A one-time novelist with a flair for entrepreneurial thinking has been appointed dean of Nottingham University Business School. Martin Binks, who is also professor of entrepreneurship development at Nottingham, studied economics and economic history for his first degree at Durham University before taking a year out to explore his creative side while soaking up the sun. "I lived on a Greek island and wrote a book that never got published," he recalled. "I'm sure it was complete nonsense. I'm not even sure I have a copy any more." He worked in industry for six months before moving to Nottingham to do a master's and a PhD. His involvement in entrepreneurship began "completely fortuitously" in 1978 when he worked on the Committee to Review the Functioning of Financial Institutions, chaired by former prime minister Harold Wilson. "One of the professors on the committee was my mentor," Professor Binks said. "They needed someone who could read accounts and could do research; I was given the task of looking at the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises." In his new role, Professor Binks said he hoped to encourage more business students and scholars to work with other disciplines. "If we can encourage people to think divergently, the chances of radical innovation and overcoming some of the world's pressing problems go up," he said. "Academics need pushing beyond the comfort zone of their specialist subject. When you bring together clever people from different disciplines, great things can happen."
An academic with his sights set on the stars has won a fellowship from the Science and Technology Facilities Council. During his two-year fellowship, Martin Hendry, senior lecturer in astronomy at the University of Glasgow, will lead a UK-wide programme of lectures, exhibitions, workshops and art-science projects focused on "exploring the dark side of the Universe". These events will aim to promote public engagement with cosmology and fundamental physics. "Cosmology is rather closer to the philosophical questions we have always asked ourselves as a society," Dr Hendry said. "More than other areas of astronomy, cosmology has the potential to fire up people's imaginations." As an undergraduate, Dr Hendry studied maths, physics and astronomy at Glasgow before undertaking a PhD in cosmology. He spent five years at the University of Sussex as research Fellow before returning to Glasgow. He said the absence of light pollution in Scotland offers the perfect opportunity to showcase his subject. "We have the means to get people appreciating the night sky as part of our national heritage and getting them thinking about science and astronomy in particular," he said.
A medic specialising in rheumatology is returning to her roots with her appointment as vice-principal of research and international relations at McGill University in Montreal. Rose Goldstein said she had not always harboured ambitions to go into medicine. "I wasn't one of those young people who knew they wanted to be a doctor," she said. "I was in a lab in the dead of night, slightly scared because I was 19 and alone in the building. I decided that if I was going to be up all night, I'd rather be with people. That's when I decided to do medicine." After receiving her BSc and her medical degree from McGill, she moved to Toronto. "I met my husband in England and he couldn't get an internship in Quebec, but he could in Ontario, so we moved," she said. After studying at the universities of Toronto and Ottawa, Dr Goldstein moved to the University of Texas at Houston. From there, she returned to Ottawa before being appointed to her current role at the University of Calgary, where she is vice-president for research. Although she enjoyed working elsewhere, she said she was looking forward to returning to Montreal. "It's my home town and my alma mater. My roots are at McGill," she said.
The Martin and Eileen Summerfield professor of applied physics and electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology has been named one of the recipients of the National Medal of Science. Amnon Yariv studied from undergraduate to doctorate level at the University of California, Berkeley, before joining Caltech in 1964 as associate professor. He was made a full professor in 1966, and awarded his named professorship in 1996. Professor Yariv described his research as an extension of his "fascination with light waves: learning how to generate them, manipulate them, and make them play new games". He said a high point of his group's research was the invention of the semiconductor distributed feedback laser, which powers fibre-optic networks. Another highlight, he said, was the collaborative work he had done with colleagues in formulating the quantum theory of non-linear optics. "Years after its development, it has become the starting point for the new and futuristic field of quantum communication," he said.
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Angus Laing, dean of business and economics at Loughborough University, has been elected chairman of the Association of Business Schools.
The University of Plymouth has appointed two professors of education. Jocey Quinn has moved from the Institute for Policy Studies in Education at London Metropolitan University. Jane Seale joins from the School of Education at the University of Southampton, where she was head of the Social Justice and Inclusive Education Research Centre and co-director of the National Centre for Research Methods.
John Anchor, head of the department of strategy and marketing at the University of Huddersfield Business School, has received the Celebration Medal. The honour, in recognition of his "outstanding quality of assistance and dedication to furthering international cooperation", was awarded to Dr Anchor by Tomas Bata University in the Czech Republic.
Southampton Solent University has appointed two deputy vice-chancellors. Formerly pro vice-chancellor at London South Bank University, Mike Wilkinson will oversee Southampton Solent's Faculty of Technology and Warsash Maritime Academy as well as student recruitment and commercial partnerships. Richard Blackwell will focus on advancing skills, strategies and partnerships; fostering social, community and third-stream engagement; and enhancing student satisfaction and employability. He joins from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, where he worked on policy and practice in learning and teaching and knowledge exchange.