Today's news

June 23, 2004


Fees bill returns to Commons
The controversial Higher Education Bill that will allow the government to charge university students top-up fees of up to £3,000 a year faces a rocky ride when it returns to the Commons today after completing its passage through the Lords last night. MPs from all parties are likely to seek further amendments to the bill, boosted by the success of peers in inflicting a series of defeats on the government in the Lords.
( Guardian )
- Full details in the next issue of The Times Higher , on sale tomorrow.

Oxford lab protest warning issued
Animal rights protesters were yesterday promising to step up their campaign to halt the building of an animal testing laboratory in Oxford, by targeting directors and shareholders of the companies involved in its construction. The warning came a day after police were called in to investigate hoax letters to shareholders of the main building contractor, Montpellier, purporting to come from its directors. The letters told investors to sell their shares and warned that animal rights campaigners would post their details on the internet if they did not.
( Independent )

Scientists win reprieve on organs for research
The Government has backed down over controversial legislation designed to prevent a repeat of the Alder Hey organ scandal, after a revolt among scientists. Two key sections of the Human Tissue Bill have been substantially amended ahead of its third reading on Monday, to address concerns that it would criminalise life-saving research and training.
( Times )

Historians and scientists top brains of Britain list
The new generation of British big thinkers is middle-aged, media-savvy and capable of "taking on big issues in good prose", a list of Britain's 100 most influential intellectuals reveals, compiled by the philosophical magazine Prospect. For details of the full list in the July issue of Prospect go to www.prospect-magazine.co.uk
( Independent )

Fake olive oil fails extra virginity test
A way to distinguish extra virgin olive oil from low-grade products masquerading as the first pressings has been developed by British and Italian researchers. The optical fingerprinting system was invented by engineers at Loughborough University working with Italian colleagues at the Institute for Applied Physics in Florence and the Trees and Timber Institute in Sesto Fiorentino.
( Financial Times )

Comments on plagiarism:
- Any questions: "In my university, we're under increasing pressure to pass students who have failed so as not to put others off applying." ( Daily Telegraph )
- Penny Wark says there is more than the internet to blame. ( Times )
- Mouse to catch the copycats. ( Daily Mail )

Obituary : David Blow, pioneer of protein crystallography at Cambridge and Imperial College, London, died on June 8, aged 72. ( Independent )

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