The Week in University News: 21 - 27 April
The University is launching a unique postgraduate course that will allow students to hone their expertise in forensics via a global network of practitioners. The new Forensic Science and Criminal Justice distance learning MSc will allow students from anywhere on the globe to learn from experts in the University's Chemistry, Engineering, Geology, Archaeology, Criminology and Law departments as well as from the University of Florida, USA, and the University of Canberra, Australia.
Lecturer in Media and Communication Dr Farida Vis contributed to The Data Journalism Handbook, a free, open-source book that aims to help journalists to use data to improve the news. Launched on Saturday 28th April at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, the book is an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism's leading advocates and best practitioners. Dr Vis was also involved in the 'Riot rumours: how misinformation spread on Twitter during a time of crisis' project that has just been shortlisted for the Guardian's Data Journalism Awards.
A project at the University of Leicester saw international students and staff present their project work in Service Innovation to local partners from the city and county. The students are working on a project known as IC-SID 2012 which stands for: Intercultural Approaches to Service Innovation and Design Methods. The two-week course is designed to promote the skills of the participants in Service Innovation & Design methods with an intercultural and interdisciplinary approach.
Professor Mark Phythian has been conferred the award of Academician by the Academy of Social Sciences. The award is for making a significant contribution to the social sciences and is by nomination and peer group review. Professor Phythian, who is Head of our Department of Politics and International Relations, has played a leading role in developing a body of work aimed at defining and advancing Intelligence Studies as a distinct field of social science research.
A tribute to a founding Professor
The University announced the first John Swales Lecture, in honour of our first Professor of Medicine in the Leicester Medical School, which took place on 30 April. Our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences hosted Professor Stephen Harrap from the University of Melbourne in a talk attended by members of his family as well as former colleagues and current staff, students and graduates.
In 1974, Professor Swales accepted the post of foundation professor and chairman of medicine at the new medical school at the University of Leicester. His inaugural lecture The Academic Physician suggested with his unique dry humour that he was “that rare and eccentric figure, the doctor who is also employed by a university” at a time when the need for academic units in medicine was not universally accepted.
He lectured on the need to apply non-clinical science to clinical work and training, while recognising that “in the end it is the individual patient and what happens to him that matters”. He was an advocate of applying a breadth of knowledge, beyond the disciplines of science and medicine, and turned to literature, philosophy and art to achieve this balance. Importantly to him, with the formation of the medical school, came both direct and indirect benefits to the population of his native city, Leicester, through investment and improvements in the local provision of healthcare.