July 10, 2008

Ian Crawford from Birkbeck, University of London, has been appointed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council to act as project scientist for the proposed UK-led MoonLITE mission to the Moon in 2013. The goal of the mission is to obtain geochemical and geophysical measurements that are impossible to make from orbit. As project scientist, Dr Crawford will have responsibility for co-ordinating the development of the scientific case for the endeavour, which, he explained, "will provide knowledge that will be of central importance in the planning of future human missions to the Moon, and ... offers the potential for enhancing public interest in science and technology".

Roehampton University has appointed Jacqueline Wilson, the author and a former Children's Laureate, a professorial fellow. Last year, Ms Wilson received an honorary degree from Roehampton for her contribution to children's literature. She will contribute to the writing for children modules on the university's children's literature MA and the creative writing masters.

Two British scientists behind Dolly, the world's first cloned sheep, have been awarded the $1 million (£500,000) 2008 Shaw Prize in life science and medicine. Keith Campbell, professor of animal development at the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, and Sir Ian Wilmut, director of reproductive biology at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, will share the award with Japan's Shinya Yamanaka of the Institute for Frontier Medical Science at Kyoto University. The Shaw Prize for mathematical sciences has been awarded to two joint winners; Ludwig D. Faddeev, director of the Euler International Mathematical Institute in St Petersburg, and Vladimir I. Arnold, chief scientist at the Steklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow and a professor at the Universite Paris V, France. Reinhard Genzel, director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, received the prize in astronomy for his contribution to the finding of a supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. The 2008 Shaw Prize award ceremony will be held in Hong Kong in September.

Sylvia Walby, a professor in the sociology department at Lancaster University, has been appointed Unesco chair of gender research. She said: "This is a new area. Unesco thinks that targeting inequalities in gender globally is a way in to relieving huge issues such as child poverty, education and boosting the economy in Third World countries, but we need to know the extent of the problems and to get usable figures so we can work out how a culture of not educating women, for example, has a knock-on effect on other areas of society." Professor Walby has previously worked as a research consultant for the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

The University of Leeds is celebrating a number of accolades for its staff. The Academy of Finland has appointed Peter Nolan from the Business School at Leeds to the international steering committee of its new research programme on the future of work and wellbeing. Nick Wilson, another professor of business at Leeds, has been appointed to a government expert working group to examine issues surrounding the sharing of consumer credit information, with a view to improving lending decisions and tackling excess debt. Peter Buckley, professor of international business and director of the Centre for International Business at Leeds, has been awarded the Booz Allen Hamilton Strategy and Business Eminent Scholar in Management Prize from the US Academy of Management International Management Division. He will be presented with the award at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Anaheim, California, next month.

After three years as a trustee of Regent's College London, John Ormerod is to take up a new position as chairman of the board at the institution. Mr Ormerod was most recently director of strategy and communications and a member of the management board of the Government's Export Credits Guarantee Department. He is a fellow of the St Andrews Management Institute.

A scientist at the University of Nottingham who is working to understand and preserve endangered species has been awarded the Darwin-Wallace Medal 2008 by the Linnean Society of London. The honour recognises the contribution Bryan Clarke has made to evolutionary biology. Professor Clarke has been involved in The Frozen Ark project to preserve and store the DNA and viable cells from species in danger of extinction. The scheme works to foster collaborations between scientists from the Institute of Zoology and London's Natural History Museum, as well as institutions in India, South Africa, Australia and the US.

Sir Curtis Price, currently principal of the Royal Academy of Music, has been elected the next warden of New College, Oxford. He will join in September 2009, after Alan Ryan, the current warden (who is a columnist for Times Higher Education), retires. Sir Curtis was born in Springfield, Missouri, US, and studied at Southern Illinois University and Harvard University. He moved to the UK in 1981 to join King's College London, where he became King Edward VII professor of music in 1988. He took up his current post at the Royal Academy of Music in 1995.

University of Wales, Newport, has appointed Simon Haslett director of its new Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Professor Haslett, who will also chair the "pedagogy of climate change" session at the Royal Geographical Society's annual conference in August, will maintain his research interests around coastal evolution and oceanography.

The London College of Communication has created its first professor in publishing. Gill Davies, who is course director of its MA in book publishing, has been given the title after many years as a senior academic publisher. Professor Davies, who was the only woman to chair the Council for Academic and Professional Publishing, has been teaching at the college since 2005.

The crime thriller writer Lee Child has been awarded a visiting professorship at his alma mater, the University of Sheffield. During his first visit to the university later this year, he will hold writing workshops for students in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, take part in Sheffield's October Off the Shelf Festival, which celebrates reading and writing, and be a guest at a book club due to be formed at the university.

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