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Cardiff University in the News - June & July 2010

Cardiff University in the News

A selection of news highlights from the media in June & July 2010. The Public Relations office is responsible for preparing and distributing media releases on behalf of the University and each year responds to more than 600 calls from the media (ranging from expert comment to filming location requests).

Graduation highlights

stephen-fry-graduationGraduation Week was not only a memorable highlight of July for thousands of students, staff, and parents it also attracted widespread media interest. Fans of Honorary Fellow Stephen Fry followed his graduation experience on Twitter as he posted a photo of himself in his graduation robes, and encouraged his 1, 612, 690 followers to tune in to the graduation webcast. ITV Wales came to St David’s Hall to interview him before the ceremony, and coverage of his Fellowship also appeared in The Sun, the South Wales Echo, and the Western Mail.

dr-allison-johnDr Allison John

The remarkable story of another of this year’s graduates, Dr Allison John, made headlines around the world. Allison completed medical studies at Cardiff whilst becoming the UK’s first woman to have all four major organs transplanted. Her achievements featured in the New York Daily Times, Malaysia Sun, Argentina Star, the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Star, Metro, BMA News, and the South Wales Echo.

The School of Mathematics’ ceremony also received media interest, as its graduates included Alex Thorne who achieved a First in his degree at the age of just 15, and European Light-heavyweight boxing champion Nathan Cleverly, who described his years at Cardiff as "the best of my life". Coverage included The Independent on Sunday, ITV Wales, BBC Wales, Sky Sports News, BBC News online, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Star, the Western Mail, and the South Wales Echo.


futurity-logoCardiff is one of the first UK universities to partner with international research news website Futurity. All partners are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) or the Russell Group.

Cardiff research featuring on Futurity in June and July included a study suggesting why lithium works as a treatment for bipolar disorder, the use of new technology in sporting contests, and a potentially bleak future for China’s finless porpoises.

Automotive expertise

Dr Peter Wells, Cardiff Business School’s Centre for Automative Industry Research, provided expert comment for the New York Times and the Boston Globe on the Porsche announcement that it was replacing its chief executive with a manager from Volkswagen. He was also quoted in the Detroit Times on the problems of overcapacity in the European motor industry.

World-leading research

There was widespread national media interest in an article by Dr Tim Brain, recently retired chief constable of Gloucestershire, now Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff’s Universities' Police Science Institute, on the scale of cuts facing the police service in the UK. Dr Brain appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Independent, Police Review, and the Western Mail.

There was also widespread national and regional coverage in the UK and Ireland of research carried out by the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies on behalf of the BBC Trust. Head of School, Professor Justin Lewis and Dr Stephen Cushion found significant improvements in BBC news coverage of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

blue-icebergsResearch from the School of Psychology and the Welsh School of Architecture showed that, despite a decline in concern about climate change, the majority of the British public still believe the climate is changing and are prepared to act on this. The survey was covered extensively in national, local, and trade press, including The Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Western Mail, and BBC Online.

Dr Paola Borri, School of Biosciences, featured in the South Wales Echo and BBC Wales Online, when she secured £1.1M Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Leadership Award for her world-leading microscopy project.

Professor Chris Jones, School of Computer Science and Informatics, launched a web-based survey, in collaboration with the Ordnance Survey, to compile knowledge of the informal place names in Great Britain. He discussed the benefits of this project on BBC Radio Wales.

Answering the big questions

cancer-stem-cell-research-institute-logoA key event in the University’s calendar in June was the announcement of three new world-leading Research Institutes, each offering radical new approaches to big questions. The new Institutes are: the Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute; the Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Institute; and the Sustainable Places Research Institute. The announcement attracted media interest, with University staff appearing on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, and Good Morning Wales to discuss the new Institutes.

neuroscience-research-institute-logoThe Western Mail and the South Wales Echo both covered the launch extensively, and the Western Mail also ran an indepth look at the Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Institute, including an interview with its Director, Professor Michael Owen.

sustainable-places-research-institute-logoIn a special Go Green supplement in the Western Mail in July, Professor Terry Marsden, Director of the new Sustainable Places Research Institute, argued that the time has come to take a new approach to securing a sustainable future.

Stay up to date with news from the new Research Institutes by signing up to follow them on Twitter:

Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute

Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Institute

Sustainable Places Research Institute

Exploring the Universe

Scientists from the School of Physics and Astronomy had a busy summer. Professor Derek Ward-Thompson and Dr Chris North appeared on Sky at Night, BBC’s flagship space programme, to discuss the Herschel Telescope’s latest findings with Sir Patrick Moore.

all-skyviewImage credit: ESA / LFI and HFI Consortia

Dr Paul Roche was appointed Wales’ first "Space Ambassador" as part of a major UK programme funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Department for Education. Dr Roche appeared on Good Evening Wales and articles appeared on BBC online and in the South Wales Echo.

Dr Chris North was interviewed by ITV News, BBC Radio Wales, and Good Evening Wales, on how Cardiff astronomers helped reveal unique images of the entire sky which could provide new insights into the way stars and galaxies form and reveal how the Universe itself came to life after the Big Bang.

Reviving Y Gŵr Cadarn

A team from the School of Welsh, led by Fulbright scholar Dr Sarah Campbell revived and presented Y Gŵr Cadarn, one of the earliest known plays in Welsh, to audiences at St Teilo’s Church, St Fagans in June. There was a lot of local interest in the event, which was covered by the South Wales Echo, S4C and BBC Wales.

Media services

University staff can sign up for the Daily Media summary, prepared by the Communications and International Relations Division, by emailing: . The media summary is prepared from web news sources, local news media and national newspaper education supplements.

Staff can also view copies of articles in full via the comprehensive news database Lexis Nexis. Copies of coverage from the last month can also be requested from the Public Relations Office. Please contact Jessica Kelly ( or 70298) or Catrin Palfrey ( or 70293).

If you have a potential news story, please contact the Public Relations Team.