University of Leicester in the news: 5 September - 9 October 2011
Science, Medicine and Research
The University's biggest stories of the last month related to research. Firstly, a study by Professor Monica Whitty of the Department of Media and Communications into the extent of scams on online dating websites received extensive coverage in the national and international press. The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, Daily Star and MSNBC all covered the story, along with international outlets such as the Hindustan Times. The story sparked a lot of interest, and several follow-up pieces also mentioned the research (University Press Release)
Secondly, a discovery by University of Leicester neuroscientists of a protein that helps reduce stressful memories gained much attention, with many journalists speculating that a "pill to remove bad memories" was sure to follow soon: The Daily Mail, The Sun, Jezebel, Health Daily Digest and Asian News International. The study was led by Dr Robert Pawlak, a neuroscience lecturer from the Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology, and represents a real break-through in our understanding of the human brain. (University Press Release)
Over the month of September, the University enjoyed extensive coverage of its medical research and breakthroughs. The University's findings that many of the public were still ignorant about the true causes of cancer were covered extensively online. This research was carried out by Prof Paul Symonds and Karen Lord of the Department for Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine (University Press Release). Research by the University's Dr Alex Mitchell into the side-effects of antipsychotic drugs enjoyed top billing on BBC Radio 4's All in the Mind program (University Press Release). Discoveries about the genetics of lung disease (study led by Prof Martin Tobin of the Department of Health Sciences) and high blood pressure (study co-led by Dr Louise Wain and Prof Martin Tobin of the Department of Health Sciences) were featured in the Leicester Mercury and Key Pharma News. Work on a new cancer test, which Dr Howard Pringle of the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine helped to develop, was covered in the Leicester Mercury. (Genetics of lung health Press Release, Discovery of blood pressure genes Press Release) Overall, the University's medical studies made a big impact on the news this month, gaining the University positive press for its innovations and breakthroughs.
The University's fundraising appeal for a new Heart Research centre also received positive local coverage (Leicester Mercury). (University Press Release) The "sick bay" hospital bed that automatically diagnoses patients also gained some late attention in the global press and in The Engineer - in the previous month the Mercury ran a full page spread and several pictures of the bed in action. (University Press Release)
In other research related news, University sociologist Dr Jane Pilcher's study on celebrity culture and the pressure on children to wear designer labels was mentioned in the Daily Star and internationally by Asian News International and Hindustan Times. Dr Pilcher of the Department of Sociology gave a live interview with national Irish radio broadcaster Newstalk and BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour (University Press Release)
The University's research into ospreys was featured in the Daily Telegraph and the Glasgow Herald. The study was carried out by Tim Mackrill, a PhD student in the Department of Biology. (University Press Release)
Academics in the news
A piece in the Independent about managing finances during postgraduate study focused in part on the University of Leicester, with contributions from Professor Sarah Hainsworth (graduate dean) and Adrian Gascoigne from the welfare office. The article emphasised the help that the University of Leicester gives to students facing financial difficulties during their studies. Dr Glenn Fulcher of the School of Education wrote an article about cheating for the Guardian, and Dr Jan Zalasiewicz of the Department of Geology took part in a live online debate for Science magazine about the concept of the Anthropocene Era.
An Iron Age skeleton, discovered in Leicester and being studied at the University, was covered on BBC News. The story included a video featuring Dr Jeremey Taylor of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, with the famous skeleton laid out in one of the University's labs. The find was also covered by the Leicester Mercury.
The Percy Gee building won yet another award, which was mentioned in the Leicester Mercury; a previous article about the awards nominations included a large picture of the new Percy Gee redevelopment. (University Press Release) The Mercury also focused on the success of University of Leicester students in their charity fundraising activities, an article that showcased the ambition and determination of the University's students (University Press Release)
During the month the Leicester Mercury also published columns by University academics, including a First Person column by the Vice-Chancellor Sir Robert Burgess. They published an op-ed column by David Johnson, an Honorary Fellow of the School of Historical Studies (First Person article) and an article by Anjuu Trevedi, head of regional business engagement at the University, titled Universities are here to help you.
The Mercury also covered the launch of the new Space Ideas Hub, a project in which the University helps local businesses develop new technologies (article here) - a positive piece highlighting the University's contribution to the local economy. (University Press Release) The University's redevelopment of College Hall was featured in the Mercury, along with concerns of local residents about parking at the site. (Original Press Release here) Another article covered the return of students to Leicester, including a quote from our welfare and international sabbatical officer Suzi Burtenshaw.