New Year Honours 2016: Paul Curran knighted and five professors appointed dames
Times Higher Education online, 30/12/2015, David Matthews
Story about academics and university leaders given honours in the New Year Honours notes several members of Oxford University given honours: Christopher Bulstrode, emeritus fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford, was appointed CBE for services to humanitarian medicine; Linda McDowell, professor of human geography, was appointed CBE for services to geography and higher education; Keith Willett, professor of orthopaedic trauma surgery, was appointed CBE for services to the NHS; and Fran Bennett, senior research and teaching fellow at the department of social policy and intervention, was appointed OBE for services to social science.
This migrant crisis is different from all others
BBC News online, 24/12/2015, John Simpson
Article about the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe in the context of European migration throughout history includes comment from Alexander Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. He explains: 'What's dramatic about today is that this is the first time Europe has faced people coming in from the outside in large numbers as refugees. The fact that many are Muslims is perceived as challenging Europe's identity.'
Radio: BBC World Service, Newsday
Stuart Gietel-Basten, a demographer at the University of Oxford, comments on China's decision earlier this year to scrap its one child policy.
Swedish student travels to Ireland to find her doppelganger after tracking her down online
The Independent online, 17/12/2015, Will Grice An article about two near identical unrelated people quotes Sir Walter Bodmer, a human genetics professor at the University of Oxford and Green Templeton Honorary Fellow , explaining that the overall chance of finding someone who looks exactly like you is really very small.
Read the Independent online article
Radio: Howard Bentham, BBC Radio Oxford
17/12/2015, 08:25 and 09:00Professor Keith Hawton, a Green Templeton Fellow based at the Centre of Suicide Research at Oxford University, comments on the incidence of self-harm amongst adolescents following the release of information about hospital admissions of self-harming teenagers.
Smoking 'linked to earlier menopause'
BBC News online, 16/12/2015~GTC Senior Research Fellow Professor Ashley Grossman comments on a new study linking smoking and early menopause.
Women on the verge
The Guardian, 15/12/2015, p. 29, Rose George
Long-form article on the menopause mentions the results of the UK-based Million Women Study, led by GTC Governing Body Fellow Dame Valerie Beral, in 2003.
After Paris, learning from Germany's renewable revolution
The World Post (US), 14/12/2015, Justin Talbot Zorn
A study by Associate Fellow Norman Myers of Oxford University found that climate change on the order of what's now expected could result in 200 million refugees fleeing weather-related dislocation, famine, or conflict over increasingly scarce resources like water.
Healthy will eat sugary treats in fatty liver study
Oxford Mail, p.6, 15/12/2015
Healthy people will be asked to indulge in sugary treats for a new University of Oxford study. The project is looking at how fat is produced in the body and the link between liver fat and heart disease. The research will track what happens to a small group of men and women after consuming food and drink high in sugar. GTC Research Fellow Professor Leanne Hodson said: ‘Like other parts of the body, too much fat in the liver is harmful to our health. But at the moment we do not understand why it comes to be stored there. By better understanding the mechanism behind this it may help develop new treatments to stop fat building up there and increasing our risk to heart disease. As this research is looking at how sugar in our diets is processed in the body, it could also influence dietary advice.’
A positive attitude towards life is the secret to feeling young, says Gloria Hunniford
Daily Express, 14/12/2015, Jane Symons
Article on how your attitude can affect how you age includes comment from GTC Emeritus Fellow Sir Muir Gray, professor of knowledge management at Oxford University.
GP drug bill kept secret
Sunday Express (Scotland), 13/12/15, p.1, Siobhan McFadyen
Vital information about GP prescriptions has been kept ‘secret’ by the Scottish Government, according to researchers at Oxford University. The team was given permission by the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to access data about the medicines prescribed by family doctors. They have used it to create a website that allows patients to compare GP practices for drugs such as statins, contraceptives, antibiotics and painkillers. However, the experts at Oxford’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences have been stonewalled in Scotland for the past four years. Senior Clinical Research Fellow Dr Ben Goldacre said: ‘We built this service so that anyone can see how different GP practices are prescribing. For some reason, the NHS in Scotland has chosen to keep their prescribing data secret. Overall, sadly, this means Scottish patients cannot see how their own GP practice is prescribing.’
Global issues don't live in separate boxes. Why no mention in Paris of refugees?
The Observer (Main), 13/12/2015, p.35, Alexander Betts
Comment piece by Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, arguing that migration is an effect of climate change yet this appears to have been overlooked in Paris climate talks.
*Sad face*: Being happy does not help you live longer
New Scientist online, 10/12/2015, Clare WilsonIt's widely thought that staying happy and stress-free helps keep you healthy. But a massive study on the link between mood and mortality suggests that happiness actually has no effect on death rates. Other research that has found the opposite must have been mixing up cause and effect, says epidemiologist Richard Peto of the University of Oxford, who explains that it is likely that illness makes you unhappy rather than rather than the other way round. Peto's team conducted surveys with more than 700,000 UK women. At the start, they were asked questions about their health and how happy and relaxed they felt. A year later, the questionnaire was resent to a random sample of the women. Their responses suggested that most still felt the same as they did the year before. Ten years later, after allowing for any initial disparities in health, there turned out to be no difference in death rates between those who saw their glass as half-full or half-empty. While Peto says that extreme unhappiness can cause people to damage their health or kill themselves, he stresses that for most people we ought to be concentrating on real causes of illness, not imagined ones.
Read the New Scientist article online
Being sad or stressed will not kill, says study
BBC News online, 10/12/2015, James GallagherBeing miserable or stressed will not increase your risk of dying, according to the UK's Million Women Study. It had been thought that being unhappy was bad for health - particularly for the heart. But the decade-long analysis, published in The Lancet, said previous studies had just confused cause and effect. However, experts argued that unhappiness in childhood may still have a lasting impact.A series of studies had shown that how happy people are strongly predicts how long they are going to live. But the research team in the UK and Australia said those studies failed to deal with reverse causality - namely, that people who are ill are not very happy. Co-author Professor Sir Richard Peto, Green Templeton Fellow from the University of Oxford, said light smokers had double the risk of an early death and regular smokers had three times the risk of dying during the study period, but that happiness was 'irrelevant'. He said it could have indirect effects if people started consuming large amounts of alcohol or massively overeating, but happiness itself 'does not have any material, direct, effect on mortality'. But he warned the myth may be too entrenched to shake off: 'People will still believe stress causes heart attacks after this story has been and gone. It isn't true, but it suits people to believe it.'
Read the BBC article online
In Danger in Afghanistan, Unable to Flee
New York Times (USA), 05/12/2015, p.SR3, Rod NordlandProfessor Alexander Betts, GTC Fellow and Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, discusses the dilemma faced by people who are unable to apply for asylum in Europe from their home countries and so are forced to become refugees.
Read the New York Times article
Male menopause: 'HRT brought my warm, wisecracking husband back'Sunday Telegraph (Stella), 06/12/15, p.30, Anna PasternakAshley Grossman, GTC Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Endocrinology at Oxford University, comments on whether the male menopause exists.
Read the Sunday Telegraph article
The teen trapped in the body of a toddler: 15-year-old with unusual condition looks for foster home as her poverty-stricken family struggles to cope
Mail Online, 04/12/2015, Qin Xie Ashley Grossman, Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Oxford, comments in a story about a 15-year-old Chinese girl who stopped growing when she was a toddler and is still the size of a 3-year-old.
