In the news
Dr Tim Wright (School of Earth and Environment) was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today about the earthquakes and seismic activity in Africa. He spoke in particular about the Afar Rift in northern Ethiopia which is slowly splitting apart and a new ocean is forming – a project that featured in the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition. The story was also covered by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
An interview with Daniel O’Neill (School of Earth and Environment) appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post, in which he discussed why economic growth should not remain a UK goal and what a steady state economy might look like. Daniel was also interviewed by the BBC World Service’s Business Daily discussing Japan’s economy and its increasingly elderly population.
Research showing that a species of fig wasp has remained unchanged for 34 million years appeared in the Times, Independent and Yorkshire Post. Led by Dr Steve Compton (Earth and Biosphere Institute), the research team analysed three fossil specimens of the wasp which were found on the Isle of Wight. “It is so similar to the modern species,” said Dr Compton. “This means that the complex relationship that exists today between the fig wasps and their host trees developed more than 34 million years ago and has remained unchanged.”
Two projects from Leeds were amongst just 10 case studies selected as examples of ‘impact’ research for a new booklet Past, Present and Future. The booklet highlights the contribution the humanities and social sciences make to the UK’s economic, social and cultural life, and was launched in the House of Commons by President of the British Academy, Sir Robert Adam. The two case studies were BBC Voices – a project led by Professor Clive Upton (School of English), which was the UK’s largest ever study examining regional variations in speech – and Dr Chris Forde’s and Dr Robert Mackenzie’s (Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change) multicultural Barnsley research project. To request a copy of the booklet, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The murder of top Mexican musician Sergio Vega – known as El Shaka – was the subject of an interview with Professor Paul Garner (School of Modern Languages and Cultures) on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Hetalked about how this killing was the latest in a series of murders apparently being committed in retaliation for ‘drug ballads’, songs written in praise of specific drug barons.
Professor Tim Benton (Faculty of Biological Sciences) appeared on BBC 1’s Countryfile talking about the differences between organic, conventional and GM farming.
The development of a computer programme that allows components from decommissioned nuclear installations to be broken up and packed more effectively was covered by the Yorkshire Evening Post. Professor Richard Williams (Faculty of Engineering) who led the research project with Dr Xiaodong Jia, said: “Independent commercial contractors have estimated that just packing this waste efficiently could lead to literally millions of pounds being saved from the public purse.” The NuPlant™ software was developed by the University’s spin-out company Structure Vision Ltd.
Another University spin-out, transport software company Tracsis, was also in the news after securing a contract with a major UK train operator. News of the win, which secures licence revenues worth more than £600,000 over seven years, appeared in the Yorkshire Post.
The five transformation fund projects – Africa College, water@leeds, the Centre for Socio-Technical Systems Design, the Institute of Process Research and Development, and the Biomedical and Health Research Centre – and the global issues they are tackling, featured in the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Krsto Pandza (LUBS) was quoted in the Financial Times in an article about the benefits of and future opportunities for clustering companies from the same sector together in the same town or area. http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/bizdaily/bizdaily_20100705-
The Rt Hon David Miliband MP delivered a speech hosted by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) on education and its role in creating a more equal society, during which he quoted the University’s Reach for Excellence scheme as an example of how underprivileged students are being encouraged to apply to institutions.
Dr Jeff Peakall and postgraduate student Jessica Ross (School of Earth and Environment) appeared in the new series of BBC Coast talking about quicksand. Country Tracks, also from the BBC, featured Dave Brook (Centre for Technical Textiles) discussing the type of outdoor clothing required in extreme weather.
Researchers in the Institute of Integrative & Comparative Biology have created the first robotic fish that will be accepted by other fish as part of their shoal. ‘Robofish’ was reported by the Times Higher Education. The fish will provide information to support freshwater and marine environmental management, predict fish migration routes and assess the likely impact of human intervention on fish populations.
The Sunday Times withdrew comments and printed an apology to rainforest expert Dr Simon Lewis (Earth and Biosphere Institute) after he complained to the paper following an article in which it attacked the veracity of climate change research.
Further details of press coverage can be found at http://mediacuttings.leeds.ac.uk/index.aspx