News in brief
5 March 2014
Debate on feminism marks International Women's Day
A lively debate on the future of feminism will be held at the University of Sheffield on Friday (7 March 2014) ahead of International Women’s Day.
The event, hosted by the Women@TUOS Network, will be chaired by journalist and broadcaster Libby Purves and cover topics including challenging and ending male supremacy, tackling domestic violence and the importance of creating and sustaining feminist alliances.
Members of the panel, who will present their views to 100 guests from across the University and city, include provocative feminist Bea Campbell, postmodern feminist Dr Zahra Tizro, activist feminist Dr Finn Mackay and black feminist Dr Anita Franklin.
The discussion is part of the annual global celebration of International Women’s Day on Saturday (8 March) and also forms part of the University of Sheffield’s Living with Difference project, directed by Pro -Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences Gill Valentine, funded by the European Research Council.
The Women@TUOS Network aims to support women staff in their career development by acting as a forum for discussion and a unified voice to help raise issues and address the career challenges that women face.
The debate will be held in Firth Hall in Firth Court from noon-3pm.
4 February 2014
School teams up with University to tackle heart disease
Sixth-form pupils have teamed up with scientists at the University of Sheffield to tackle the challenges of real biomedical science in their school laboratories.
The initiative - funded by science research charity The Wellcome Trust – is part of a national project called Authentic Biology and has seen the University’s Department of Biomedical Science working with students from Tapton School in Sheffield to research heart disease.
Students presented their results to a conference at The Wellcome Trust in London and following their talks were faced with wide ranging questions from the audience, including Lord Winston.
Professor Matthew Holley who leads the collaboration for the University said the student presentations had shown a high level of insight and understanding.
Following the presentation the pupils were visited in school by leading science educator Sir John Holman, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of York and Senior Education Adviser to The Wellcome Trust.
Talking about the project, Sir John said: "School-based research like this is about as good as it gets in education."
30 January 2014
New appointments for INSIGNEO team
A groundbreaking University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust initiative that will eventually see diseases treated using virtual models of the human body has appointed two leading scientists to its team.
Dr Andrew Swift, a radiologist, and Dr Alisdair McNeill, a clinical geneticist, have joined the INSIGNEO team (Institute for in silico Medicine). INSIGNEO is making groundbreaking developments to enable sophisticated computing technology in healthcare to be used directly in clinical practice to improve diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Speaking about the appointments, Marco Viceconti, Scientific Director of the Insigneo institute, said: “Dr Swift will reinforce INSIGNEO’s clinical research in the area of cardio-respiratory radiology; we hope he will provide an essential drive to the success of a new initiative in imaging and modelling while Dr McNeil will explore the territory between genotype and disease phenotype in a strategic area for our institute, neurology.
“We are very excited by these new appointments, INSIGNEO today is much stronger.”
21 January 2014
MND patients set to benefit from generous boost to pioneering research
Pioneering world-class research conducted at the University of Sheffield to help patients with a progressive neurodegenerative disease has been given a boost thanks to a generous donation.
The Westfield Health Charitable Trust has awarded the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) £19,000 to develop a range of resources, including a DVD booklet and web app) to help patients and their families use non-invasive ventilation (NIV) machines correctly in order to prolong good quality of life.
Up to one third of patients do not currently use NIV machines as instructed which can lead to a shorter life and the suffering of more symptoms. A recent study highlighted a poor understanding of what NIV was for, what the benefits of using it were and how to troubleshoot simple problems.
Dr Christopher McDermott, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Neurology at the University of Sheffield, said: “The SITraN research team and I are immensely grateful to the Westfield Health Charitable Trust for this generous contribution which will enable this project to go ahead. Providing a good quality of life to those who suffer from MND is incredibly important.”
For more information about SITraN visit http://sitran.dept.shef.ac.uk/
To learn more about Westfield Health Charitable Trust visit http://www.westfieldhealth.com/about/charitable.aspx
20 January 2014
Artist-in-Residence for 2014 announced
The University of Sheffield has secured a grant from the Leverhulme Trust for a city writer to be Artist-in Residence for 2014.
Rachel Genn, who has a background in neuroscience, will work in collaboration with Professor Paul Overton, from the University’s Department of Psychology, to create a gallery at Bank Street Arts, in Sheffield, with the theme ‘regret’.
The gallery will consist of a fictional institution called, The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret, and will investigate a range of invented characters and their story of regret from the middle-aged stalker of a rock musician to a body dysmorphic woman.
Rachel, who grew up in Sheffield, is the author of The Cure, a novel following the life of an immigrant in London and the impact regret has on his behaviour. Her second book, What You Could Have Won, which is in progress, explores how regret might power and maintain an undesirable relationship.
Rachel has also recently given talks on the plausibility of science in fiction and the use of literary metaphor in opening up scientific questions.
16 January 2014
Festival of Britten hits the high notes
A University of Sheffield festival to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of acclaimed UK composer Benjamin Britten has attracted more than 10,000 people.
The Department of Music’s Boy Was Born festival ran from January to December 2013 and included more than 50 events including concerts performed by local schoolchildren.
Concerts Manager for the Department of Music and Festival Director, Stewart Campbell, said: “It’s been an inspirational year, a real melting pot of creativity. Britten was very much inspired by his local surroundings and composed music for his local community. I’m enormously proud of all the individuals, ensembles and organisations from our own creative community in Sheffield who joined together to produce this incredible body of work.
“The festival has highlighted the importance music making plays in our city’s vibrant cultural landscape and the wealth and diversity of talent we’re privileged to have on tap here in Sheffield.”
The festival also attracted TV stars including Jenny Agutter known from BBC One’s Call the Midwife.
16 January 2014
National award for ground breaking project which reveals London's social history
The University of Sheffield's pioneering 'Locating London's Past' website, which enables users to explore the capitals history, from the world's first gay scene to eighteenth century riots, has scooped a national award.
The unique interactive map, which was launched in 2011 by Robert Shoemaker, Professor of Eighteenth-Century British History, and Digital Manager Mike Pidd, from the Humanities Research Institute, was awarded the 2014 British Society for Eighteen-Century Studies (BSECS) Prize for Digital Resources.
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) funded project is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, Hertfordshire, London and the Institute of Historical Research.
The ground breaking website revolutionised our understanding of London's history and gave users the chance to discover information from a vast array of sources covering crime and punishment, the distribution of wealth and poverty, the ownership of goods and mortality.
Trial accounts from the Old Bailey, tax and population data, and even archaeological records can all be uploaded onto John Rocque's famous 1746 map of London, now fully referenced to modern geographical coordinates by Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).
For further information please visit www.locatinglondon.org
10 January 2014
Funding will enable students to help solve UK economy issues
The University of Sheffield has received a share of funding to offer postgraduate training in fields important to the UK’s economy.
The funding announced on Thursday, 9 January 2014, by Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, will see the University working with the University of Southampton to launch a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Energy and Storage and its Application to tackle the challenges in developing workable energy storage technologies.
The funding will also cover the renewal of two existing CDTs; a centre in Advanced Metallics in collaboration with the University of Manchester and STREAM IDC, a water research centre which the University is a partner institution in.
The CDTs come in addition to two centres announced in November and are being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The announcement brings the total investment in CDTs nationally to £390m.