Relaunching the Oxford Seed Fund
Financial Times online, Blogs, 03/12/2015, Stephen Robert MorseOxford MBA student Stephen Morse, who is a student at Green Templeton College, blogs about his involvement in the relaunch of the Oxford Seed Fund: 'Formerly the Said Business School Seed Fund founded by Oxford students and alumni, it invests £15k-£25k in early-stage ventures. Every year, the fund's pool of money can be distributed to current students, alumni, faculty and staff who are working on interesting for-profit projects. The only downside is we do not get to keep any money that we could theoretically make for the fund if a company exits successfully. But it is one of the best parts of studying at Oxford: hands-on learning.'
Read the FT MBA blog here
About those possible limits to creative destruction
Financial Times online, Alphaville blog, 03/12/2015, Stephen Robert MorseA new Oxford Martin School study of the workplace by Carl Benedikt Frey and Thor Berger has found, among other things, that only 0.5% of the US labour force is employed in industries that did not exist in 2000 and that even in Silicon Valley, only 1.8% of workers are employed in new industries.
Is China ready to compete in the commercial aircraft industry?
Forbes.com, 02/12/2015, Marc SzepanGreen Templeton student Marc Szepan (DPhil Management Studies) comments on the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China's (COMAC) presentation of the first C919 aircraft in Shanghai, which is positioned to mount a challenge to the Boeing-Airbus duopoly in the global arena. Szepan argues that delivering world-class customer support and sustaining the underlying organizational culture, management processes, and human resources are an often underestimated challenge even for established players, let alone for new market entrants and that this is likely to be the case for COMAC and its quest to position the C919 as a global player.Read the Forbes.com article
Arsenal 1 The Environment 0
30/11/2015, Patrick Barkham
Associate Fellow Charles Foster's upcoming book, Being a Beast, is mentioned as being a cause for 'cheering up' for Barkman's sadness regarding Arsenal Football Club's environmentally unfriendly decision to take a 14-minute flight from London Luton Airport into the wilds of Norfolk, where the team was playing Norwich City.
You can find out more about Foster's book here.
Why Does Google Say Jerusalem Is the Capital of Israel?
Slate 30/11/2015, Mark Graham
GTC Research Fellow Mark Graham writes about why Google search results give information that may look to be proving a political point, when in fact, it likely has to do with the fact that the Web is now optimized for machines, not people.
Radio: BBC Radio 4, Today
30/11/2015, 06:54Professor Judy Sebba, Director of the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education at the University of Oxford, is interviewed about her research which shows that vulnerable young people who go into foster care do better academically than those who remain at home supported by social services. The researchers also found that over half of children who go into care do so when they are older, as teenagers, making it 'extremely challenging' to help them do better at school. Professor Sebba discusses the implications for care policy suggested by the research.
Listen again on the BBC Radio 4 website
Children in foster care do better at school
The Independent online, 30/11/2015, Caroline Mortimer Foster children do better in school than their peers in other forms of social care, a new study has shown. The joint study by the University of Oxford and the University of Bristol found that children who live with foster parents did better than those who remained with their own families with social worker support.
State loan sharks
The Times, 27/11/2015, p.36Letters: Professor Ingrid Lunt, former Vice-Principal, Green Templeton College, Oxford, is one of the signatories to a letter criticising the government's proposed changes to the student loans system and calling on vice-chancellors to oppose plans to make existing borrowers pay more for loans they have already taken out.
Radio: The World Tonight, BBC Radio 4
20/11/2015, 10.08pmThe World Tonight is recorded at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. Alexander Betts, director of the Centre, joins the panel to discuss the latest stories about migration.
Watson warns of Wonga-style loans and neglect of lifelong learning
Times Higher Education, 19/11/2015, p.8, David Matthews
In a posthumous parting shot, the acclaimed higher education policy expert Sir David Watson pleaded for lifelong learning to be taken more seriously in the UK, warning that students have been reduced to ‘state-sponsored wonga-style’ customers. Sir David, who died in February this year, was highly influential in education policy and had led both the University of Brighton and Green Templeton College, Oxford. Some of his final thoughts have appeared in a new paper, published in the Oxford Review of Education, in which he calls for more joining up of higher and further education, more opportunities for students to earn and learn, and more use of massive open online courses.
Data research plea
The Times, Letters, 17/11/2015, p.36, Unattributed
Letter: Professor Dame Valerie Beral of Oxford University is one of over 120 signatories to a letter about the use of personal data for medical research: ‘Some of Europe’s most important medical discoveries, such as establishing the link between smoking and cancer, would not have been possible without using personal data. Countless lives have been saved and our growing understanding continues to improve health.’
How my MBA class reacted to the Paris terrorist attacks
Financial Times online, 19/11/2015, Stephen MorseStephen Morse, an MBA student at the Saïd Business School, is heartened by the response of his classmates to the Paris attacks: 'Let us hope that we don't have any future scares when our classmates are travelling, but inevitably, such incidents will occur, and inevitably we will repeat this routine, looking out for one another. But to know that wherever I am in the world, I'll have 340 intelligent people who have my back, is reassuring.'
Read the Financial Times blog post online
Enough of modern health scares. We should be trusting our instincts
The Observer (Main), 15/11/2015, p.40, Yvonne Roberts Opinion piece on health advice following the release last week of new guidance from Nice on the prescribing of HRT notes that '...two Oxford academics, Professor Klim McPherson and Professor Valerie Beral (Green Templeton Fellow), who have spent 12 years studying the risks associated with HRT, were not consulted about the new guidance. Professor McPherson, Green Templeton Common Room Member, says that if GPs follow Nice's advice, there could be 7,000 extra cases of breast cancer within 10 years.'
Read the Guardian article online
New HRT advice is biased and misleading says Oxford professor
Daily Mail, 13/11/2015, p.12, Sophie Borland; Louise Atkinson An article on the latest NICE prescribing advice for HRT says that the panel drawing up the advice did not approach two Oxford University experts on cancer risks from the therapy, Professors Valerie Beral, Green Templeton Fellow, and Klim Macpherson, Green Templeton Common Room Member. Includes comment from Professor Macpherson.
Leading HRT experts not consulted over NHS menopause guidance
The Guardian online, 10/11/2015, Sarah Boseley
The UK’s leading experts on the cancer risks of hormone replacement therapy were not invited to give evidence to the committee preparing guidance for the NHS on treating the menopause. They include Prof Klim McPherson, Green Templeton Common Room Member, who has written many papers on HRT and sat on the government’s committee on the safety of medicines when it warned doctors to prescribe as little HRT for as short a time as possible, and Oxford’s Prof Valerie Beral, Green Templeton Fellow, who leads the Million Women Study that identified an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer with the use of the drugs. Klim McPherson confirmed that he had not been consulted at all and said that it was “outrageous” Valerie Beral had not been contacted by the committee.
Radio: BBC Radio Oxford, David Prever
09/11/2015, 16:10, 18:02
Mark McCarthy, Professor of Diabetic Medicine at the University of Oxford, is interviewed about his new research into type 2 diabetes. He and his colleagues have identified genetic markers that could be used to understand people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Strategy specialists forced to amend their offering
Financial Times, 10/11/2015, supplement p.2, Tim Morris
Tim Morris, Professor of Management Studies at Saïd Business School, writes on changes in strategy consulting.
