Today's news

December 19, 2005

Medical students face £20,000 debt
The average debt faced by final-year medical students has topped £20,000 for the first time, according to a report to be published today. The British Medical Association survey shows those in the fifth year of medical school owe an average of £20,172, while the figure for those in the final year of a six-year course is £22,365 - 17 per cent up on last year. One respondent was £55,000 in the red and one in 10 had debts of more than £25,000. Kirsty Lloyd, the chairman of the BMA's medical students committee, said: "Making the grade as a doctor should be about talent, compassion and commitment, not on how much money you're prepared to borrow.
The Daily Telegraph

Smoke bans create 'danger for children'
Blanket smoking bans - such as the one being introduced in Scotland - lead to children being exposed to higher levels of tobacco smoke at home, according to a new study. The research by University College London found that smokers were more likely to light up at home if prevented from doing so in cafes and bars. The study used data spanning a decade and involving nearly 30,000 non-smokers across the United States in areas with different anti-tobacco policies.
The Scotsman, The Guardian

Edinburgh set to honour its 'forgotten scientist'
A bank note, a new musical work and a city museum are set to honour Edinburgh's forgotten scientist. James Clerk Maxwell, who was greatly admired by Einstein and is internationally acclaimed as the father of modern physics, has until now been shunned in the city where he was born. But now the physicist, who gave the world's first demonstration of colour photography and paved the way for the invention of TVs, mobile phones and microwaves, is the focus of a string of events in the Scottish capital to mark the 175th anniversary of his birth next year.
The Scotsman

Children turn to torture, claims academic study
Barbie dolls have become so ubiquitous that they have lost their value to children who maim, burn or microwave them to show their disgust, an academic study claims today. In a finding that will astonish many parents, academics at Bath University concluded that girls attack their Barbie dolls as a symbol of their rejection of the consumer society. "Barbie provoked rejection, hatred and violence," said Dr Agnes Nairn, who led the research for the university's school of management. But Roland Earl, of the British Toy and Hobby Association, said: "Kids have always pulled things apart and dolls are still as popular as they ever were."
The Daily Telegraph, The Times

It's true, you really can be laughing all the way to the bank
A cheerful disposition is just as effective as talent, hard work and commitment in helping people to reach the top, according to research showing that consistently happy people are more likely than others to be successful in life and love. The finding, published today by the American Psychological Association, turns on its head the academic orthodoxy that it is success that makes people happy, and not the other way round. The lead author of the paper, Sonja Lyubomirsky, of the University of California, Riverside, said that it was clear that happy people were, in general, more successful than less happy people in many aspects of life.
The Times, The Independent

Regarding how should Oxbridge choose the best
The Times

From the weekend's papers:


  • Oxford scraps party after animal lab threats. The Daily Telegraph
  • EU grant will put dead Wolverhampton student's unfinised PhD into practice. The Guardian


  • Britain's first professor of complementary medicine savages homeopathy in university funding battle. The Observer
  • Scientists are predicting a "cure" for arthritis within the next decade. The Daily Telegraph
  • Scientists have found that the more you see, the more you are likely to eat - and they have tempted women with chocolate to prove the point. The Daily Telegraph

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