Oxstu Bitesize: Issue 217th July 2017 By Charlie Willis
Oxford keeps ticking even when its students are on holiday – so we at the OxStu News team have put together a weekly newsletter for all your Oxford news in one quick bite. Every Monday, to start your week, we’ll bring student, university, research and city news all together in one place.
Bod acquires Labour politician’s archives
The Bodleian Libraries have obtained the personal archives of Denis Healey, Baron Healey, a Labour politician, International Secretary of the Labour Party, Secretary of State for Defence and Chancellor of the Exchequer. The collection includes Healey’s diaries spanning 90 years, accounts of his travels in Europe during the 1930s including Nazi Germany, correspondence with other key Labour party members including Clement Attlee, Tony Benn, and Jim Callaghan, and personal notes from Cabinet meetings.
OU Press celebrates financial growth
The Oxford University Press is celebrating an impressive 11 percent headline growth among other achievements and progress this year. See our article for details.
BBC Proms 2017
Oxford University’s musicians are well-represented at this year’s BBC Proms, a major classical music festival running from 14 July to 9 September. Natalie Clein, Director of Performance, is appearing in the premiere of Brian Elias’ cello concerto. Professor Robert Quinney and alumnus William Whitehead are performing Bach in the same programme as alumnus Daniel Saleeb’s new chorale prelude. Professors Suzanne Aspden and Daniel Grimley are introducing Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Nielsen’s Second Symphony respectively.
Online criticism over documents posted by Wikileaks played a key role in Hillary Clinton’s defeat in last year’s US presidential election, according to a new study by the University. The research, to be presented at the Social Informatics 2017 conference in Oxford in September, claims that the Democrat was more under fire on social media than her rival Donald Trump.
Internet and Education
According to Oxford University research by the Internet Institute, physical bullying remains more common than cyberbullying. The study found that less than one percent of 15-year-olds in England regularly experienced bullying online, while 27 percent experienced it in person.
A major Oxford University study by the Department of Education has found that sending a two-year-old to a nursery school, playgroup or child minder is more beneficial for their development than a nanny. The findings hold true regardless of the richness of the home learning environment.
Physics and Engineering
Oxford academics David Sloan and Rafael Alves Batista, working with Harvard astrophysicist Abraham Loeb, have published the results of a study on the survivability of tardigrades, a phylum of microscopic invertebrates, in cataclysmic cosmic events. The study used models to calculate the chances of their survival of killer asteroids, supernovae and gamma ray bursts. Findings indicated that in the event of huge amounts of radiation bombarding Earth, some species of tardigrades would be wiped out by the oceans boiling away from the onslaught, not by the radiation itself.
Chemistry, Biology and Medicine
A new technique for detecting early signs of coronary artery disease has been developed by a team led by Professor Charalambos Antoniades, Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford. Previous diagnostic methods relied on detecting damage caused by buildup of plaque in the arteries serving the heart, which caused blockages whereas the new method looks at changes in fat composition to indicate the inflammation which precedes plaque. This allows for early screening and preventative care.
The University has found that taller men are more likely to die from prostate cancer than shorter men. Every extra four inches in a man’s height led to a 21 percent increased risk of developing high-grade deadly tumours and a 17 percent greater chance of death from the disease.
Charging points for taxis to be installed
Oxford City Council has outlined plans to install £500,000 of electric vehicle charging points for taxis and to phase out older hackney cabs from service in a further attempt to reduce air pollution in the city. See our article for details.
Oxford invited to Perm marathon
Perm’s inaugural marathon will feature runners from Oxford, officially twinned with the Russian city since 1995. The event will take place the first weekend of September and all finishers will receive a commemorative medal, with winners taking home diplomas, souvenirs and money prizes.
Festival of Archaeology 2017
The annual Festival of Archaeology is running from 15 to 30 July, and features exhibitions and experiences across Oxfordshire. Oxford Castle is allowing visitors to handle medieval artefacts and make clay pots, and is hosting a talk by David Radford, Oxford City Council Archaeologist, on recent archaeological investigations in the area. The Ashmolean is also hosting an activity weekend, with talks, tours, hands-on workshops and live reenactments. Other events are being held in Sunningwell, Stanford in the Vale and Wallingford.
In case you missed it, here’s last week’s newsletter, Issue 1.
Oxstu Bitesize 17/07/17 – compiled by Charlie Willis and Liam Frahm.