In recent months staff at the University of Nottingham have received a flurry of awards and been included in prestigious national programmes in recognition of their work.
The 2008 Shaw Prize for Life Science and Medicine, known as ‘the Nobel’s of the East’ in recognition of groundbreaking academic and scientific accomplishments, has been attributed to a Nottingham academic. Professor Keith Campbell, who was instrumental in the creation of Dolly the Sheep, has been named joint winner of this year’s award for his pioneering work in stem cell research.
Professor Richard James, a ‘superbug’ expert and head of the School of Molecular Medical Sciences, has also received an international award. He was presented with the Communications Award from the Society for Applied Microbiology, which recognises people who have raised the profile of their work. James stated that, ‘as scientists who receive public money to support our research it is incumbent on us to seek to inform a wider audience on what we do and why we do it.’
Several members of staff have also been honoured by their inclusion in programmes of national historical and legal importance. Professor Matthew Jones, of the University’s School of American and Canadian Studies, has been appointed to a four-year government project to write a comprehensive history of the Chevaline programme, which referred to nuclear plans in the Cold War era. As a Cabinet Office official historian, Professor Jones will have unprecedented access to government documents and archival sources. This is a prospect at which he is understandably highly enthused, stating that: ‘this is a unique and exciting opportunity to investigate and compile the authoritative history of one of the most controversial programmes of post-war British defence policy.’
Similarly, Professor Paul Fenn, of the Nottingham University Business School, has been appointed by the Ministry of Justice to scrutinise the ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements in England and Wales. Alongside a team of experts he will help to research the current system following concerns they work against the interests of the public and do not provide justice. Professor Fenn said: ‘The emergence of no win, no fee agreements has generated much debate. We believe there is a pressing need for independent, objective research to inform policy in relation to this debate.’
By Sophia Hemsley