China’s two-child rule: Praying for a baby boom
Hindustan Times (India), 08/11/2015, Sutirtho Patranobis
An analysis of the effects of China’s one-child policy since 1970s includes comment from Green Templeton Emeritus Fellow Professor Stein Ringen at Oxford University.
On eve of new advice on HRT, a campaign to push benefits raises concerns
The Guardian, 07/11/2015, p.7, Sarah Boseley
Green Templeton Senior Research Fellow Professor Valerie Beral, an Oxford epidemiologist who leads the Million Women study, which linked HRT to breast and ovarian cancer, fears that women will be misled into thinking the drugs are completely safe. “About one million UK women are currently using hormones for the menopause,” she said. “Among them about 10,000 extra breast cancers are estimated to occur in the next 10 years (40,000 in total, instead of 30,000 if the women had not used the hormones). Also about 1,000 extra ovarian cancers are estimated to occur among them in the next 10 years (6,000 in total).”
Cancer specialists say the Nice committee is dominated by gynaecologists who are members of the British Menopause Society (BMS), which has tended to take a favourable view of HRT and clashed with the cancer scientists in the past. The Oxford scientists have approached the UK drug regulator with their concerns.
Radio: Howard Bentham, BBC Radio Oxford
Green Templeton Fellow, Professor Chris Lavy is interviewed about a project undertaken by the Department of Orthopaedics to train more than one hundred health workers in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last three years, they have run courses in trauma, hip and knee replacements, spine surgery, paediatrics and bone tumour surgery.
Financial Times online, 01/11/2015Profile of Kathryn Bishop, an associate fellow at Green Templeton and the Said Business School. She says that she chose to work at the Said as it is one of the few business schools that is deeply rooted in its parent university. She describes the collegiate structure of Oxford as encouraging interdisciplinary communication and thinking, and explains that that is also at the core of everything done at the business school.
A Mass Migration Crisis, and It May Yet Get Worse
New York Times (USA), 01/11/2015, p.A6Article on the ongoing migration crisis includes comment from Professor Alexander Betts, Green Templeton Research Fellow and Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University.
'Two is too much trouble': will China's parents rush to have more children?
The Guardian, 30/10/2015, Tom Phillips Article on the ending of China's one child policy includes comment from Stuart Gietel-Basten, a Green Templeto Governing Body fellow and Oxford University demographer, who predicted that within a decade Beijing might introduce "pro-natalist" policies as it sought to avert a demographic crisis by offering incentives for couples to have more children.
Read the Guardian article onlineXi's Baby Steps on Child Policies Seen as Weakness, Not Strength
Washington Post (USA), 30/10/2015, Ting ShiArticle on the ending of China's one-child policy includes comment from Professor Stein Ringen of the University of Oxford who is an Emeritus fellow of Green Templeton.
Five numbers that sum up China's one-child policy
BBC News Magazine, 29/10/2015, Justin Parkinson Green Templeton Governing Body Fellow, Dr Stuart Gietel-Basten, comments that China's one-child policy likely made a more modest impact than claimed due to a steep decline in births in the early to mid 70s. Since the rule has been enacted, the average child per woman fell only from 2.7 to 1.7.
A 105-year-old woman is seeking asylum in Europe. Being an Afghan makes it more complicated.
Washington Post online (USA), 29/10/2015, Adam TaylorArticle about the difficulties that Afghans face when they seek refugee status in Europe includes comment from Alexander Betts, Green Templeton Research fellow and director of the Refugee Studies Center at Oxford University.
Read the Washington Post article online
Using Ex-military Drones to Plant Trees
Huffington Post (USA), 29/10/2015, Stella MikhailovaBlog about a team called BioCarbon Engineering that is repurposing ex-military drones to plant trees. The team includes Irina Fedorenko, a PhD candidate studying geography and the environment at the University of Oxford, who comments on why this method is preferable to hand-planting trees.
MERS, Ebola, bird flu: Science's big missed opportunities
Reuters (UK), 26/10/2015Article on 'missed opportunities' in science notes that an Oxford University team set up a clinical study of a potential Ebola treatment called brincidofovir in 16 weeks while the Ebola outbreak swept through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. 'It normally takes 18 months to set up a trial, and we did it in 16 weeks,' said Professor Trudie Lang, professor of Global Health Research at Oxford. 'But the problem was we were still behind the curve.'
Read the Fox News article online
The UK's 'strong' response to Ebola
Oxford Mail, 22/10/2015, p.4Oxford University scientists this week briefed MPs on Britain's response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the work they had done to develop vaccines. Professor Adrian Hill and Professor Trudie Lang, Green Templeton Senior Research Fellow, were among the witnesses who gave evidence to the House of Commons' science and technology committee on Tuesday. They spoke about what lessons have been learned and how scientific advice from the United Kingdom would be used to help tackle future outbreaks. Professor Hill launched clinical trials in September 2014 for an Ebola vaccine developed at the Jenner Institute. Smoke and mirrors: Just how big is China's economy really?
South China Morning Post online, 21/10/2015, Stein RingenStein Ringen, Green templeton emeritus fellow and emeritus professor at the University of Oxford, writes on attempts to estimate the size of China's economy.
Britain holds royal welcome for Chinese president on "super" state visit
Global Times (China), 20/10/2015, via Xinhua Xiaolan Fu, GTC Fellow and professor of technology and international development at Oxford University, comments on the pomp and pageantry on the occasion of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit. She described the welcome afforded to him as a "step forward for bilateral ties" and said it represents "the West and the East warmly embracing each other for a better future." Closer cooperation between China and Britain could "raise the living standards of ordinary people" and "send more kids to school," she said, adding that Britain's "knowledge and creativity" will also help China in its future development.
Read the Global Times article online
Experts condemn study which claims dangers of HRT have been 'overstated'
Mail Online, 20/10/2015, Ben Spencer Leading epidemiologist and Green Templeton Fellow Professor Dame Valerie Beral has questioned new US research which claims that the dangers of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have been overstated. Dame Valerie said studies covering 'several million women' had all shown a link to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, blood clots and strokes.Dame Valerie, who has led research into the safety of HRT, told the BBC's Today programme that it should only be given to those with very severe symptoms for as short a time as possible.Article notes that Cancer Research UK has said that it is 'deeply concerned for women's health' based on the research presented yesterday.Professor Beral, who is also Cancer Research UK's epidemiology expert, said: "More women will get cancer if the use of HRT increases. HRT is an effective treatment for menopausal symptoms but women need to be aware of the real risks when making the decision to use HRT, and should discuss their options with their doctor."
