Today's news

March 13, 2003

Hildabeasts keep men at bay
Traditionalists on the governing body of St Hilda's yesterday threw out a reforming plan to admit men and sacrifice its status as the only remaining single-sex Oxford college. The narrow victory means the college is likely to remain a second choice for many of the brightest girls applying for an Oxford place, who prefer colleges with attractions including young men as well as old traditions. It will, however, help maintain the proportion of female undergraduates at Oxford, which stands at about 45 per cent.
(Financial Times, Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph)

Who will rule the Dreaming Spires?
The Times talks to Lord Bingham and Lord Neill, the two judicial heavyweights who have entered the unfamiliar world of election campaigning to become Oxford University's new chancellor.

Bingham investigates the new underclass
Oxford chancellorship candidate Lord Bingham investigates how miserable pay and poor prospects for academics are contributing to a brain drain and the decline of British universities.

Oldest feet step out of the mists of time
The oldest human footprints yet discovered have been found preserved on the side of an Italian volcano by researchers from the University of Padua. The three sets of tracks were left between 325,000 and 385,000 years ago by ancient relatives of modern man, as they scrambled down the steep slopes of the Roccamonfina mountain in Campania, southern Italy. Details of the discovery are reported today in the journal Nature .
(Times, Guardian)

Scientists fine-tune hunt for ET
Radio astronomers are to focus on 150 locations in space next week in the search for ET. They have narrowed the hunt for extraterrestrial civilisations to a selection of star systems, thanks to Seti@home, a screensaver package downloaded by more than 4 million computer users that is the world's biggest computing exercise. When no one is using their computer, it works on data from the radio telescope at Arecibo in Puerto Rico, which is sent to it over the internet.

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