GTC in the Media
Internet is the new doctor
Times of India, 06/03/2014
More and more people today are using internet to learn and share health problems - a remarkable shift that has gained momentum in the last decade, a new research finds. This study examined interviews with patients conducted between 2001 and 2013 and explored how people talked about internet - capturing changing attitudes towards the use of internet for health. "By 2013, the web has become an almost routine part of many people's experience of health and illness. The internet has transformed how people make sense of and respond to symptoms, decide whether to consult, make treatment choice, cope with their illness and connect to others," said Professor Sue Ziebland, GTC Research Fellow from the University of Oxford.
Read the Times of India article
How oily fish could help our children sleep better
Daily Mail, 06/03/2014, p.7, Jenny Hope
Boosting levels of omega-3 fatty acids resulted in children sleeping for longer and waking up less in the night, a study has shown. Oxford University researchers gave children rated as poor sleepers omega-3 [algae] supplements for four months, or a dummy capsule. They studied 352 children aged seven to nine who were struggling readers at a mainstream primary school. They found children taking the daily omega-3 supplement had 58 minutes more sleep and seven fewer waking episodes per night compared with those on the placebo. Oxford researchers Professor Paul Montgomery - a GTC Fellow - and Dr Alex Richardson are quoted.
Read the Daily Mail article online
Oxford research aids London and Berkshire hospital ward care
BBC News online, 05/03/2014
Research by the University of Oxford is being used to improve patient care on hospital wards in London and Berkshire. Videos of patients and families recounting their experiences were used to trigger discussions between doctors, nurses and their patients. As a result, a raft of minor changes are being trialled at Royal Brompton & Harefield Trust in Chelsea and the Royal Berkshire Trust in Reading. The changes include installing clocks in sight of intensive care beds. This was after researchers discovered patients often had no sense of what time of day it was. The wards are also issuing V-shaped pillows to recovering patients and providing better information about their treatment. Lead researcher and GTC Research Fellow Dr Louise Locock, of the Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford, said: 'The challenge is to find ways of enabling organisations to learn from this evidence, to move beyond gathering data and really use patient experiences to improve care.'
Coming round needn't be a nightmare
The Guardian, p. 34, 05/03/2014, Anna Bawden
Article on a new project in which patients and NHS staff work together to improve services, which was designed by academics from Oxford University's Health Experience Research Group. The Oxford academics compiled short videos about patients' experiences of intensive care and lung cancer services. The videos were drawn from Oxford University's HealthTalkOnline archive of more than 3,000 patients talking about their illnesses. They formed the basis for small group discussions between medical staff, managers, patients and relatives who identified priorities for change. The article quotes GTC Research Fellow Louise Locock, director of applied research at Oxford university's health experiences research group.
Read the Guardian article
Radio: Simeon Courtie, BBC Radio Wiltshire
Mark Harrison, GTC Fellow and professor of the history of medicine at the University of Oxford, comments on the effect of venereal diseases on the troops during the First World War, and the unpleasant treatments they could expect to receive.
Listen again on BBC iPlayer [1:16:00 on the clock]
The Guardian University Forum 2014
The Guardian online, 26/02/2014, Claire Shaw and Abby Young-Powell
Round-up of the Guardian University Forum 2014, where speakers included Professor David Watson and Dr Scott Blinder of Oxford University. They talked about the changing higher education landscape and immigration respectively.
Tug of war won't topple universities, says Oxford professor
Guardian Online, 25/02/2014, Lucy Ward
UK universities are being buffeted by "feverish" contradictory claims that, on the one hand, they cannot survive the present turbulent economic times and, on the other, that they can fix all the country's problems, a leading academic will warn at a Guardian conference on Wednesday. Professor Sir David Watson, Principal of Green Templeton College, Oxford and professor of higher education, will reject the view of some critics that "the game is up" for the traditional model of the university. He will argue that institutions have ridden out previous panics over their role in society - such as fears over expansion of student numbers in the 1960s and, more recently, the dawn of the internet age - and will again adapt to new demands.