Read the Daily Mail article online
Radio: Today, BBC Radio 4
19/10/2015, 08:50Professor Dame Valerie Beral, Green Templeton fellow, a cancer specialist at the University of Oxford and leader of the Million Women Study, discusses new research into HRT (hormone replacement therapy) from New York University School of Medicine. A number of newspapers reported on Monday that the US researchers had conclusively proved that HRT is not dangerous. However, the new research stands in marked contrast to a body of studies from around the world which have raised concerns about an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer and heart disease.Dame Valerie said: 'There are over 50 studies worldwide that have in total studied several million women and to base the results on 80 women, 80 women studied even over 10 years is quite meaningless...Amongst the scientific community the evidence is really quite uncontroversial...it is very clear that there is an increased risk of cancer of the breast, cancer of the ovary, and also of blood clots and strokes in women who have taken HRT compared to women who have not...The regulatory bodies in the UK, in the USA, in Europe, all say the same thing - they say if women want to take HRT for their very severe menopausal symptoms they should do so for as short time a time as possible. But there are risks. To say it is safe on the basis of 80 women is really quite meaningless.'She also dismisses the New York researchers' claim that the risks of HRT have been overstated: 'Well, that's their opinion but they certainly can't say it on the basis of their own evidence. They really don't have any evidence at all...There are some people, I will say, who want to disregard or misinterpret...the totality of the evidence, which is as I've said really quite clear about the risks...there's a view also that if you take HRT for less than 5 years there are no risks, and that's not true either. There are risks...if women have very severe symptoms, if they want to take HRT they should, but they shouldn't believe this kind of rhetoric saying that it is quite safe to take.'
Internet for all is an impossible dream right now
Dr Mark Graham, Green Templeton Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the Oxford Internet Institute, argues that it’s unlikely that ubiquitous access to the open web will arrive in the near future. "Simply lowering the cost of access will continue to leave out the very poorest. Whereas relying on the altruism of large technology firms will only introduce new digital divides between those with access to an open web, and those locked into the informational diet fed to them by a few gatekeepers."
Human migration will be a defining issue of this century. How best to cope?
The Observer (Main), 20/09/2015, p.38, Alexander Betts
Green Templeton College Research Fellow and Professor Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, sets out a range of policies which could help the world cope with migration.
Radio: Today, BBC Radio 4
Green Templeton College Research Fellow and Professor Alex Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, discusses the latest migration figures into Europe.
Insight – As refugee crisis grows, U.N. agency faces questions
Reuters UK, 16/09/2015, Tom Miles
Alexander Betts, professor in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at Oxford University, comments on the European response to the refugee crisis.
Wikipedia's view of the world is written by the west
The Guardian online, 15/09/2015, Alex Hern
Nearly half of all edits to articles about places on Wikipedia were made from just five countries, researchers at the University of Oxford have found. The UK, US, France, Germany and Italy are the source of 45% of the edits on “geocoded” Wikipedia articles, which have a longitude and latitude associated with them to link them to a specific place in the world. And the Netherlands alone – which doesn’t even fit in the top ten countries by number of edits – still has more edits to its name than all of Africa combined.
The researchers, led by Green Templeton College Research Fellow Dr Mark Graham from the Oxford Internet Institute, argue that the study shows that “local voices rarely represent and define their own country”.
Migrants press on, hoping to find refuge anywhere in Europe
USA Today, 01/09/2015, Lucy Kafanov
Article on European migration includes comment from Green Templeton College Research Fellow, Alexander Betts, a professor and director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. Read article in USA today
TV: Amanpour, CNN
01/09/2015, 04:09 (repeated at 10:10)
Alexander Betts, GTC Research Fellow Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, is interviewed by Christiane Amanpour in the studio about how European countries are dealing with the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two.
TV: Inside Story, Al Jazeera International
Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, is interviewed about the refugee crisis in Hungary.
Correspondence: Gerard Bodeker
The Lancet Journal Vol 386, 22/08/2015, pg 740
Professor Gerard Bodeker, former Green College fellow and scholar, has been published in The Lancet Journal for a letter pointing out that 'The Lancet Series on obesity missed an important opportunity to more fully address non-Western food and the implications for policy and consumer engagement.'
Viewpoint: Treat migration as a development issue
BBC News online, 22/08/2015, Alexander Betts
Professor Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford and Green Templeton College Research Fellow, argues that the real challenge is not how Europe stops migrants coming to the continent, but ‘…how we create innovative and sustainable global models of refugee assistance.
‘One approach is to reconceive refugees as a development issue rather than simply a humanitarian issue. Refugees have skills, talents and aspirations. At their best, development-based approaches to refugees have the potential to provide "win-win" opportunities for refugees, host countries, and donors, until refugees are able to return home.’
Ofsted is strangling the sector, not helping it
The Times Educational Supplement, 14/08/2015, p.40, Alan Tuckett
Opinion piece about the role of exam board Ofsted in promoting learning notes comments by Green Templeton Emeritus Fellow Richard Pring, honorary research fellow in the University of Oxford’s Department of Education.
From ‘swarm’ to ‘illegal’: dissecting how we talk about migrants
CBC online (Canada), 12/08/2015, Unattributed
Summary of a news programme looking at how language used about migrants affects the way we treat them. GTC Research Fellow Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, is a panellist on the programme.
Contraceptive pill offers shield against cancer
The Guardian, 05/08/2015, p.10, Sarah Boseley
The contraceptive pill not only prevents pregnancy but protects women from two forms of cancer for decades after they have stopped using it, say leading experts. Oxford University researchers say in the past 10 years, taking the pill has prevented 200,000 cases of womb cancer in high-income countries. In both cases, the protection can last for more than 30 years, long after women have stopped using contraceptives. Women in their 70s who took the pill in their youth are still enjoying its protection, says Professor Valerie Beral, Green Templeton College Governing Body Fellow and lead author of the new study on the pill and endometrial (womb) cancer in the Lancet Oncology journal.
Is creating a new nation for the world's refugees a good idea?
The Guardian.com, 04/08/2015, Alexander Betts
Alexander Betts, Green Templeton Research Fellow and Professor of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, says that a property billionaire’s proposal to buy land to house the world’s refugees is not as outlandish as it sounds. But Professor Betts writes that the idea is most usefully deployed as a metaphor for creative thinking about the political geography of asylum. Rather than actually seeking one single territory in the world to house the world’s refugees, Refugee Nation should offer a source of inspiration for ways in which we can collectively reimagine and reinvigorate asylum.
Read article in The Guardian.com
Want to Improve the Health of Millions of Americans? Lift the Embargo on Cuba | Commentary
Roll Call, 04/08/2015, Peter Bourne
Green Templeton College Senior Research Fellow, Peter Bourne has written an op-ed piece about the potential health improvements, including preventing diabetic foot, lung cancer, cholera and dengue, that could come with the removal of Cuba from the United States' 'terror list'.
Calais crisis: UK urged to take in more asylum seekers as fears grow that migrants may target Belgian ports
The Independent, p.14, 02/08/2015, Henry Austin
Professor Alexander Betts, Green Templeton Research Fellow and director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford comments on the news that Britain has been urged to take in more asylum seekers.Read article in The Independent
Experts hail Ebola vaccine with 100 percent success rate
The Times, 01/08/2015, p.11, Kat Lay
An Ebola vaccine with a 100 per cent success rate has been hailed by experts as a breakthrough in combating the deadly virus. Initial trials show that a single injection can start protecting patients within ten days, according to a paper published in The Lancet. The study involved more than 7,500 people in Guinea who had come into close contact with a recently infected person. The results showed ‘amazing scientific progress’, according to Trudie Lang, Green Templeton Senior Research Fellow and director of the Global Health Network at the University of Oxford.
Radio: BBC World Service, Newsday
28/07/2015, 05:13Professor Alexander Betts, Green Templeton College Research Fellow and Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, discusses a proposal put forward by a US businessman to establish a new nation for displaced people.
The Times, 20/07/2015, p.26
Letter: Professor John Wass, GTC Emeritus Fellow and consultant endocrinologist at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, writes in response to an article on Addison’s disease, noting that for patients managing the disease with steroids it is very dangerous to reduce the dose.
