For the record

August 17, 2001

Research council gets first female head

Julia Goodfellow will be the first female head of a research council wheshe becomes chief executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in January 2002. She takes over from Ray Baker, who will step down in December.

Professor Goodfellow is vice-master and head of the school of crystallography at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Welsh Tories take a radical stance on fees

The Welsh Conservatives have committed themselves to fighting for the outright abolitionm of tuition fees and the reintroduction of maintenance grants.

The Tories have adopted the most radical policy ostudent hardship of all the Welsh parties so far. It follows a Welsh Assembly commissioned report ostudent hardship that called for up-front fees to be scrapped and maintenance bursaries to be introduced. The Welsh National Unioof Students gave the news a cautious welcome.

Qualified people double their earning potential

School-leavers taking higher-level qualifications in universities and colleges can more than double their earnings potential compared with unqualified people, research by the London School of Economics found.

Men who gained a degree and postgraduate or professional qualification increase their percentage hourly earnings premium above the unqualified from nearly 30 per cent with A levels to almost 67 per cent. For women, the gain is steeper, rising from 29 per cent to more than 71 per cent.

PCC to investigate hoax bomb reports

St Andrews University’s principal, Brian Lang, has asked the Press Complaints Commission to investigate newspaper reports that the Scottish National Liberation Army sent a hoax anthrax bomb to the university because Prince William is to study there from the autumn.

The SNLA was quoted as threatening to kill the prince if he went to the university. The PCC confirmed that it had received the university’s complaint and that it was seeking comments from the newspapers.

A new focus for finance firms

Financial services firms would do well to target students, a study has found. The Associatioof Unit Trusts and Investment Funds found that 53 per cent of 15 to 24-year-olds were interested ifinding out about savings and mortgages. This compares to 16 per cent of the 65-plus age group. Younger students were more likely to trust the advice of friends and family thaother age groups, and could base investment decisions on “ill-researched, anecdotal information”.

Concern about health risks in clinical trials

People who take part iclinical trials could be putting themselves at risk, according to research by the British Medical Journal.

It found that 40 per cent of papers submitted to five American medical journals did not mention any informed consent or ethical approval, despite the journals asking authors to document authorisation explicitly. All the 561 papers were on child health.

Hi-tech bid to measure UK’s coastal erosion

Scientists from Newcastle University have used satellites, 3-D computer modelling and a microlight to make the most accurate measurements of the receding UK coastline to date. Until now, measuring methods have produced only estimates.

A pilot scheme has been launched iFiley Bay, North Yorkshire, where the coast is estimated to be eroding 25cm a year. The project is being run in conjunction with Scarborough Borough Council, but could be used worldwide.

OUP buys out legal publishing house

Oxford University Press has acquired Blackstone Press, a legal publishing house with more than 400 professional, vocational and student titles.

OUP chief executive Henry Reece said he hoped to make the OUP one of the leading publishers in the legal profession.

Journals vow to print only independent work

Twelve influential medical journals have decided that they will not publish future articles where authors were not completely free from undue government or corporate influence.

The journals, which include The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association Journal, have agreed that authors must guarantee they had free access to data and a free hand iwriting up their studies.

Grants for willing contributors to NI life

Mature students who can contribute to the economic or social life of Northern Ireland can apply for one of five £2,000 scholarships from the University of Ulster. The annual Garfield Weston scholarships are opeto students aged over 21 who are studying engineering, science, maths or computing.

Queen Margaret tees off golfing MBA course

Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh is claiming a world first with an MBA in golf and country club management, expected to be launched next year.

Programme leader Ian Buick said that the next generation of golfers would want fast golf, friendly golf and family golf. The programme team is negotiating a bid to provide consultancy services for the design, planning and constructioof Azerbaijan’s first golf and country club.

It follows Birmingham University’s announcement last week of the first honours degree in golf.

Correction

The University of Newcastle was omitted from our list of regional e-science centres ( THES , August 3). The seven regional centres will provide superfast computers, genome and other databases as well as other facilities for scientists developing the Grid, seen as the successor to the worldwide web.

Apology

We wish to make clear that the London Development Agency has not approved funding for a planned £9.2 million Stephen Lawrence Technocentre in Deptford, London, contrary to last week’s story ( THES , Enterprise, page 15).

An appraisal of the project, imemory of the murdered teenager, is to be completed before the LDA board makes a decision. We apologise for this mistake and for any inconvenience it has caused.         

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