Weather Eye: rainy records
The Times, 20/02/2014, p.57, Paul Simons
Feature on rainfall records notes that Thomas Hornsby, Professor of Astronomy at Oxford University, had the Radcliffe Observatory (now at the heart of GTC) built in 1772, making it one of the earliest weather recording stations. Article refers to the finding that January 2014 was the wettest since records began in Oxford, the previous wettest January being in 1852.
Read the Times article online
Empowerment in women plan is investigated
Oxford Mail, p.24, 20/02/2014#
Researchers at Oxford University are investigating a scheme aimed at empowering women. American retail giant Walmart has hired them to examine its Empowering Women Together Scheme, which it launched internationally in 2011 to boost female-run businesses. The independent study is being conducted by GTC Fellow Professor Linda Scott of the Saïd Business School. She said 'There has been a growing realisation that increasing women's incomes has profound positive effects on national competitive.'
Radio: BBC Radio Wiltshire, Ben Prater
Professor Mark Harrison from Oxford University comments on what were known as 'Bad Boy' camps, venereal disease units for soldiers during World War One. One of the camps was based at Chiseldon near Swindon and the camps feature in the BBC's new World War One At Home series.
Listen again on the BBC website (Around 2:13 on the clock)
Why Russian Men Don't Live as Long
New York Times, 17/02/2014, p.D5, Rachel Nuwer
The probability that a Russian man will die before he turns 55 is 25 percent. Russia's life expectancy is exceptionally low compared with that in other developed countries. While American men have a 1-in-11 chance of dying before their 55th birthday, in Russia the odds are 1 in 4. "The main reason for the extraordinary difference in premature death between Western and Eastern Europe is alcohol," said study author Richard Peto, GTC fellow and professor of epidemiology at the University of Oxford."'Russians are drinking spirits dangerously."
Call for a more creative country
China Daily, 17/02/2014, Zhang Chunyan
Article about the new book by GTC Fellow Fu Xiaolan, director of the Technology and Management for Development Centre at Oxford University. In China's Role in Global Economic Recover, she argues that China has invested a lot in innovation and has grown extremely quickly, but that it urgently needs to upgrade the level and efficiency of innovation.
Read the China daily article online
Radio: Broadcasting House, BBC Radio 4
Oxford University claims the longest set of weather records at the Radcliffe Meteorological Station - situated in the gardens at Green Templeton College - which date back to the 1760s. This January has been the wettest month on record, but there was almost as much rain in 1852, which had held the record for January until now. Dr Ian Ashpole, a researcher at the University, is interviewed about the weather station.
Listen to the interview on the BBC website (c.31:00 on the clock)
Radio: Nick Piercey, BBC Radio Oxford
GTC Fellow Dr Stephen Harris of Oxford University's Botanic Garden describes the Garden's plant of the week.
We must not starve Afghanistan's children of the help they need
The Guardian, 31/01/2014, p.37
Letters: Sir David Watson, Principal of Green Templeton College, is one of the signatories to a letter on the need to 'take a fresh, longer-term perspective on social investment in pre-conception, neonatal, child health and nutrition', noting a recent symposium on maternal and child health and nutrition in emerging markets at Green Templeton College, Oxford.
Vodka blamed for high number of early deaths in Russia
The Independent online, 31/01/2014, Antonia Molloy
A new study by the Russian Cancer Centre, Oxford University, and the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer in France has found that 25 per cent of Russian men die before they are 55 and that most of these deaths are attributable to alcohol consumption. This figure compares to 7 per cent in the UK. Over the past 30 years, there has been a positive correlation between the easier availability of vodka and premature death statistics, say scientists.
'Russian death rates have fluctuated wildly over the past 30 years as alcohol restrictions and social stability varied under Presidents Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin, and the main thing driving these wild fluctuations in death was vodka,' said study co-author Professor Sir Richard Peto, a GTC Fellow. 'This has been shown in retrospective studies, and now we've confirmed it in a big, reliable prospective study.'
Researchers tracked about 151,000 adult men in the Russian cities of Barnaul, Byisk and Tomsk from 1999 to 2010.
Read the Independent article online
You thought it was bad but January is now confirmed as wettest winter month since 1767
The Observer, 02/02/2014, p.8, Damian Carrington
Recent rainfall in southern and central England has produced the wettest winter in almost 250 years, according to figures from the world's longest-running weather station. The rainfall measured at the historic Radcliffe Meteorological Station which is based at Green Templeton College in January was greater than for any winter month since daily recording began there in 1767, and three times the average amount.