Meet the class of 2016
Financial Times online, MBA Blog, 27/07/2015, Charlotte Clarke
For the start of the academic year in September, the FT website profiles the bloggers who will share their experience about studying an MBA. One of the contributors is Stephen Morse, a GTC student at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School.
Refugees can be innovators
Deutsche Welle (Germany), 17/07/2015, Unattributed
A new report, published by the University of Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) on Friday, showcases examples of refugee-led creative self-help and innovation from around the world. Based on research conducted in Jordan, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and the USA, the report shows how people practise "bottom-up innovation" in the most difficult of circumstances. The RSC report's authors, GTC Research Fellow Alexander Betts, Louise Bloom, and Nina Weaver, looked at a range of refugee situations from different stages of the "refugee cycle.
Newshour, Al Jazeera International
There are now more refugees displaced around the world than at any time since World War Two. An Oxford University study, co-authored by GTC Research Fellow Alexander Betts is focusing on how some refugees are solving the issues affecting them instead of relying on aid. One example is the Albert Street school in Johannesburg, South Africa. Students and teachers at the school are interviewed for the TV report.
Washington Post online, 09/07/2015, Andrea Peterson
Mark Graham, GTC Research Fellow and colleague Ralph Straumann of the Oxford Internet Institute have created a map showing all the people online throughout the world. The image is a ‘hexogonal cartogram’ – each tiny hexogram represents around 470,000 people online in each country. The shading shows what percentage of the population is connected, with the darkest red representing countries with the highest Internet access rates. The visualization was built using World Bank data from 2013. It shows that nearly half of the world's Internet users live in Asia. China boasts the world's single largest online population, even though a far smaller percentage of its total population uses the Internet than in the United States and most of Western Europe. And India, despite a having a much lower Internet access rate than China, has the third largest total online population.
Read article in the Washington Post
TV: BBC World News, Impact Asia with Mishal Husain
GTC Governing Body Fellow, Professor Xiaolan Fu, professor of technology and international development at Oxford University, comments on the effect which dramatic falls in the stock market will have on the economy in China.
How we hope to reduce the pain that babies feel
Oxford Mail, p.12, 7/7/2015
In this week’s University Life column, Rebeccah Slater, Head of Paediatric Infant Pain and Anaesthesia group and Associate Professor of Paediatric Neuro-imaging and Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow at Oxford University, writes about her research which used MRI to find that babies feel pain in the same way as adults.
She writes: ‘Recent work performed at the University of Oxford by Sezgi Goksan, Caroline Hartley and other colleagues showed that the patterns of brain activity triggered when a baby experiences pain are extremely similar to those observed when adults experience pain. These novel brain-imaging techniques are particularly useful in researching babies’ responses because they may be more sensitive compared to simple observations of infant behaviour.
Read Article in the Oxford Mail
Let UK universities do what they do best – teaching and research
The Guardian online, 06/07/2015, Letters
Letter calling for a halt to “government regulations and managerial micro-management” of UK universities is co-signed by John Furlong, GTC Emeritus Professor of Education at Oxford University.
Hormones make traders take more risks
BBC News online, 02/07/2015
Raised levels of the hormones testosterone and cortisol can make traders take more risks, which could create instability in financial markets, a study by Imperial College London researchers suggests. Article includes comment from Ashley Grossman, GTC Senior Research Fellow and professor of endocrinology at the University of Oxford.
Being so, so tired
Deccan Herald online (India), 26/06/2015, Anna Magee
Article about Adrenal Fatigue syndrome and its symptoms includes comment from Ashley Grossman, GTC Senior Research Fellow a professor of endocrinology at the University of Oxford. ‘Tiredness, low blood pressure, sleepiness, salt cravings and irritability are all non-specific symptoms that a lot of us have a lot of the time. But for every one patient I see with adrenal failure, I see a thousand who are simply feeling a little under the weather,’ he says.
Read article in the Deccan Herald online
China's New Kid on the Block
The Diplomat, 25/06/2015, The Chinese insurance sector has the potential to be a major driver of outbound investment, argues Green Templeton student Marc Szepan (DPhil Management Studies).
The Guardian Online, 22/6/2015, Paul Jasper Researchers who spent two years watching seven chief executives running hospitals and mental health institutions in England suggested that many corporate failures are the result of business leaders loading themselves with the wrong information or information about the wrong things. The team from Oxford University’s Said Business School and Warwick Business School found that almost all the executives they studied created a “personal knowledge infrastructure” but they rarely considered whether it helped them and only discovered its weakness after a failure or breakdown. GTC Emeritus Fellow Keith Ruddle, comments on his study’s findings.
Bosses suffering from information overload
The Daily Telegraph, 23/06/2015, p. 5, Roland Gribben
Comment piece on the limitations of using big data for global development includes comment from GTC Research Fellow Mark Graham, director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute.
Too reliant on pills
Oxford Mail, p.9, 9/6/2015
An Oxford University research scientist has accused some doctors of overprescribing medicine. GTC Common Room Member Dr Angela Coulter made the warning after it was revealed a fifth of the population take five drugs a day to combat aliments. She said this risks harmful side-effects and patients should challenge doctors over the amount of medicines they are prescribed. Dr Coulter said: ‘In general in this country there is too much prescribing. It’s quite easy to start taking pills but stopping is more tricky.’
Old-Style Leaders Under Threat From Massive Change
Forbes (USA), 05/06/2015, Roger Trapp Feature on "Management - Where Next?", an event on 5 June marking 50 years of management studies at Oxford University organised by GTC and the Said Business School. Article mentions a panel on professional and leadership development chaired by GTC Fellow Andrew White, Associate Dean of the Saïd Business School; work by Oxford associate professor in machine learning Michael Osborne on the effects of automation and artificial intelligence on jobs; and the views of GTC Fellow Kathryn Bishop, director of the Saïd's Women Transforming Leadership program.
Read the Forbes article onlineWant to be happy? Avoid this book
The Times (Saturday Review), 08/06/2015, p. 12, Roger Lewis
Review of The Hidden Pleasures of Life, the newly published book by Oxford University's Theodore Zeldin, a GTC Associate Fellow.
Read the Times review online
New alert on prescription pill-poppers
The Daily Mirror, 06/06/2015, p.7, Andrew Gregory Article on the number of people who are prescribed five or more medications per day includes comment from Dr Angela Coulter, a senior research scientist at the University of Oxford and a GTC Common Room Member.
Breast cancer screening said to cut risk of dying by 40%
The Guardian, 04/06/2015, p.1, Sarah Boseley Women who go for breast cancer screening cut their risk of dying from the disease by 40%, according to a global panel of experts attempting to bring to an end a long-running controversy about mammograms. Prof Valerie Beral of the University of Oxford comments, suggesting that the panel may have overstated its case.
The Guardian, 04/06/2015, p.1, Sarah Boseley
GTC Governing Body Fellow, Prof Valerie Beral, director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, comments on new research suggesting that women who undergo breast cancer screening cut their risk of dying from the disease by 40%.
