Second sunniest winter since city records began
Oxford Mail, p.5, 02/03/2015
Oxford had the second sunniest winter since records began and experts believe spring will start off mild. Figures collected at the weather station in the gardens at Green Templeton College revealed there were 259.1 hours of winter sun between December and February. Meteorological observer at the Radcliffe Observatory Meteorological Station Callum Munday, said: 'Sunny weather does not have a simple relationship with warmth, especially in winter, when cloudless nights are often the coldest.'
Fact check: No proof the death penalty prevents crime
ABC News online (Australia), 26/02/2015
With the fate of Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran seemingly decided by the Indonesian legal system, Australian advocates for the pair have been attempting to secure a reprieve through legal avenues and public pressure. Article highlights the views of Oxford University professors Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, authors of the book 'The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective'.
Who are the world's top thinkers? Vote on who should be crowned the most important thinker of 2015
Prospect, 01/03/2015, p.36
Prospect has launched its annual vote to decide who the world's top thinkers are. Among those on the list of 50 names are Sir Paul Collier of the Blavatnik School of Government and St Antony's College, Professor John Goldthorpe of the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and Nuffield College, and Professor Linda Scott of the Saïd Business School and Green Templeton College. To see the full list and to vote, go to http://fluidsurveys.com/s/worldthinkers2015/.
Read the Prospect article online
Austerity is fuelling increase in suicide, says MP
The Guardian, 19/02/2015, p.17, Caroline Davies
Professor Keith Hawton of Oxford University's suicide research centre comments extensively on Nick Clegg's promise to sign up the NHS to a national 'zero suicide' campaign, citing a programme to combat depression in Detroit, Michigan, that has reduced suicides sharply over the past decade. Professor Hawton is 'encouraged by the spirit behind the zero suicide movement', but admitted he was not keen on the terminology. 'I think the use of this label implies an unreasonable aspiration and it has not been thought through clearly,' he said. 'I know that it is causing concern to clinical staff in psychiatric services responsible for the care of people at risk of suicide. It is likely to encourage unhelpful defensive approaches to care. It may also have untoward negative effects on people bereaved by suicide, with a risk of increasing feelings of guilt and stigmatisation.'
Read the Guardian article online
Ebola: The race to find a cure
The Guardian, 17/02/2015, p. 27, Sarah Boseley
Feature article on the research of Peter Horby, Jake Dunning, Laura Merson, and GTC Senior Research Fellow Trudie Lang, who are scientists at Oxford University's Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health. The Oxford team received a £3.2 million grant from the Wellcome Trust to speed new drugs into trials at Ebola treatment centres in West Africa. Article follows their search for a suitable trial centre in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in late 2014. A site in Monrovia, Liberia, was chosen and they began to trial a drug on patients. But the number of new patients arriving at the centre was relatively low and drug manufacturer Chimerix decided not to send any more of the drug being trialled to Liberia. Professor Horby said: 'This is the first time that we've really gone hell for leather to try to set up a trial during an acute epidemic and it's been the mother of all epidemics really. So it's certainly been a baptism of fire for everyone.' The Oxford team is now running a trial into a drug made by Tekmira in Sierra Leone.
Hormone replacement therapy increases ovarian cancer risk
BBC News online, 13/02/2015, James Gallagher
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been linked to a higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to a new study by Oxford researchers published in The Lancet. An analysis of 52 studies involving more than 20,000 women with ovarian cancer found that using HRT for a few years increased the risk by about 40 per cent. GTC Fellow Sir Richard Peto of Oxford University, co-author of the study, said: ‘For women who take HRT for five years from around the age of 50, there will be about one extra ovarian cancer for every 1,000 users and one extra ovarian cancer death for every 1,700 users.’
Read the Independent article online
HRT 'doubles risk of ovarian cancer'
The Daily Telegraph, 13/02/2015, p.1, Victoria Ward
Read the Daily Telegraph article
Colleagues pay tribute to Sir David Watson's career
Times Higher Education, 12/02/2015, Jack Grove
Tributes have been paid to Professor Sir David Watson, one of the country's best-known higher education academics and former vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton.
Academic's 'formidable expertise and knowledge' and 'unique voice' remembered.
Read the THE article
Professor Sir David Watson 1949-2015
wonkhe.com, 11/02/2015, Rob Cuthbert
David Watson, who has died aged 65, was one of the foremost academic leaders of his generation. Although his abundant talents meant that any career could have been open to him, it is our great good fortune that he chose to spend his life in higher education as an academic, manager, strategic thinker and policymaker, enriching the lives of thousands of students and colleagues with his wisdom, humanity, courage and leadership.
