Sykes and two cities

October 25, 2002

"Sykes to bring science to the people" screamed the headline on an email arriving from the University of Bristol.

Given that Sir Richard Sykes last week announced his intention to merge Imperial College, London, and University College London - with him at the helm - it seemed possible that he might want Bristol, too. But no, it was announcing the appointment of Kathy Sykes as professor of the public understanding of science and technology.

Dr Sykes will hit the screen tonight as a member of the BBC2 Rough Science team. The six-week series, filmed on New Zealand's south island, will see the scientists take on the role of gold prospectors, following in the footsteps of those who first plundered the area in the 1860s.

Meanwhile, there have been a handful of suggestions for the name of the institution created by merging Imperial and UCL. The most popular is the University of London. One wag suggested that adding "IC" to "UC" equalled "We C" and a "redundanC" while another suggested the Universal Imperial College of the World.

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