Breastfed babies ‘less likely to get leukaemia’
South China Morning Post, 03/06/2015, p.14, Unattributed
GTC Governing Body Fellow, Dame Valerie Beral, professor of epidemiology at the University of Oxford, comments on a new review of previously published research which suggests that breastfeeding a baby for at least six months may be linked to a lower risk of childhood leukaemia
‘Free’ school will be a government school
Oxford Times, 04/06/2015, p.30
Letter: Richard Pring of Green Templeton College writes about two competing attempts to establish a Free School in Oxford
Daily Mail, 03/06/2015, p.1, Sophie Borland
Article on new US research into statins notes in passing that Sir Rory Collins of Oxford University is to examine the records of tens of thousands of patients to establish how many may have suffered side effects from taking statins.
Forbes, 02/06/2015, Valerie Keller
GTC Alumna, Valerie Keller has written an article on business transformation discusses research carried out by the Saïd Business School and the EY Beacon Institute into change in business.
ABC Online Australia, via ABC/AFP, 02/06/2015
GTC Governing Body Fellow, Dame Valerie Beral, professor of epidemiology at the University of Oxford, comments on a new review of previously published research which suggests that breastfeeding a baby for at least six months may be linked to a lower risk of childhood leukaemia
Should health charities stop taking cash from drug firms?
Daily Mail, 02/06/2015, p. 54, Jonathan Gornall
Angela Coulter, GTC Common Room Member and a healthcare researcher at Oxford University, comments on charities taking cash from drug companies.
The digital language divide: how does the language you speak shape your experience of the internet?
The Guardian Labs, Holly Young
GTC Research Fellow, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute, Mark Graham, has been featured heavily in The Guardian Labs, "The digital language divide." The article includes commentary from Graham's extensive research on geodata biases and imbalances in searches in different linguistic groups. Read the digital language divide in The Guardian Labs
Read Mark Graham's article in The Guardian
Mindfulness is stopping the world from thinking, warns Oxford academic
Daily Telegraph online, 26/05/2015, Sarah Knapton People are wasting valuable thinking time on meditation and mindfulness and should stop trying to clear their heads, an Oxford University academic has claimed. Speaking at the Hay Festival, GTC Associate Fellow Dr Theodore Zeldin said too many people were avoiding using their brains and instead escaping into a state of blank mental oblivion.
Women in Business Q&A
The Huffington Post (US), 25/05/2015, Laura DunnProfessor Linda Scott, GTC Fellow and DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Oxford's Said Business School, is interviewed about her research on gender inequality and the Double X economy.
Read the Huffington Post article
Thought for the day: Is mindfulness bad for us?
The Daily Telegraph, 26/05/2015, p. 12, Sarah KnaptonReport of comments on mindfulness by Oxford University's Dr Theodore Zeldin, a GTC Associate Fellow. In a talk at the Hay Festival, he said: 'Life is about living, it's about going out there and meeting people and hearing their thoughts and opinions. One of the beliefs of this time is you've got to be yourself and develop your own potential but only thinking of oneself is a feeble and cowardly activity.'
Does a death sentence always mean death?
BBC News online, 23/05/2015, Charlotte McDonaldFeature on the number of death sentences which are actually carried out includes comment from Professor Carolyn Hoyle, GTC Fellow and Director of the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford, on the use of the death penalty around the world.Read the BBC News article onlineAlso:
Radio: More or Less, BBC Radio 4
TV: BBC South Today
18/05/2015, 18:36, 22:30
A special award has been given to Oxford University marking 200 years of work at its weather station. The Radcliffe Observatory holds the longest running temperature and rainfall records in the UK, with full daily weather readings dating back to 1815. Current Radcliffe observers Amy Creese and Callum Munday are interviewed about the equipment used for collecting weather readings, both today and in the past. Professor Richard Washington is also interviewed, with footage of him receiving an award from the Met Office. He accepted the award on behalf of the School of Geography and the Environment, which maintains the weather station today.
Oxford’s observatory marks 200 years of watching the weather
The Times, 16/05/2015, p.30, Paul Simons
Scientists have discovered that temperatures recorded at the world’s largest longest running weather station at the University of Oxford are mirroring the pattern of global warming across the planet’s land area. The Radcliffe Observatory, which is celebrating 200 years of continuous records, is providing evidence of how climate warming is a modern phenomenon. Professor Richard Washington of Oxford University said: ‘A host of weather records at the Radcliffe have toppled in recent years, with eight of the warmest years, and 2014 was the warmest year of all.’
15/05/2015, 5.03pm, 5.20pm
200 years of uninterrupted weather recording in Oxford was recognised by the Met Office on Friday evening. The Radcliffe Observatory at Oxford University is the world’s longest running weather station. Professor Richard Washington from Oxford University’s School of Geography and the Environment explains how the records from the weather station are being used for research.
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Radio: PM, BBC Radio 4
GTC Associate Fellow Charles Foster is interviewed about whether, if the patient demands it, a life-sustainging pace maker should be switched off.
The Daily Telegraph, 13/05/2015, p.1, Laura Donnelly
Senior doctors, including GTC Emeritus Fellow, Professor Sir Muir Gray from Oxford University, have warned that NHS patients are being given drugs and tests they may not need because GPs and hospitals are paid for the quantity not quality of their treatment. Writing in the BMJ, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said patients should be encouraged to ask if their medical procedures were really necessary, in a bid to halt over-diagnosis and needless treatment of swathes of the population. In an unprecedented intervention, the medics - who represent all 21 medical royal colleges in the UK - said too many patients were being forced to endure tests and treatments which could do more harm than good.
Read article in The Guardian
Plea for enforced ceasefire in Yemen
The Times, Letters, 09/05/2015
GTC Associate Fellow Paddy Coulter co-signs a letter calling for the international community to ensure a ceasefire in Yemen.
Read article in The Times
Turn that selfie stick on your neighbour, and live
The Sunday Times, 10/05/2015, Josh Glancy
Oxford historian, philosopher, and GTC Associate Fellow Theodore Zeldin is interviewed about his new book, The Hidden Pleasures of Life.
Read article in The Sunday Times
The West's demise is greatly exaggerated
The Telegraph, 08/05/2015, p.28, David Coleman; Stuart Basten
Article by David Coleman and GTC Governing Body Fellow Stuart Basten, Professors of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford, about their recent research: ‘…The Death of the West is a favourite demographic horror story. We know the way it goes: declining birth rates, falling populations and ruinous population ageing will reduce Europe to the margins of world political and economic power – with a similar fate ultimately befalling the United States. But it’s time to bring a halt to the stories of doom and gloom. Western Europe does not face a dismal decline and fall; and the emerging powers face many problems that their cheerleaders in the business pages often ignore. In much of the West, demographic trends are, in fact, reasonably favourable…. in some emerging economies, economic growth has raced ahead of social change. There, traditional patriarchal cultures typical of agricultural societies persist, as misfits, into the modern world. Sexes remain unequal, women retain responsibility for children, family and household, while outside the home they only very slowly approach equality with men. That can depress fertility rates to very low levels…Worse, many emerging economies are not truly democratic and do not enjoy developed justice systems, security of property or civil society... No doubt many of the developing world’s problems will be overcome. Autocratic governments retain some advantages in problem-solving and the creativity of many societies outside Europe is remarkable. But we need to pause, take stock, and take heart that, for demographic and broader reasons, the future balance between the “West and the Rest” is likely to be more nuanced, less sensational, less ruinous to the West, than we have been led to believe.’