A huge loss to higher education: a tribute to David Watson
The Conversation, 12/02/2015, John Brennan
David Watson, the Principal of Green Templeton College, Oxford and a revered professor of higher education, died on Sunday, February 8, aged 65. It is a huge and sad loss: to his family and friends, to his colleagues, and to the whole of higher education.
Read the Conversation tribute
Ten years of Google Maps - Tech Weekly podcast
Guardian online, 11/02/2015
Audio: Professor Mark Graham from the Oxford Internet Institute discusses how the geographies of the internet have reconfigured how people engage with the city.
Listen to the Guardian podcast
Sir David Watson dies aged 65
Times Higher Education online, 09/02/2015, Chris Parr
Sir David Watson, one of the UK's leading higher education academics and Principal of Green Templeton College, Oxford, has died at the age of 65. Sir David, who was also professor of higher education at the University of Oxford, led the University of Brighton to gaining university status in 1992 and continued as vice-chancellor for another 13 years. He was a member of the Dearing review of higher education in the 1990s and professor of higher education at the Institute of Education (now part of University College London) between 2005 and 2010. As a prolific and influential higher education commentator, he was knighted in 1998 for his services to the sector. A tribute published on Green Templeton's website describes Sir David as "an energetic 'hands-on' head of house who was involved in every aspect of College life". "He demonstrated outstanding dedication in his leadership of the College's dynamic, influential and friendly community of students, fellows and staff, which focuses on understanding the issues of managing human welfare in the modern world," it says, describing his legacy as "enormous".
The woman who will never grow up: 20-year-old looks like a young child due to rare condition affecting her growth hormones
Mail Online, 09/02/2015, Madlen Davies
A Chinese girl with a rare medical problem has the appearance of a child - despite being 19-years-old. Ashley Grossman, GTC Senior Research Fellow and professor of endocrinology at Oxford University, explains the causes of the condition.
Read the Mail online article
Can a new organ carry the donor's personality?
The Daily Telegraph, 06/02/2015, p.23, Joe Shute
Article on the experiences of people who exhibit personality changes after an organ transplant includes comment from Professor Peter Friend, Head of Transplantation at Oxford University and a consultant transplant surgeon.
Read the Telegraph article online
Passing the Saatchi Bill
Daily Telegraph online, 02/02/2015, Unattributed
Letter on the proposed Medical Innovation Bill, co-signed by Professor of Gynaecological Oncology Ashour Ahmed, Professor of Reproductive Medicine and GTC Fellow Stephen Kennedy, Professor of Translational Medicine Chas Bountra, Coordinating Editor Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group Dr Rupert McShane, and Head of the Medical Science Division and the Dean of the Medical School Professor Alastair Buchan, all of Oxford University: 'While there have been significant advances in cancer treatments in recent decades, there remain areas where there has been no meaningful advance. Diseases such as glioblastoma, sarcoma or pancreatic cancer have seen no clinically relevant improvements over those decades.
'While clinicians have leeway to prescribe drugs "off-label", we know from our direct experience with patients that viable clinical options are not being used in the vast majority of "terminal" cases. When all standard therapies have failed, and there are no clinical trials available, the response is almost uniformly to move that patient into palliative care.
'We do not dispute that the clinical trial is necessary in order to identify those advances that work and those that do not. However, the evidence base for medicine can come from many different sources. Data collection is a necessary corollary of increased off-label usage and the new registry included in the Bill will record information (including side-effects and outcome data) in every instance of an innovative treatment. This ground-breaking registry will enable us to analyse real-world data, thereby providing greater patient protection than exists at present.
Ultimately the question that must be addressed is: what can we responsibly offer to those patients for whom there are no suitable clinical trials?'
Emerging into a big issue
Eastern Eye, 30/01/2015, p.14
Fifty leading international policy experts and practitioners have called for radical change in the policies and priorities in emerging markets at the Emerging Markets Symposium held at Green Templeton College, Oxford, earlier this month. Experts said that increased longevity will offer new opportunities for economic growth but only if political and cultural institutions adapt to meet the challenges an ageing population.
Chemicals in lipstick linked to early menopause
The Times, 29/01/2015, p.24, Tom Whipple
Ashley Grossman, GTC Senior Research Fellow and professor of endocrinology at Oxford University, comments on research from Washington University which suggests that women with the highest levels of endocrine disruptors are likely to start the menopause earlier.
