Today's news

June 16, 2004


More protection urged for animal researchers
The Royal Society will today put pressure on the government to do more to protect researchers from intimidation by animal rights extremists. It is launching an initiative to highlight the huge costs of protecting UK universities from animal research related terrorism and vandalism. The society has written to all universities asking how much they are spending on security and has joined with trade bodies such as the Bio-Industry Association in calling for legislation to protect research.
( Financial Times, Times, Independent )

Child expert found guilty of abusing authority
David Southall, a consultant paediatrician with more than 30 years' experience, was found guilty yesterday of abusing his professional position by accusing a father of murdering his two babies after watching a television documentary. Professor Southall, 55, faces being struck off the medical register if his actions are found to amount to serious professional misconduct at a further General Medical Council hearing in August. He also faces seven further complaints dating back many years over his child protection work on Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
( Guardian, Times )

Innovation fund awards £185m
More than £185 million has been awarded to universities to forge better business links. The Higher Education Innovation Fund, now in its second round, is designed to encourage greater exchange of expertise and create jobs in local businesses. Most of the money has gone to schemes where several universities have been working together to attract more interest from industry, and to improve support for joint projects.
( Financial Times )

Web inventor nets £663,000 prize
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the World Wide Web, yesterday received the first Millennium Technology Prize, a £663,000 Finnish government-backed cash award.
( Financial Times )

Gloom over global warming
Runaway global warming could leave the world hotter even than the most pessimistic of today's climate models predicts, researchers said yesterday. David Battisti, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, said that while there were uncertainties in the models, these had probably downplayed the extent of future change.
( Times )

Vatican historian say Inquisition wasn't that bad
Agostino Borromeo, a historian of Catholicism at the Sapienza University in Rome and curator of a 783-page volume of documents released by the Vatican yesterday, claims that only 1 per cent of the 125,000 people tried by church tribunals as suspected heretics in Spain were executed. Other experts were quick to point out that many of the thousands of executions conventionally attributed to the church were in fact carried out by non-church tribunals.
( Guardian )

Killer bees send out spies before launching air raid
Bee colonies send out spies to eavesdrop on their neighbours before swarming in force to their territories and stealing their food, US scientists have discovered. Details of the study are published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society .
( Times )

The unidentical tentacle
Scientists at the University of Vienna have discovered that the octopus has a preferred tentacle, much as humans tend to favour one hand or another.
( Daily Telegraph )

Student injured on Cyprus
Douglas Neilson, a social work student at Strathclyde University, is in a critical condition in hospital in Larnaca after being found with head injuries in a street in the Cypriot resort of Ayia Napa. Mr Neilson, 19, from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, had become separated from three friends with whom he was on holiday.
( Times )

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