Read article in The Guardian
Help for parents of young self-harmers
The Guardian, 08/05/2015, p.36, Professor Keith Hawton and Dr Anne Ferrey
Letter: Professor Keith Hawton, Governing Body Fellow at GTC, and Dr Anne Ferrey of Oxford University’s Centre for Suicide Research write: ‘We read Saturday’s piece on the crisis in children’s mental health with great interest (How is a child drinking poison not an emergency?, 2 May). Its description of parental distress after the discovery of a child’s self-harm rang very true. Parents tell us that, after they discover a son or daughter has been self-harming, they can feel very alone and isolated and may struggle to find help and support. At the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the charity healthtalk.org, we have developed a web-based resource to help parents to feel less alone and to give them information to help them to cope with their child’s problems. The website includes video, audio and text extracts from interviews with 39 family members of young people who have self-harmed. It covers topics such as the impact on the family, how to support the child, treatment options and advice from other parents, and provides information for parents and carers on what to expect from hospitals, schools and mental health services, plus individual families’ experiences with the healthcare system. This resource is freely available and can be found here.
Read article in The Guardian
B-Schools Are Fighting Over Top Women
Wall Street Journal (USA), 07/05/2015, p.5, Lindsay Gellman
As fewer US students show an interest in a business degree, MBA programmes are working to boost pipeline of qualified female applicants. Includes comment from GTC Governing Body Fellow Professor Linda Scott from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.
Read article in the Wall Street Journal
The Tories' £12bn benefit cuts will add to growing poverty
The Guardian, 06/05/2015, p.32, Unattributed
GTC Governing Body Fellows Professor Mary Daly and Professor Robert Walker, along with more than 60 other professors of social policy have written a letter expressing concern about the £12bn of further cuts in the social security budget that have yet to be detailed by the Conservative party: ‘The proposal the prime minister put forward last week to introduce a new law virtually preventing any rise in major taxes indicates that he intends to reduce the public sector deficit solely by cutting public spending. This would also inevitably hit the poorest hardest, including children and the working poor, and increase social inequality. The electorate have the right to know how the proposed £12bn cuts will fall. We urge all party leaders to tackle the deficit fairly, to repair the recent damage to the social security system and to cease misleading, and divisive, rhetoric such as “strivers” and “shirkers”.’
Read article in The Guardian
China's heavy tax burden heightens risk of worker revolt and more repression
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), 04/05/2015, p. 13, Stein Ringen
Stein Ringen, GTC emeritus fellow and Professor at the University of Oxford, writes an article on the effects of China’s tax burden.
Eight professors from Oxford University have been made Fellows of the Royal Society. Among them is GTC Senior Research Fellow Sir Rory Collins.
The Oxford Mail highlights Sir Rory Collins, British Heart Foundation Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology; Jane Langdale, Professor of Plant Development and Henry Snaith, Professor in Physics. [The five other new Fellows of the Royal Society from the University of Oxford are: Benjamin Davis, Professor of Chemistry; Alison Etheridge, Professor of Probability; Philip Maini, Professor of Mathematical Biology; Gero Miesenböck, Waynflete Professor of Physiology; and Dr Jonathan Pila, Reader in Mathematical Logic.]
Will men ever live as long as women?
BBC News online, 30/04/2015, Smitha Mundasad
GTC Fellow, Professor Sir Richard Peto gives expert comment in an article about new research from Imperial College London suggesting the gender gap between men and women's life expectancies is narrowing. Peto comments on the impact of smoking on life expectancy.
Population growing in West, declining in Asia: Experts
Hindustan Times (India), 29/04/2015, Prasun Sonwalkar
GTC Fellow, Stuart Basten comments that the claim by leaders from Asia that declining populations in western countries would pose a challenge in the near future is false and that the western population is in fact growing. A new paper in the journal Population Studies by researchers David Coleman and Stuart Basten says that some countries in Western Europe, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand now have birth rates relatively close to replacement, that the underlying trend in Europe is upwards. They also explained that population ageing, although inevitable, is likely to be ‘manageable’. Basten and Coleman provide a more optimistic demographic picture of the future in the West.
The hidden biases of Geodata
The Guardian, 28/04/2015, Mark Graham
GTC Research Fellow, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute, Mark Graham, has written a guest post for The Guardian explaining the findings of his analysis of one of the world’s largest placename databases. The study reveals placenames in GeoNames is dramatically skewed toward the US’s cities, towns and settlements.
Read full article in The Guardian
Smuggling doesn't cause migration. We are ignoring the real problem
The Guardian, 26/04/2015, p.18, Alexander Betts
Article by Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford and the author of Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement, on the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
Read article in The Guardian
CNN (USA), 18:27, 23/04/2015
Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, is interviewed by Christiane Amanpour, about the EU’s response to the migrant crisis.
Watch interview here
GTC Research Fellow, Dr Rebeccah Slater, is interviewed about her team’s research using MRI to study infant pain: ‘We wanted to see what happens in an infant’s brain when they experience something that an adult would describe as mildly painful, so to do this we used a special device that applies a mild force to the surface of the foot, which is a bit like being poked with a blunt pencil. We were surprised that the pattern of brain activity in the babies was remarkably similar to that which has been seen in the adults, so not only were the sensory areas of the brain activated, which encode features like where the stimulus was being applied and how intense it was, but also emotional areas associated with the unpleasantness of the experience....’ In a follow-up interview Eleri Adams, clinical director of Newborn Care Services Oxford University Hospitals, discusses the possible implications of the new findings for the care of young babies.
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Babies feel pain ‘like adults’, MRI scan study suggests
The Guardian online, 21/04/2015, Reuters 21/04/2015
GTC Research Fellow, Dr Rebeccah Slater's pioneering study on babies' response to pain shows that a baby experiences pain in the same way as an adult would.
Radio: Newsday, BBC World Service
Professor Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, comments on the EU response to the refugee crisis across the Mediterranean.
[c.01:10:21 on the clock]
Are statins worth the side-effects?
Daily Mail, 20/04/2015, p.45, UnattributedArticle on the debate on the safety of taking statins mentions GTC Senior Visiting Research Fellow Sir Rory Collins, Head of the Clinical Trial Service Unit of Oxford University, who has advised against their widespread use.
Evolution, the light-switch theory and the scriptures
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), 19/04/2015, p.13, Alex Lo
Article focuses on Andrew Parker, GTC Senior Visiting Research Fellow and Oxford University zoologist who developed the so-called light switch theory of the Cambrian era in the early 2000s in his work looking at the early formation of the earth.
Tide of refugees but the West isn’t welcoming
International New York Times, 18/04/2015, p.A1, Somini Sengupta
The war in Syria is creating the worst global refugee crisis in decades, putting new pressure on the West to open their doors — and in turn, prompting domestic political backlash. Includes comment from GTC Research Fellow Alexander Betts, associate professor of refugee studies at the University of Oxford.
Could you track down your doppelganger?
The Daily Telegraph, 18/04/2015, p.3, Sarah Knapton
Article on the chances of finding someone who looks exactly like you includes comment from GTC Honourary Fellow Sir Walter Bodmer of the University of Oxford. Read article in The Telegraph
Huffington Post (USA), 17/04/2015, Marcia Dyson
Article on or radical ways to eliminate the gender pay gap highlights the views of Professor Linda Scott, GTC Fellow and DP World Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Saïd Business School, Oxford University.
More than 140 top doctors attack government record on NHS
The Guardian, 8/4/2015
Trisha Greenhalgh, a GTC Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Primary Care at Oxford has co-signed a letter with more than 140 doctors accusing the coalition government of "broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation, which leaves health services weaker, more fragmented, and less able to perform their vital role than at any time in the NHS’s history."
