September 4, 2008

"Naked scientist" and Cambridge academic Chris Smith has won the Kohn Award from the Royal Society for his work in bringing science to a wider audience. Dr Smith is a clinical lecturer and specialist registrar in virology at the University of Cambridge, and he also works as a science communicator, fronting the UK's only local radio programme devoted to science. Under the guise of "The Naked Scientists", Dr Smith and his team of physicians and researchers based in Cambridge strip science down to its bare essentials every week on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. The Kohn Award gives Dr Smith a grant of £7,500 for further science communication projects, along with a medal and a cash prize of £2,500.

Paul Coyle has been appointed executive dean at the University College for the Creative Arts. He has been a manager of art and design education in the UK for 17 years and is currently responsible for leading the portfolio of courses at further education, undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University College's Epsom and Farnham campuses. He also leads enterprise and research activities through four research centres: the Anglo-Japanese Textile Centre, the Animation Research Centre, the Centre for Sustainable Design and the Crafts Study Centre. In addition, Mr Coyle is a member of the executive group of the UK's Council for Higher Education in Art and Design.

A professor from the University of Hull's Business School has been appointed to an advisory committee of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which aims to ensure that retail standards in Britain remain appropriate and relevant. David Grant, deputy academic director of the business school's Logistics Institute and an expert in supply chains, has been appointed to the BRC's Storage and Distribution Technical Advisory Committee, the university said.

Amanda Fisher has been confirmed as director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Sciences Centre (CSC) at Imperial College London. She has been the CSC's interim director since January. Professor Fisher is joint head of the CSC's Lymphocyte Development Group and chairman of the epigenetics and development section. She was awarded the European Molecular Biology Organisation gold medal in 2002. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, chief executive of the MRC, said Professor Fisher was an "outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of epigenetics".

Joshua Dickson has been appointed head of Scottish traditional music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He joined the institution in 2006 and has helped to launch Scotland's first grade exams for traditional music. He has held an honorary postdoctoral fellowship in Celtic and Scottish studies at the University of Edinburgh for the past six years, and is also assistant editor of the annual peer-reviewed journal, Scottish Studies.

Swansea University has announced that Kenneth Morgan has been awarded the Ludwig Prandtl Medal in recognition of his contributions to computational aerodynamics. Professor Morgan is head of the Civil and Computational Engineering Centre at the university's School of Engineering. He was awarded a Nasa special achievement award in 1989 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1997. His research in computational aerodynamics in the early 1980s led to the introduction of a new computer-based technique for predicting the aerodynamic characteristics of aircraft.

Poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan, who is best known for the BBC Radio 3 show, The Verb, has become a visiting professor at the University of Bolton. Professor McMillan used his inaugural lecture at Bolton to make the case for access to education, and to stress the need for everyone working in the sector to remain open to new ideas and the possibilities of learning. Professor McMillan discussed his longstanding interest in local poetry and song, and he said that his work at the university would focus on researching neglected Northern poets of the 1960s and 1970s. Professor McMillan is also a visiting poet at HM Prison Wakefield and at Barnsley Football Club.

Two professors at the University of Dundee have been awarded Royal Medals by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Roger Fletcher won the award, presented annually by the Duke of Edinburgh, for his outstanding contribution to mathematics and software development, while Sir David Lane was honoured for his contribution to cancer research. Professor Fletcher was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1988, and later the London-based Royal Society. In addition, he is a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh), and is chief scientist for Cancer Research UK.

Paul Archibald has been named head of wind, brass and percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Currently professor of trumpet at the Royal College of Music, Professor Archibald takes up the role this month, succeeding Peter Gane, who is to step down following 20 years as head of department. Professor Archibald started his career as co-principal trumpet of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, subsequently becoming principal trumpet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He edits two series for Brass Wind Publications, devises brass courses for Dartington International Summer School and Aberystwyth Musicfest and is artistic director of two recording labels. Professor Gane joined the Guildhall School as a professor in 1971 and became head of wind, brass and percussion in 1988. He will continue to teach as part of the school's brass professorial staff.

Literary translator Amanda Hopkinson of the University of East Anglia has won the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger crime fiction prize, awarded to a crime thriller translated into English from its original language. The winning work was her translation from French, in collaboration with Ros Schwartz, of Dominique Manotti's Lorraine Connection.

Malcolm Grant, the president and provost of University College London, has confirmed a new senior appointment to help develop UCL's international strategy. Volker Sommer has been appointed the university's first pro provost for Africa, for a three-year term. UCL already has five pro provosts: for China, Hong Kong and Macau; Europe; East and South East Asia; South Asia and the Middle East; and North America.

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