University of Leicester in the news: 10 October - 19 October 2011

Posted by fi17 at Oct 28, 2011 03:30 PM |
A regular review from the Press Office of coverage of the University in the media

Research and Discoveries

One of the biggest news stories of the fortnight came courtesy of Dr Oliver Harris of our School of Archaeology and Ancient History, who was interviewed by the BBC for his part in the discovery of an intact Viking boat burial in the Scottish Highlands. Dr Harris co-directs the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project, which made the amazing find. The story was covered widely in the UK press and abroad in outlets such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, the Mirror, CNN International, Sky News, ABC Online, Evening Standard, Press Association, Irish Examiner, and Channel Four News. Dr Harris was very much in demand for interviews, and the whole story generated a positive buzz for the University. (University Press Release)

A joint study with the University of Leeds into staffing levels in paediatric wards also received plenty of media attention, with Professor Elizabeth Draper of our Department of Health Sciences warning that nursing staff levels may be too low in the majority of children's wards. The story provoked plenty of interest in the medical press, and was covered by Nursing Times, Loughborough News, Netdoctor, Scotsman, the Independent, and several other local news outlets.

Toothed PterosaurThe identification of a giant toothed pterosaur made headlines in the Daily Mail and on msnbc. Dr David Unwin from our School of Museum Studies made the discovery along with Dr David Martill from the University of Portsmouth, after they examined a tiny bone fragment left unidentified in the Natural History Museum for more than 100 years. The story of was also covered by Science Codex, RedOrbit, Biology News Net and internationally by Sudan Vision and Korea News. (University Press Release)

The University also received attention for an analysis of a meteorite impact crater that showed remarkable similarities to volcanic eruptions. Mike Branney of our Department of Geology worked with Richard Brown of the University of Durham to carry out a CSI-style forensic examination of the impact site in Scotland. The exciting find was covered by, International Business Times, Universe Today, Space Ref, and Astrobiology Magazine. (University Press Release)

Dr Gawen Jenkin

In another success, the Department of Geology gained plenty of attention for a study showing a potential shortage of metals used in technology such as mobile phones and laptops. Dr Gawen Jenkin convened a meeting of leading geologists to discuss this issue, and their conclusions were published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The findings sparked a lot of interest in the specialist press, as well as Newsroom America,,, and Zee News. (University Press Release)

University academics' attempts to understand the recent British riots also received considerable media attention. A public debate about the riots organised by Leah Bassel of the Department of Sociology was featured on BBC News, and Leah Bassel was interviewed for BBC local radio and BBC Midlands Today. An earlier report by Dr Paul Reilly of the Department of Media and Communication into the role of social media in social unrest was featured on Science Daily and Eurasia Review.

Professor Chris Wallace of our Department of Economics made headlines with his research into the benefits of vagueness in financial markets. His findings were reported by the Independent, Loughborough News and North Denver News.

Research presented at the Festival of Postgraduate Research by PhD student Shujaul Mulk Khan was featured in the Magazine of the Higher Education Commission Pakistan.

Academics in the news

A report by Jon Scott and Jo Badge of our School of Biological Sciences into a proposed standardised tariff for plagiarism was featured in Times Higher Education. The report critically analysed new punishments being considered for plagiarism offences.

Professor Bill Jones, an honorary chair in lifelong learning at the University, was interviewed by Times Higher Education about cuts in funding for part-time and evening classes.

Entertainment and Culture

Fans queue to see Kasabian

Kasabian's gig in the O2 Academy generated a lot of media interest, and the Leicester Mercury came to take pictures of the fans queuing through the night for tickets. The story was covered by GigWise, Live4Ever, and

Students from our School of Archaeology and Ancient History created a guide to Leicester's places of worship, which was featured on BBC News. The Leicester Faith and Place trail is a celebration of multicultural Leicester and takes in a synagogue, mosque, Hindu temple and Jain centre among other religious landmarks. The students also developed a detailed interactive map of places of worship around Leicester.

A new internet magazine ( founded by students from our University among others, gained some attention online in Benzinga and

Local news coverage

The redevelopment project at College Hall continues to receive coverage in the Leicester Mercury, along with coverage of our campus cop, who was at work handing out bike locks and talking to students during Freshers' week.

Design Council awards for some of the University's researchers were also mentioned in the Mercury, and Professor Rob Hillman from the Department of Chemistry was photographed with his new fingerprinting technique, which his team hopes to develop for commercial application.

The Mercury also came to take pictures of Kasabian fans queuing through the night to get their hands on exclusive tickets, and interviewed some of the lucky fans waiting by the doors.

On the 14th the paper ran a two-page feature on donating bodies for medical science. The piece was excellent positive coverage of the University's medical training.

Manor Road redevelopment

The Leicester Mercury also came down to Manor Road for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new sports centre, and featured an article about the project with a picture of Professor Sir Bob Burgess performing the groundbreaking ceremony at the site.