The latest Met Office data shows that the region from Devon to Kent and up into the Midlands suffered its wettest January since its records began in 1910. But Ian Ashpole, the Radcliffe Meteorological Observer, said: 'The Radcliffe measurements more than double the length of the Met Office record and give us a better grip on how things are changing.'
Oxford's Radcliffe Observatory was founded to assist astronomers, but while the telescopes have now gone, the weather station has continued its work and now has one of the longest-running series of daily measurements in the world.
Periodistas reflexionan este viernes en Madrid sobre los retos para la profesion en el nuevo entorno digital
[Journalists reflect on the challenges of a new digital landscape]
El Economista (Spain), 24/01/2014, via Europa Press
GTC Fellow David Levy, director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, presented the 'Digital News Report 2013' in Madrid, a report about the present and future challenges of the profession.
Antidote needed for the toxic digital world
The Sunday Times, News Review, 26/01/2014, p.6, Eleanor Mills
Comment: Eleanor Mills writes about websites that promote or glorify self-harm after the death of a teenager. She includes a series of comments from GTC Fellow Professor Keith Hawton, director of the Oxford University Centre for Suicide Research.
The woman behind the Double X economy
Evening Standard, 23/01/2014, p.26, Rosamund Urwin
GTC Fellow Linda Scott is interviewed about her mission to empower women in the developing world. As part of her role as DP World chair for entrepreneurship and innovation at Saïd Business School, Professor Scott is researching the impact that better sanitary hygiene can have on girls, first in Ghana and now in Uganda: 'Her message? Give a girl a sanitary towel supply and you can educate her for a lifetime: "Before, they'd avoid school [when they were menstruating] or worry so much that they wouldn't remember what they were taught. And these schools don't have books - learning is done by rote - so if you can't focus you might as well not be there." Additionally, disposable pads can increase girls' self-esteem and even offer some protection from sexual violence. "In many of these societies, when a girl starts her period she's considered fair game," Scott explains. "So much so that the men often say the scent or sight of the blood is arousing to them ... If girls use a cloth and don't have the means to keep it clean, eventually it smells and they end up being more vulnerable to sexual attack because of it."...'
Cancer stem cells killed by trial drug
The Sunday Times, 19/01/2014, p.5, Justin Stoneman and Jon Ungoed-Thomas
Report on a new drug treatment developed by British scientists which targets the cancer stem cells that drive tumour growth includes comment from GTC Honorary Fellow Sir Walter Bodmer of Oxford University.
Read the Sunday Times article online
Miracle play proves a curious piece
Oxford Times, 16/01/2014, Angie Johnson
A review of the Croxto Play of the Sacrament, performed in St John's Chapel, Oxford, as part of the Blood Conference which took place between 8 and 10 January.
Radio: Call You and Yours, BBC Radio 4
GTC Fellow Dr Jonathan Reynolds, from Oxford University's Institute of Retail Management, talks about the health of our high streets and why leases are coming up all at once.
Radio: Annie Othen, BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire
Dr Nancy Puccinelli, GTC Associate fellow, talks about the marketing strategy being taken by retailers to put Easter eggs in the shops so soon after Christmas.
Most people only have a few 'close friends': study
New York Daily News (USA), 14/01/2014
Whether or not they have hundreds of contacts through social media, people still only have a handful of people they consider good friends, a new University of Oxford study finds. Felix Reed-Tsochas, GTC Fellow based at the Saïd Business School, who co-authored the study with Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford, said: 'At any point individuals are able to keep up close relationships with only a small number of people, so that new friendships come at the expense of "relegating" existing friends.'