Oxford Times Magazine: If I were a Carpenter
02/04/2015 pg 97-103, Richard O Smith
Profile of GTC Fellow Professor Rafael Ramirez who is a Fellow of Strategy at the Said Business School Read a pdf version of the article
The Globe and Mail, 29/03/2015, Susan KrashinskyThe Globe and Mail has quoted the work of GTC Associate Fellow, Nancy Puccinelli's Journal of Marketing paper outlining the effects of the mood mismatches between commercials and TV shows. The study has found that people are more likely to skip upbeat commercials or are less likely to remember the message when they are in a "deactivated" mood. The same goes for the reverse, showing that viewers of upbeat TV shows respond more positively to upbeat commercials.
Radio: Power Talk with Iman Rapetti, Power FM (South Africa)
26/03/2015, 09:30Wide-ranging interview with the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, Professor Andrew Hamilton, and Power FM presenter Iman Rapetti. Professor Hamilton said that the controversy around the statue of Cecil Rhodes at UCT was one for the University community to address, while defending the principle of vigorous, even contentious on-campus debate. He discussed issues around access to higher education, urging more South African students to apply for courses at Oxford. Professor Hamilton also described his visit to a rural village in Eastern Cape, where a research programme led by GTC alumna Dr Lucie Cluver is helping communities address poverty-related issues, including child abuse.Dry winter is a huge relief for businesses at risk of flooding
Oxford Mail, p.19, 25/3/2015Figures from the Radcliffe Meteorological Station - which is based in the gardens of GTC - saw winter 2013-14 produce a deluge of 334.7mm of rain, 123 per cent higher than Oxfordshire's 248 year average. This year's 145.9mm - three per cent below average - brought relief to businesses that were previously victims of severe flooding - but only cautious optimism as records show a dry winter does not guarantee a warm, dry summer.
College elects its successor to Principal who passed away
Oxford Times, 26/03/2015, p.4
Green Templeton College has announced that Professor Denise Lievesley CBE will succeed the late Professor Sir David Watson as Principal. Sir David died in February after a short period of illness. Professor Lievesley said ‘I am honoured to be offered this opportunity to build on the massive achievements of my illustrious predecessor.’Read the Oxford Mail article (PDF)
Blood of Britain's ancient tribes still runs in our veins after 1,400 years
The Daily Telegraph, 19/03/2015, p.17, Sarah Knapton Britons are still living in the same 'tribes' that they did in the 7th Century, Oxford University has found after a study into our genetic make-up published in Nature. Archaeologists and geneticists were amazed to find that genetically similar individuals inhabit the same areas they did following the Anglo-Saxon invasion, following the fall of the Roman Empire. Geneticist Professor Sir Walter Bodmer of Oxford University - who is also a GTC Honorary Fellow - said: 'What it shows is the extraordinary stability of the British population. Britain hasn't changed much since 600AD.
'When we plotted the genetics on a map we got this fantastic parallel between areas and genetic similarity. It was an extraordinary result, one which was much more than I expected. We see areas like Devon and Cornwall where the difference lies directly on the boundary.'
Read the Telegraph article onlineAlso:Genetics Britons are the people they used to be
Financial Times, 19/03/2015, p.26, Clive Cookson
The genetic make-up of Britain closely reflects its ethnic composition of more than 1,000 years ago, according to a DNA study of 2,000 people across the UK. The analysis is the 'first fine-scale genetic study of any country in the world', said Sir Walter Bodmer of Oxford university, who initiated the project in the early 1990s.
Read the FT article onlineTestosterone boost 'could cut deaths'
BBC News online, 14/03/2015, James Gallagher
Professor Ashley Grossman, an endocrinologist at the University of Oxford and GTC Senior Research Fellow, comments on new research suggesting that boosting men's testosterone levels could potentially reduce deaths from heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Read the BBC News online articleBlue plaque unveiled for renowned Oxford biologist
ITV News online, 15/03/2015, UnattributedArticle about the unveiling of a plaque to celebrate JBS Haldane, a leading scientist of the 20th century, includes comment from GTC Honorary Fellow Professor Sir Walter Bodmer from the University of Oxford.
Teaching training reforms 'critical' in Wales - review
BBC News online, 09/03/2015Teacher training is at a "critical turning point" and needs to be changed, according to a major independent review for the Welsh government. Professor John Furlong of the University of Oxford said the quality of the system had "deteriorated" since he last looked at it nearly 10 years ago.
Read the BBC News article onlineDr Harry Boardman gains media attention for HRT review
Dr Harry Boardman, a second-year Green Templeton DPhil student reading Cadiovascular Medicine, has quickly gained media attention for his research on the effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy.
By hook or by crook, jihadists fleece Britain
The Sunday Times, p.22, 08/03/2015, Tim RaymentArticle on the asylum seekers and the benefit system includes mention of research by Brian Bell, associate professor in economics at Oxford, who found that "as the proportion of asylum seekers in the population rises, there is a small rise in property crime... and no rise in violent crime. When you adjust for deprivation the difference in crime disappears. Poor refugees and poor Britons are more or less equal." Professor Alexander Betts, GTC Research Fellow and director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, also comments on whether or not the asylum system should be changed.
Read the Sunday Times article onlineStatins 'raise diabetes risk'
The Australian, via The Times, 06/03/2015, p.12Article on research in Finland suggesting taking statins could increase a man's chance of getting diabetes by 46 per cent includes comment from Keith Frayn, GTC Emeritus Fellow and emeritus professor of human metabolism at the University of Oxford. 13 steps towards ending poverty and climate change
The Guardian online, 02/03/2015, Eliza AnyangweLinda Scott, GTC Fellow and chair for entrepreneurship and innovation at Oxford University, comments that 'many of the forces that propel poverty into the future ... are best addressed by working to improve the economic autonomy of women.'
Read the Guardian article onlineScholar was an international influence on higher education
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), 02/03/2015, Glyn Davis Obituary for Sir David Watson, Principal of Green Templeton College who passed away on 8 February.
Second sunniest winter since city records began
Oxford Mail, p.5, 02/03/2015Oxford 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 onlineAusterity is fuelling increase in suicide, says MP
The Guardian, 19/02/2015, p.17, Caroline DaviesProfessor 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 onlineEbola: The race to find a cure
The Guardian, 17/02/2015, p. 27, Sarah BoseleyFeature 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 onlineHRT 'doubles risk of ovarian cancer'
The Daily Telegraph, 13/02/2015, p.1, Victoria Ward Read the Daily Telegraph articleColleagues pay tribute to Sir David Watson's career
Times Higher Education, 12/02/2015, Jack GroveTributes 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 podcastSir David Watson dies aged 65
Times Higher Education online, 09/02/2015, Chris ParrSir 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 DaviesA 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 articleCan 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 onlinePassing 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 WhippleAshley 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 onlineAlso:
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 ParryRead the Mail Online article Online article
City sees sunniest December since records began
Oxford Mail, p.5, 24/01/2015Oxford 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 onlineImprovisation puts a spring in the step of plodding managers
Financial Times, 26/01/2015, p.12, Emma De VitaInstead 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 onlineWhy 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
21/01/2015, 16:34Observers 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 ShepherdOpinion 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
14/01/2015, 07:53Professor 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.