. He discussed her image as a woman: “Her songs paint a picture of a woman completely given over to love of a man, yet her life suggests someone much more pro-active about love, who moulded her men (Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand) and transformed them into stars.”

Channel 4 viewers voted Leeds graduate David Kelly the most important figure in British politics in the annual political awards.
Professor Alastair Hay paid tribute to the weapons expert. Writing for the Yorkshire Post, Professor Hay recalled how he came to know Dr Kelly and described his friend as ‘someone very much at the peak of his profession’. Professor Hay was also interviewed by the Guardian, BBC Radio 4 and Channel 4 news.

Stunts by the Fathers 4 Justice campaign were used to highlight the issue of shared residency in the Sunday Times. The 50/50 custody arrangements following divorce is increasingly popular but research by Dr Bren Neale in the University’s centre for research on family, kinship and childhood found that it can be hard on the children.

See the press releases at www.leeds.ac.uk/media/press_releases.htm and details of press coverage at http://wwwnotes2. leeds.ac.uk/cuttings.nsf/today

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