Read the New York Daily news article online
Science may explain why your friendships fall apart
The Huffington Post (USA), 13/01/2014, Felix Reed-Tsochas
Read the Huffington Post article online
You can't beat a university education
The Guardian, 14/01/2014, p.38, Harriet Swain
An interim report by the British Educational Research Association (Bera) and Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce on the role of research in teacher education suggests that that the education systems that perform best and have improved most, such as in Finland and Singapore, put particular emphasis on research training for teachers. John Furlong, GTC Emeritus Fellow, professor of education at Oxford University and chair of the steering group behind the report, says: 'There is strong evidence that research is important in the best-quality teacher education programmes around the world in at least four different ways: it underpins the knowledge communicated to teachers; teachers need preliminary research skills in order to be able to start thinking about their own work; it helps explain how people develop professionally; and, built into programmes, it monitors what programmes are doing, making sure they are staying up to date with the latest developments about how professionals learn.'
'Friends limited, despite Facebook'
Oxford Mail, p.11, 13/01/2014
People deliberately limit their social network despite the popularity of social networking sites and mobile phones, according to a new Oxford University study. The research shows that people using mobile phones still put most of their efforts into communicating with a small number of close friends or relatives, and operate a one in, one out policy with friends so their communication patterns stay the same when friendships change. Dr Felix Reed-Tsochas, GTC Fellow based at the Saïd Business School, said people's capacity for maintaining emotionally close relationships was finite. Dr Reed-Tsochas worked on the research with Professor Robin Dunbar from Oxford University's department of experimental psychology.
Chaque média doit se demander dans quel domaine il peut proposer une offre unique
Le Monde (France), 26/12/2013, Alexis Delcambre and Alexandre Piquard
Interview with Dr David Levy, GTC Fellow and Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, about the future of news on the internet, based around the Institute’s Digital News Report 2013.
Read Le Monde article online (in French)
Triple tobacco tax will stop 200 million early deaths
Hindustan Times (India), 03/01/2014
GTC Fellow Professor Sir Richard Peto has co-authored a review paper which suggests that tripling the tax on tobacco would cut smoking by a third across the globe, and could prevent 200 million early deaths. Raising the tax would be particularly effective in lower-income countries, but richer countries would also benefit, and the increase in price should stop young people from taking up smoking. Professor Peto said: “Globally, about half of all young men and one in 10 of all young women become smokers, and, particularly in developing countries, relatively few quit. If they keep smoking, about half will be killed by it, but if they stop before 40, they'll reduce their risk of dying from tobacco by 90 per cent.”
Read the Hindustan Times article online
Tripling cigarette tax could stop 200 million deaths
CBS News (USA), 02/01/2014, Michelle Castillo
Researchers believe that tripling cigarette taxes around the globe could prevent about 200 million smoking-related deaths this century. The review article, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that raising the price of cigarettes may help improve the health of people in low and middle-income countries. Study co-author GTC Fellow Professor Sir Richard Peto, from the University of Oxford, said: "This study demonstrates that tobacco taxes are a hugely powerful lever and potentially a triple win – reducing the numbers of people who smoke and who die from their addiction, reducing premature deaths from smoking and yet, at the same time, increasing government income."
Read the CBS News article online
Tripling of tobacco taxes may prevent 200m deaths
Times of India, 03/01/2014
Increasing tobacco taxes is most effective way to cut smoking
UPI (USA), 02/01/2014
Tripling tobacco tax could save 200 million lives
Examiner.com (USA), 02/01/2014
The Waste and Corruption of Vladimir Putin's 2014 Winter Olympics
Business Week, 02/01/2014, Joshua Yaffa
Article on the record $51 billion bill for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia includes comment from Bent Flyvbjerg, Professor and Chair of Major Programme Management at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and Dr Allison Stewart, Associate Fellow and GTC alumna at the Saïd Business School.
Read the Business Week article online
‘Without the web, I’d still be searching for a diagnosis’
BBC News online, 26/12/2013, Jane Dreaper
Article on people searching for health advice on the internet includes comment from GTC Research Fellow Professor Sue Ziebland of Oxford University, who has spent 15 years examining how patients use the internet – including people with cancer. She says: ‘One of the men we interviewed went to his local library to go online and look for information about local support groups. Almost the first thing he found, on one of the voluntary society websites for that particular cancer, was the very distressing five-year survival rate. He was horrified. He shut down the computer and ran out of the library. The information he found was entirely accurate – but perhaps it shouldn’t be on the front page. It’s about signposting.’ Professor Ziebland adds that doctors now routinely discuss the internet as a resource with patients during consultations.