Read the Times article online
Could your make-up put you at risk of early menopause? Chemicals in lipstick, face cream and nail varnish can speed up the process by four years, study finds
Mail Online, 28/01/2015, Lizzie Parry
Read the Mail Online article Online article
City sees sunniest December since records began
Oxford Mail, p.5, 24/01/2015
Oxford University researchers have found that December was the sunniest in Oxford since records began in 1881. Nearly 97 hours of sunshine were recorded for the month by observers from Oxford University's Radcliffe Meteorological Station which is based in the gardens at GTC - almost twice as much as the December average of 49 hours. Dr Ian Ashpole, observer for the Radcliffe Meteorological Station from the university's School of Geography and Environment said: 'This December record is just another chapter from the extraordinary weather story of 2014. Overall it was the warmest since 1815, and the winter months December to February were the wettest in 248 years.'
Read the Oxford Mail article online
Improvisation puts a spring in the step of plodding managers
Financial Times, 26/01/2015, p.12, Emma De Vita
Instead of wasting time and effort trying to control the uncontrollable, improvise, suggests GTC Associate Fellow Robert Poynton, of Saïd Business School and co-founder of On Your Feet, a consultancy that transposes methods from improvisational theatre to business. 'Improvisation is not making it up on the spur of the moment, it's not winging it,' he says. Nor do you have to be an acting genius to become an effective improviser. Instead, it comes down to your ability to view everything as an 'offer' - something that can be used to good effect. Mr Poynton has created games that executives use to strengthen their improvisational muscles. At improvisation's core is being responsive to unexpected situations, letting go of expectations and using every skill to find a solution.
Read the FT article online
Why we're obsessed with the cult of busy
Brisbane Courier-Mail (Australia), via The Sunday Telegraph, 23/01/2015, Nicole Mowbray
Article on how busy people feel they are includes comment from Ashley Grossman, GTC Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Endocrinology at Oxford University, on the stress hormone cortisol and its effect on our bodies.
Read the Brisbane Courier-Mail article online
Leading cos transforming to drive innovation, growth: Report
Business Standard India, 22/01/2015, via Press Trust of India
Leading companies around the world are transforming themselves with a purpose to drive innovation and growth, new research by EY and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, has found. The research highlighted a shift toward "purpose-led" transformation. "We have noticed from a number of conversations with CEOs and senior leaders that defining and implementing 'purpose' is becoming increasingly important to them," Saïd Business School Associate Dean of Executive Education and GTC Fellow Andrew White said.
Read the Business Standard India article online
Radio: BBC Radio Oxford, David Prever
Observers from Oxford University's Radcliffe Meteorological Observatory, which is based in the garden at Green Templeton College, have determined that December 2014 was Oxford's sunniest December on record.
Sad movies, happy ads
Boston Globe, 11/01/2015, Kevin Lewis
Short article about the dangers for advertisers scheduling an upbeat television advert during a sad or relaxing drama, cites research carried out by Dr Nancy Puccinelli, GTC Associate Fellow and Associate Professor at the Said Business School.
Read the Boston Globe article onlineRead the Boston Globe article online
Don't blame the facilitator
Times Higher Education, 15/01/2015, p28, Sue Shepherd
Opinion piece on the use of headhunters in making senior appointments in Higher Education. Professor Sir David Watson, Principal of Green Templeton College, is quoted as saying that headhunters help create a "competitive waiting room" that is less and less diverse.
Read the Times Higher Education article online
Radio: Today, BBC Radio 4
Professor Trudy Lang of the Centre for Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford comments on the lessons to be learned from the Ebola outbreak.
Gut bacteria, prebiotics and the link between helping stress, anxiety and depression
The Independent online, 08/01/2015, Clio Korn
Scientists at Oxford University have demonstrated that consumption of prebiotics affects both emotional processing and stress hormone levels in healthy volunteers. The study found that volunteers who took a prebiotic called B-GOS paid less attention to negative words, and more attention to positive ones, than those taking placebo. Volunteers taking B-GOS also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva after three weeks on the prebiotic than they had at the beginning of the experiment. Author Clio Korn is a GTC DPhil student researching Neuroscience.
Read the Independent article online
Cracks in the digital map: what the 'geoweb' gets wrong about real streets
The Guardian online, 08/01/2015, Henry Grabar
The 'geoweb' of digital urban maps is full of omissions and distortions. Article includes comment from Mark Graham, a senior research fellow at Oxford Internet Institute.
Family planning relaxation has little effect on fertility rates: study
Global Times (China), 04/01/2015, Sun Wei
The 2013 reforms aimed at relaxing China's 'one-child policy' are likely to have a limited effect on the country's long-term demographic trends, or solve the problem of China's shrinking workforce, according to a report by the University of Oxford and Xi'an Jiaotong University. The researchers explored the effect of reforms which allow couples in which one member is an only child to have two children. Report co-author Stuart Basten, GTC Fellow and associate professor at the University of Oxford, is quoted.