Major breakthrough in science of atoms - latest

January 10, 2013

One of our leading theoretical physicists, Dr T.P. Burlap, has come up with a radical idea for utilising the new “miracle material” graphene.

In a paper published in the latest edition of The British Journal of Very Difficult Science, Dr Burlap points out that graphene is an allotrope of carbon with its atoms arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern similar to that evident in graphite.

However, graphene is distinguished from graphite by virtue of its super-thin character. This quality means that it may well develop commercial uses in electronics and optoelectronics.

But while these developments lie well in the future, Burlap, in his conclusion, suggests a wholly new contemporary function for the miracle material.

“The fact that there is no thinner material in the known world”, writes Burlap, “means that graphene could be the ideal substance from which David Willetts, the universities and science minister, might construct his response to critics of his current policies. As we all know, his excuses for the systematic privatisation and marketisation of higher education get thinner and thinner as time passes. He now at last has the opportunity to excuse himself at the level of a single atom. That’s quite a breakthrough!”

What a Guy!

“We love you Guy!” “Guy’s the guy for us!” “Hurrah for Guy!”

These were just a few of the placards seen during this week’s Poppleton campus demonstration in support of Guy Halsall, professor of history at the University of York, who recently posted complaints about the large number of second-year students who had failed to attend his lectures. Such students, he declared, were failing to make the most of the “obscene amounts of money” that “mummy and daddy” were paying for their education.

One of the leaders of the demonstration was Professor Lapping of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies, who has experienced what Stuart Carroll, head of York’s history department, calls “a noticeable degree of non-attendance” at nearly every one of his several thousand lectures.

At a meeting held in an otherwise empty lecture theatre shortly after the demonstration, there was unanimous support for Professor Halsall’s stand. However, a further motion that required the summary public execution of consistently absent students was defeated after “compelling arguments” that their attendance at such an event could not be assured.

QAA is Q-OK!

“Anything that is good for the QAA must be good for British universities.” This was the enthusiastic response of Doreen Bushnell, our very own Head of Internal Quality Assurance, to the news that the Quality Assurance Agency will be bailed out by the taxpayer if it is sued by a private college that fails an inspection.

Ms Bushnell told The Poppletonian that this development meant that all those hundreds of academics and administrators who had devoted so many years of their lives to fabricating evidence of quality for the benefit of QAA inspection teams could now rest easy in the knowledge that the agency had a financially assured future.

She also insisted on the logical nature of the development. “It is surely only rational that an organisation with such a well-established reputation for general credulousness should now be totally relieved of all responsibility for its own mistakes.”

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

A jolly little reminder as 2013 begins that feminism is alive and well. Hope you like it!

“The best way to a man’s heart is to saw his breastplate open.”

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate