05-2006 Press Releases

30/05/2006: Queen's Professor Wins Prestigious Faraday Medal For World-Leading Contribution To Electronics Engineering
29/05/2006: Dublin graduates of Queen’s Belfast hear of "unique role"
29/05/2006: Earthworks a boost for local archaeology
26/05/2006: Queen's Academics Report on Transparency of European Bond Markets
26/05/2006: Famous Formula One Designer to speak at Queen's University
24/05/2006: People are taking music more into their own hands
24/05/2006: Queen's University Mace to feature in "The People's Museum"
23/05/2006: New Research at Queen's University Explores Northern Ireland Migration
23/05/2006: Queen's Scientist in FameLab final
22/05/2006: Queen's Students Swap View of Cave Hill for Capitol Hill
19/05/2006: Queen's University Belfast and Amity University India discuss new areas of collaboration
19/05/2006: Integrated Education in Northern Ireland and Israel – Striking Similarities found in Case Study
18/05/2006: World-famous lecture series explores the Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages
18/05/2006: World's top Tenor to Headline 2006 Belfast Festival at Queen's
17/05/2006: School of Chemistry at Queen's University Belfast goes to top of the UK rankings
16/05/2006: New Drama Production Featuring Queen's Students Begins at QFT Studio Theatre
16/05/2006: Inauguration of Robson Organ Completes the Restoration of Great Hall at Queen's
16/05/2006: Primary schoolchildren see the wonders of science at Queen's
11/05/2006: New Research Grants for Health and Life Sciences at Queen's University
10/05/2006: Museums and Galleries Month: Happy Birthday Florence!
08/05/2006: Ending Terrorism and Insurgencies post 9/11
08/05/2006: Health and Life Sciences at Queen's Research Showcase
05/05/2006: Queen's "UK leader in promoting gender equality" - Gregson
05/05/2006: Queen's hosts Harvard MBA Entrepreneurial Marketing Expert in First Trust Innovation Lecture
04/05/2006: Local Writers Share Their Memories of Broadcasting in BBC NI Exhibition at Queen's
03/05/2006: Shameless Irish stereotypes on British Television
02/05/2006: 14CHRONO Centre at Queen's Announces New Seminar Series for May
02/05/2006: Queen's University Major Boost of £1 million to support new Academic Fellowships
02/05/2006: Queen's University Launches European Standards on Confidentiality in Healthcare


Queen's Professor Wins Prestigious Faraday Medal For World-Leading Contribution To Electronics Engineering
Queen's Professor John McCanny, awared the Faraday medal
Queen's Professor John McCanny, awared the Faraday medal

Professor John McCanny, Director of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), at Queen's University Belfast, has been awarded the Faraday Medal, in recognition of his world-leading contributions to Electrical Engineering. Awarded by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, one of the largest engineering and technology institutions in the world, the Faraday Medal is its most prestigious honour.

Founded in 1922 to acknowledge those who have played a significant part in shaping the world as we know it, the Faraday Medal pays tributes to McCanny’s pioneering advancements in the design of Silicon Integrated Circuits for Digital Signal Processing.

Professor McCanny helped develop the vision that led to the creation of the new £40M Institute for Electronics Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), located in the Northern Ireland Science Park, Belfast. Now housing over 130 researchers, ECIT’s overall objective is the creation of a world leading research facility that specialises in key and interrelated areas of electronics, communications and computer technology, in particular ones that underpin important opportunities for industrial application over the next decade.

Professor McCanny also co-founded two successful high technology companies, Audio Processing Technology Ltd. and Amphion Semiconductor Ltd, and in a multi award-winning career, spanning more than thirty years, has published over 300 major journal and conference papers, holds 25 patents and has published five research books.

A Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IEEE and the Irish Academy of Engineering, other major awards for the Professor from Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, include a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal for outstanding contributions to UK engineering leading to commercial exploitation in 1996, an IEEE 3rd Millennium medal, The Royal Dublin Society/Irish Times Boyle Medal in 2003 and in 2002 a CBE for contributions to engineering and higher education.

Professor McCanny will be the first person to receive the Faraday Medal from the new Institution of Engineering of Technology, which has been formed by the Institution of Electrical Engineers and Institution of Incorporated Engineers. Previous Faraday medallists include Sir Ambrose Fleming who developed a device to enable commercial radio services and more recently Professor CK Kao who developed fibre optics.

Upon hearing of his achievement Professor McCanny said: “I am delighted to receive this award and proud to be a part of such a distinguished history of former Faraday Medallists. I am also particularly honoured to be the first recipient of this award from the new Institution. The past few years have been a very exciting time for those of us involved in the design of integrated circuits for Digital Signal Processing. I am especially pleased that Northern Ireland is now considered to be at the very forefront of this work internationally thanks to the high calibre team of specialists we have been able to assemble at ECIT.”

Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: “The award of the Faraday Medal acknowledges Professor McCanny’s standing as a world-leading figure in the rapidly-evolving field of digital signal processing. His contribution to both Queen’s and Northern Ireland is immense. He has played a major role in enhancing Queen’s international research reputation and in helping to boost local economic prosperity through transforming his academic discoveries and those of his research teams to commercial success. “Professor McCanny epitomises the best of Queen’s. I am delighted to extend to him the University’s wholehearted congratulations on this very well-deserved honour.”

Sir John Chisholm, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology added: “The Faraday Medal is the highest accolade that the Institution can offer, demonstrating the Institution’s ongoing commitment to recognising, rewarding and promoting the achievements of exceptional individuals within engineering and technology all over the globe. Professor McCanny’s exemplary career is an example of some of the great dynamic thinkers driving the engineering and technology industry forward.”

The Faraday Medal will be presented to Professor McCanny on 11th October at the Institutions’ annual ‘Innovation In Engineering’ Awards at Savoy Place.

Professor John McCanny obtained his Bachelors degree in Physics from the University of Manchester in 1973, a PhD in Physics from the University of Ulster in 1978, and a DSc (higher doctorate) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Queen's University Belfast in 1998.

ECIT at Queen’s
The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) is a £40 million world-class centre with a unique focus on blue skies, strategic and industrial research projects. ECIT brings together, in one building, internationally renowned research groups from Queen's University, Belfast specialising in key areas of advanced digital and communications technology. The Institute extends the significant links Queen's has already developed with major industrial partners and research centres throughout the world. In addition, it provides hot-housing and incubation facilities to encourage and support the establishment and development of new companies.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology
The Institution of Engineering and Technology reflects the interdisciplinary, global and inclusive nature of engineering. With a worldwide membership of more than 150,000, the Institution aims to lead in the advancement of engineering and technology by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and ideas at a local and global level and promoting best practice, ensuring that its members are thoroughly equipped to meet the needs of today's rapidly changing technological world. Members work in a diverse range of technical backgrounds including IT, communications technology, electronics, power engineering, software, control, informatics and manufacturing and range from students to leading figures in industry, research and development and academia. The Institution has been formed by the Institution of Electrical Engineers and Institution of Incorporated Engineers. More information about the Institution of Engineering and Technology can be found at www.theiet.org

Faraday Medal
The Faraday Medal is a bronze medal established in 1922 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the first meeting of the Society of Telegraph Engineers (now the Institution of Engineering and Technology, previously the Institution of Electrical Engineers). The Faraday Medal is awarded annually to recognise notable scientific or industrial achievement in engineering or for conspicuous service rendered to the advancement of science, engineering and technology. The medal is awarded without restriction as regards nationality, country of residence or membership of the Institution.

For further information, plese contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384


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Dublin graduates of Queen's Belfast hear of "unique role"

Dublin-based graduates of Queen's University Belfast will have a unique role to play in the University's centenary celebrations in 2008.

At a special reception in the city tomorrow (Tuesday), the University’s graduates will be told of Queen's plans to celebrate its 100th anniversary as a university and its ambitious Vision for the Future.

Guest of honour will be Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson who will be attending his first official alumni event in the Irish capital.

The Vice-Chancellor said: “I am really looking forward to meeting our graduates in Dublin. As the University starts to look ahead to the centenary of our Charter in 2008, it’s a real opportunity for me to outline the plans we have for the future of Queen's and to hear graduate views of their Alma Mater.

“Queen’s graduates are a hugely important component of the University’s global network and play a major role in supporting our ambitious Vision for the Future. We have a strong worldwide association network – including a vibrant group in Dublin – which will be the backbone of the celebrations in 2008.”

The current President of the Queen’s Dublin Association is Brendan Keenan, Finance Editor of the Irish Independent. The Association was set up in the early 1990s with the support of Queen’s graduate and then Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gay Mitchell. It promotes regular contact between alumni in the Dublin area and maintains links with their Alma Mater in Belfast.

Guest speakers at the Association’s annual dinner have included two of the most famous Queen’s graduates now resident in Dublin – President of Ireland Mary McAleese and Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney.

For further information, please contact: Gerry Power, 028 9097 5321 Anne Langford, 028 9097 5310

The Queen’s University Association Dublin reception will take place in Newman House, 85-86 St Stephen’s Green from 6.30 to 8.00pm. Media facilities will be available. Some 1,000 Queen’s graduates live in the greater Dublin area.


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Earthworks a boost for local archaeology

Archaeologists from Queen's University Belfast consider the new Regional BBC programme Earthworks a breakthrough in delivering a short message that the study of past human history and environments are not just interesting but exciting.

Dr Eileen Murphy who will contribute to one of the forthcoming programmes showing on Thursdays on BBC Northern Ireland acknowledged that interest in archaeology received a great boost through the Time Team series presented by Tony Robinson which was broadcast throughout the UK and is hoping that Earthworks will do the same locally.

“To have a regional programme here about Northern Ireland will bring a range of experience about the past to many people simply about things that they did not know but we think they will find interesting. Programmes Two and Four will reveal the work of two researchers from the Queen’ University Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork at St. Patrick’s Church Armoy. Excavations at the site during the summer of last year suggest ecclesiastical use dating back to St. Patrick himself in the 5th century while a stone refuge tunnel called a souterrain dating to about 900AD were uncovered. These because an extension for the graveyard was being planned last year and the television cameras from Earthworks were there to capture these new discoveries.”

Dr Murphy’s own contribution will examine what skeletal remains excavated from burial grounds at Portmuck in Islandmagee can tell us about life and death in past societies and will reveal the science involved identifying what is believed to be the skeleton of a professional soldier recovered during excavations at Kilroot, Co Antrim. The scientists then proceeded to have a specialist reconstruct the skeleton’s face to get an impression of how this person may have looked when he was alive.

Notes The BBC Northern Ireland programme Earthworks started a four week series on Thursday 25 May and is broadcast at 9.30pm every Thursday. The School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast provides many of the graduates working in state or public archaeological organisations, museums and private archaeological units and scientific, environmental and palaeoenvironmental areas linked to heritage management, tourism and planning in Ireland and the UK.

For further information, please contact: Communications Office, 028 9097 3087


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Queen's Academics Report on Transparency of European Bond Markets

Two reports commissioned by the European Commission and featuring research by Queen’s academics on the corporate and government bond markets in Europe have just been released. Compiled under the auspices of the CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research), the reports hope to inform input from a variety of associations into the review of non-equity market transparency required by the MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive), which is due for completion in November 2007.

Entitled, European Corporate Bond Markets: Transparency, Liquidity, Efficiency and European Government Bond Markets: Transparency, Liquidity, Efficiency, the reports were compiled by Professor Michael Moore, Professor of Finance in the School of Management and Economics at Queen’s and Peter Dunne, Lecturer in the School.

Recognising that these markets play a key role in the financial system, the studies were designed to investigate the extent to which their secondary markets operate efficiently and transparently and meet the needs of different market participants, including institutional and retail investors.

The study on the government bond markets concluded that:

  • The secondary market microstructure is heavily influenced by the relationships between issuers and primary dealers.
  • Where transparency is high, trade size tends to be low. Where primary dealer obligations are greatest or where syndication is used heavily, this provides better liquidity and low spreads, but worse execution quality for large trades. Effective spreads in the US Treasury market are lower than on MTS, except for the long benchmark.
  • The differing levels of transparency seem appropriate for all major market participants.
  • The study suggests that regulatory imposition of greater transparency could adversely affect liquidity in the government bond markets.

Commenting on the findings of the government bond markets in particular, Professor Michael Moore of Queen’s said: “Regulators should be cautious in intervening in the government bond markets. They are best left to evolve further themselves, in line with future technical changes and changes in the structure of the markets.”

The study on corporate bond markets concluded that:

  • Euro-denominated bonds have tighter spreads than either sterling bonds or their US counterparts.
  • Competition is a key driver of liquidity, and this is where public policy should focus.
  • To impose pre-trade transparency via regulation would be risky, as it would require significant changes to the microstructure of the market.
  • Greater post-trade transparency would benefit some market participants but should be designed and implemented carefully and be market-led if possible.

Bruno Biais, Professor of Finance at the University of Toulouse and a co-author of the corporate bond market report, commented: “The study suggests that the supply of liquidity in the euro-denominated bond market is rather competitive, resulting in tight spreads for institutional size trades. The situation is different in the sterling-denominated bond market. The results underscore the benefits of the integrated euro market, in terms of liquidity and competition.”

Both reports are available for download at www.cepr.org.

For further information:, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or from Professor Michael Moore: 028 90 97 3208


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Famous Formula One Designer to speak at Queen's University

Professor Gordon Murray, one of the world’s most influential racing car designers, will reveal the background to his revolutionary design for the Brabham Fan Car as guest speaker at the RSA Engineering and Aerodynamics Lecture in Queen’s University on Thursday 01 June.

The South African moved to England to work in motor racing as a design draughtsman, before becoming Chief Designer and then Technical Director at Brabham, responsible for design innovations including the fan car and hydro pneumatic suspension.

The organisation had 22 Grand Prix wins: 2 World Drivers’ Formula 1 Championships and the first turbo-powered World Championship in 1983.His designs and concepts successfully challenged the then dominance of Lotus cars designed by Colin Chapman.

Gordon Murray then moved to become Technical Director at Mc Laren International, recording 29 Grand Prix wins, 2 World Drivers’ Formula 1 Championships and 2 World Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions. As Director of TAG McLaren he went on to design and produce the McLaren F1 road car which achieved Fastest Road Car of 1992 and the GTR version won 2 championships, and then Le Mans in 1995.

The famous Brabham-Alfa fan car, made its first appearance in 1978 at the Swedish Grand Prix driven by Belfast racing driver John Watson and world champion Niki Lauda. After Lauda won the race the Formula 1 authorities moved to determine the fan concept illegal saying it contravened the rules on moving aerodynamical devices. Murray claimed the fan was primarily for cooling but it was banned anyway

The background to the concept and development of the car will be the main subject of the June Lecture which is co sponsored by the RSA and Queen’s University School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, but Professor Murray will also give his views on the future he sees on the horizon for the world’s fastest cars.

The Lecture is Free and open to the public but advance booking is necessary by telephoning the Lectures Department of RSA on 020 7451 6868 or visit www.theRSA.org/events


RSA-QUB Lecture is in Room 122, The Ashby Building, Queen’s University Belfast on Thursday 01 June at 6.00pm. Advance booking through RSA detailed above.


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People are taking music more into their own hands

"From creation to distribution, people are taking music more into their own hands and the results of that will be very intriguing," according to Pedro Rebelo, Director of Research at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Queen’s University Belfast.

From a University which is engaged in training a new generation of tech-savvy acoustic researchers, recording engineers, sound designers, audiophile computer programmers, electronic composers and musical performers, Dr Rebelo says that affordable computer technology combined with the revolution created by the Internet are changing the world of music and its future.

In a current interview with the Apple Corporation for their Internet bulletin, the Portuguese musician and composer points out that very sophisticated computers are now considered efficient , affordable and in our hands, whereas five years ago that was impossible to even imagine unless you were in a very large research institution like a university. “In theory, at least, these computers are now capable of producing every possible type of sound.”

“For example,” says Pedro,” there is an ensemble I play in called BLISS, the Belfast Legion for Improvised Sights and Sounds, where a number of PowerBook performers improvise in real time. The laptops are networked together, and we swap data about our various sounds as we are listening to each other. So in the same way a jazz ensemble might improvise around an established tune, we develop parameters by which we define sections in the piece. It imposes structure on the improvisation, but in a new and challenging way. The music being made emerges out of the communal exchange of information.”

Defending the punk bands of the 70’s, the Sonic Art Research Director says the key factor is the actual intention to make music rather than the type of music you make. “One of the great things about punk was that those bands weren’t expert in guitar playing or drumming, but they emphatically had something urgent to say. So they picked up the tools that were available at the appropriate time, and they used them. These days, more and more people have access to new ways to make music, but the differentiator-whether it is worth hearing or not- should be whether people have something to say. Hopefully it is the people who have really something to say who will find their audience.”


Dr. Pedro Rebelo is Director of Research at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) in Queen’s University, Belfast.

A Feature this week on the SARC at Queen’s can be found on the Apple webpage including a background on the state of the art facilities which are controlled by a single Power Mac G5 running MAX/MSP/JITTER and The Research Director.

BLISS will perform as part of the Visonic Festival on Monday 29 May at 7.30pm at SARC

For further information, please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office 028 9097 5320 or Pedro Rebelo, 028 9097 5406


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Queen's University Mace to feature in "The People's Museum"

The Queen's University Mace, a priceless 18 carat gold ceremonial mace donated to the University in 1909, is to feature on The People’s Museum, a new national daytime series for BBC TWO.

The programme makers contacted thousands of museums and galleries in order to find a selection of the UK's most treasured items - twenty of which will be voted by viewers into the virtual People's Museum.

Presented by Paul Martin (Flogging It), the programme is being broadcast to coincide with Museums and Galleries Month in May 2006. All the items selected for The People's Museum will also be on display for the public to view during Museums and Galleries Month, giving people a unique chance to see some items which may previously have been in storage or archive for years.

The Queen’s University Mace was selected as the ‘treasure’ from the three items – the others being the Robert Hart Silver and the experiments of scientist Michael Faraday –chosen by the programme from the University’s historic collections. The Naughton Gallery at Queen's is one of just three museums picked to represent Northern Ireland.

Shan McAnena, curator of the Naughton Gallery at Queen's said: “The Gibson Mace embodies the achievements and aspirations of each graduate and of the entire University. It was made by a Northern Ireland man who went on to become a world leader in his field and left huge sums of money to further the agricultural development of this region. The symbols on the mace represent Belfast, Ulster, Ireland and the United Kingdom and this precious and beautiful object seems to embody the universal ambitions for personal improvement and a better society.”

The 18 carat gold ceremonial mace was given to Queen’s University in 1909 local goldsmith, William Gibson, a native of Dromore, Co. Down, in celebration of its new status as a University. The head of the mace is set with four allegorical figures, and the crest of Queen’s University is surrounded by semi precious stones. The mace will be the centerpiece of a brand-new interactive silver display which will be unveiled in 2007.

Originally used a weapon, maces have long been relegated to a ceremonial role and The Queen’s University Mace is always present during the conferment of degrees at Queen’s University. It was restored last year to its original splendour by the exclusive Crown Jewellers, Garrard of London, who amalgamated in 1952 with the company which William Gibson set up in London in 1880 - the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company of Regent Street.

The Queen’s University Mace will feature in the People’s Museum on BBC TWO at 3.30pm on Wednesday 31 May and you can vote for it to be included in the People’s Museum by calling 09015 225202 (calls cost just 15p) between 10.00am and midnight on Wednesday 31 May.

The 20 items with the most votes will be included in the People’s Museum and the overall winning item will be the one with the largest number of votes, so get voting! For further information on the People’s Museum, please visit www.bbc.co.uk/history

For further information on The Queen’s University Mace, please visit www.naughtongallery.org, contact the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University, University Road, Belfast, on telephone 028 90973580, email art@qub.ac.uk or drop in between 11.00am-4.00pm, Monday to Saturday.

For further information, please contact: Sarah Hughes, Communications Officer, Culture and Arts Division, 028 9097 1398, s.hughes@qub.ac.uk


  1. William Gibson – 1840-1913 William Gibson was a native of County Down Northern Ireland, having been born in Dromore in 1840. He was an apprentice to James Crozier, a watchmaker, of North Street, Belfast and subsequently opened his own business in the same street. The business was wrecked in the 1864 riots and in 1865 he acquired new premises on the corner of Donegall Place and Castle Place, which became familiarly known as Gibson’s corner. He bought out the businesses of Hugh McCormick and Joseph Lee, both successful jewellers, and established his own business as one of the foremost jewellers of its day. This business was registered as Messrs. Gibson & Co., Ltd in 1891 and continued to be the leading firm in the trade, not only in Ireland but also in the UK.

    Gibson had factories in Clerkenwell London, and Rue Martel in Paris, and in 1891 purchased the business and retail shops of Mappin Bros of Sheffield and London. The Company exhibited in Philadelphia, Paris and Chicago and Gibson was awarded the cross of the Legion d’Honneur.

    Messrs. Gibson & Co., Ltd. was the largest manufacturer of fine jewellery, silver and electro-plate in England. They produced only the highest class of goods and enjoyed the patronage of influential people. The warehouse, in Donegall Place and Castle Place, was the chief source of supply in Belfast for everything connected with the watch and jewellery trades. Their showrooms displayed gold and silverware, watches, clocks, gem jewellery and works of art. Messrs. Gibson & Co. was also manufacturers of gold and silver medals for the Commissioners of Intermediate Education, Ireland. The Company received many prize medals for ‘originality in high-class jewellery and fine watches’.

    In 1880 Gibson went into partnership with John Langman and founded the Goldsmiths’ and Silversmiths’ Company, of Regent Street, London. In 1898 it became the Goldsmiths’ and Silversmiths’ Co. Ltd. Their hallmark was originally W.G.& J. L. then became G. & S. Co. Ltd.

    The Company was a major concern producing diamonds, jewellery, bridal gifts, watches, clocks and silver and electro plate. It had substantial premises covering a quarter of an acre, on the corner of Regent Street and Glasshouse Street, which included a tea room for the benefit of its clients. In 1928 premises were totally rebuilt and went on to become the designated house of Garrard and Co Ltd, the Crown jewellers, with whom the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co. Ltd amalgamated in 1952.

    Gibson died at the age of seventy four on the 1st November 1913 at the Princes Hotel, Hove, Sussex , leaving an estate in the UK of a value of £305,601. After several bequests including £10,000 to Queen’s University, for establishment of special agricultural scholarships, Gibson directed that the residue of his property (about £150,000) should be used ‘for the purpose of assisting poor and deserving farmers and holding farms in County Down and County Antrim, Ireland’.

    Gibson spent a lot of his time at the Villa Lisnacrieve in Cannes and he also had a house overlooking Hyde Park, London. He was a Unitarian and a Unionist, although he did not take an active part in Politics. He was a member of the Ulster Reform Club.
    His legacy remains with the Gibson Institute for agricultural research at Queen’s University and the Gibson Trust Fund. 
  2. Museums and Galleries Month (29 April–4 June 2006) is the biggest celebration of its kind in the world, highlighting the wealth of opportunities for entertainment, cultural enrichment and education that UK's museums and art galleries have to offer.

    With a theme this year of Making Connections: Past, Present and Future, MGM2006 launches throughout the UK with a big Welcome Weekend (29 April–1 May) followed by hundreds of events in museums and galleries around the country.

    Visit www.mgm.org.uk or www.24hourmuseum.org.uk for further details about MGM2006 and events happening in your area.


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New Research at Queen's University Explores Northern Ireland Migration

While much has been written about migration from the island of Ireland in the 19th Century, a new research project at Queen's University is seeking to investigate migration relating specifically to Northern Ireland, and in particular, is hoping to gain an insight into the reasons why some of those people who migrated in the 1970's and 1980's have chosen to stay away, while others have returned home.

Recently awarded a £97,886 grant by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, Professor Liam Kennedy and Dr. Johanne Devlin Trew, the team behind the venture entitled, Northern Ireland Emigrant Narratives, are currently appealing for people originally from Northern Ireland, now residing in London, Liverpool, the Glasgow region and Ontario, Canada, to participate in the project.

In doing so the researchers hope to be able to examine the relationship between emigration and return migration, the Northern Ireland conflict, the Peace Process and how migration experience can forefront issues of political and religious identity and sectarianism. The interviews will then form a valuable oral archive which can be listened to via the Centre for Migration Studies webpages on the Queen’s University website.

The project follows on directly from an earlier study entitled, Narratives of Migration and Return, a recently completed study of return migration to the island of Ireland which took over two and a half years to complete. A joint project between the Centre for Migration Studies and School of History and Anthropology at Queen’s and the Department of Geography at University College Cork, recently released findings from the study show several common themes amongst those who migrated in the 1970’s and have since returned to Northern Ireland. Common themes include:

  • The main reason given for returning to Northern Ireland was ‘family’ – this included returning to care for elderly parents/relatives and a desire to have children and bring them up in NI.
  • Many people gave up better positions/circumstances to return ‘home’.
  • The belief that ‘international’ experience was actually a disadvantage in terms of finding employment upon returning to Northern Ireland – a factor attributed by the participants as being down to ‘resentment’ or ‘jealousy’.
  • A clear sense of disappointment and impatience amongst those who returned home after the Good Friday Agreement, that the peace process was not as far advanced as they had perceived whilst living abroad.
  • Frustration cited at the lack of political leadership within Northern Ireland, coupled with the lack of the ‘moderate voice’ in political debate and the belief that the moderate citizens are not being heard in the public fora.
  • A positive attitude to the arrival in Northern Ireland of immigrants from other countries and a dislike of what they described as increasing levels of racism in Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the newly launched project, Dr Johanne Devlin Trew of the Centre for Migration Studies and the School of History and Anthropology at Queen’s said: “The original study, Narratives of Migration and Return was the first detailed study of Northern Ireland migrant experience. It served to highlight shortages in the growing body of literature about Irish migration, such as the experience of those who had emigrated from Northern Ireland, particularly Northern Protestants. Therefore, in this project we are targeting London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Ontario as they are traditionally areas to which both Protestants and Catholics emigrated.

As well as revealing a range of common themes amongst returned emigrants, we found the original study raised a number of questions. In Áras an Uachtarán, for example, a candle is kept lit in recognition of the high levels of emigration from Ireland and to welcome it’s people back, while the newly revamped Article Two of the Irish Constitution also promises the Irish State will ‘cherish’ its Diaspora. It led us to ask what about Northern Ireland? Does it cherish its Diaspora, or even recognise it in any way? What is the view of home now from an emigrant’s perspective and how do Northern Catholic and Protestant migrants negotiate their identities abroad, particularly in England, Scotland and Wales?

“We hope to discover the answers to these questions and of course uncover many more views about issues surrounding migration from the island of Ireland in the new project. I would encourage those people who have family or friends living abroad to contact them and ask them to participate in the project so they can share their valuable perspectives. Their stories will help form a significant oral archive about migration from Northern Ireland and the material will form the basis for the first real major monograph on the subject.”

Anyone interested in participating in the project or seeking further information can contact Johanne Devlin Trew on 00 44 28 8225 6315 or via email via migration@magni.org.uk.

Findings from the initial Narratives of Migration & Return study can be viewed at http://migration.ucc.ie/nmr/

The Narratives of Migration and Return project, funded by the Higher Education Authority North-South Programme, was conducted by researchers based in the Centre for Migration Studies (Omagh) and School of History, Queen’s University Belfast and the Department of Geography (University College Cork). The interdisciplinary project team also involved the Department of Sociology (University of Limerick). An oral archive of 92 life narratives has been created and will be available to researchers into the future.

For further information, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or 0781 44 22 572.


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Queen's Scientist in FameLab final
Queen's PhD student, Karl Byrne from Dromara, Co. Down, who has qualified for the finals of Famelab 2006 - the competition designed to find the next David Attenborough of Science Broadcasting. Karl will compete in the Famelabs Final at the Cheltenham Science Festival next month.
Queen's PhD student, Karl Byrne from Dromara, Co. Down, who has qualified for the finals of Famelab 2006 - the competition designed to find the next David Attenborough of Science Broadcasting. Karl will compete in the Famelabs Final at the Cheltenham Science Festival next month.

A young Belfast scientist is through to the final of FameLab aiming to find the broadcast science presenters of tomorrow - the UK science equivalent of Pop Idol.

Karl Byrne (26) a researcher at Queen's University is now making preparations for the final which will be part of the Cheltenham Science Festival held in early June. Karl has also just completed two days of intensive training to allow him to produce a 99 second podcast a new feature of the competition, to test ability to make science come to life where members of the public are now encouraged to visit Channel 4’s FameLab website and vote for their favourite before Friday 09 June.

So is Karl to become a new Patrick Moore or David Attenborough?

“I have grown up watching David Attenborough on television and remember watching Life on Earth when I was really young thinking it was amazing. Every day science chips away at ignorance, revealing a little bit more about how the universe works, how we got here and yet there is still so much we do not know. Broadcasters such as Patrick Moore and Sir David Attenborough have enlightened generations of viewers to the wonders of science This is the final year of my PhD at Queen’s, researching Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A disease mainly caused by smoking, consisting of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. My work is concerned with a new drug designed to help COPD sufferers and its effects on viral and bacterial infections. My own personal quest is to see more programmes about viruses and bacteria, how they infect people, reproduce and cause disease and more material broadcast of the amazing diversity seen in the microscopic world. I think there needs to be more programmes that show just how amazing some of the scientific breakthroughs there have already been. Today we can cure with a small pill, diseases that a few decades ago were fatal. As far as being a good science communicator, I have a real passion for science and I would really like to pass on that enthusiasm to other people. Taking complex ideas and putting them in understandable terms is part of the communication challenge in science and FameLab has engaged me in doing just that.

FameLab Manager Timandra Harkness said the ten finalists all have the potential to be science broadcasters. “ To test their ability to make science come to life for the wider public, this year the finalists have been required to produce a 99 second podcast form subjects chosen by visitors to Channel 4’s FameLab website – www.channel4.com/famelab What better way to perk up your day than to hear Quantum Mechanics explained in less than two minutes, learn some amazing facts about the octopus or an explanation of why water does not burn, even though it is made up of oxygen and hydrogen. Radio broadcasting and podcasting are important outlets for Science presenters, and the 99 second challenge gives a good sense of their ability to make scientific concepts clear, concise and colourful.”

To vote for Karl (or any of the other contestants) simply email famelab@channel4.com putting the name of your preferred finalist in the subject field. (Please note, only one vote will be accepted from any single email address) Closing date Friday 09 June.

For further information, images and interviews please contact Sallie Robbins, srPR 0207249 4858 / 07733 330344 / sr@srpr.net
Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

The overall winner of FameLab will be decided at a live event at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Saturday 10 June. The finalists will have five minutes each to impress a panel of four judges. The winner will receive £2,000, the opportunity to work with a TV producer, provide ideas for science programmes on Channel 4, plus a tour of events.

Organisations supporting FameLab include: NESTA- The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts; Pfizer The Daily Telegraph; Channel 4; Research Councils UK; The British Council Oneword- DAB Digital Radio


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Queen's Students Swap View of Cave Hill for Capitol Hill

Five students from Queen's University will be swapping their view of Cave Hill for Capitol Hill this summer, when they travel to Washington to participate in the prestigious Washington-Ireland Programme for Service and Leadership (WIP) on Saturday 10 June. The programme brings outstanding Protestant and Catholic University students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to Washington, where they undertake an eight week internship in offices across the American Capital.

Paul McNickle, Crumlin; Neil Flanagan, Castlereagh; Karina Moore, Newry; Amy Stewart, Coleraine and Joanne Black from Dromore, are the lucky Queen’s students who will join 20 other students from across Ireland on the trip. Prior to leaving, the students will have already completed 30 hours of service in their own communities and will undertake a further 40 hours in a Group Service Project upon their return.

Speaking about the trip, Neil Flanagan, a second year Business and Economics student from Castlereagh, who has already shown his entrepreneurial flair with the opening of his NoGeeks internet outlets in Belfast’s Castlecourt Shopping Centre and Belfast International Airport, said: “While I have experience of working in and starting a small business, it’s not every day an opportunity comes up to work and learn via a structured programme somewhere like the World Bank. Thanks to the Washington Ireland Programme, I can now experience the workings of one of the world’s most famous corporations, in one of the World’s most renowned cities for business and governance. I will be working in the IFC Department to promote investment in developing countries and I’m hoping I will gain many new skills and insights to put to use in my future career.”

Ryan Moffett, WIP Programme Manager added: “The placements made available to students by the WIP programme are coveted by many American students who would love to spend their summers working in such prestigious placements.

“This year we had to disappoint hundreds of students who applied for a place on the programme and I believe this gives a firm indication of quality of the students selected. Many of our past graduates have gone on to secure positions with local political parties, councils and within the media and I look forward to this year’s class following in their successful footsteps.”

Queen’s students will this year undertake their internships in Congressman Peter King’s Office (Paul McNickle, Crumlin); the IFC Department of the World Bank (Neil Flanigan, Castlereagh); Congressman Jim Walsh’s Office (Karina Moore, Newry); the Northern Ireland Bureau (Amy Stewart) and Senator John McCain’s Office (Joanne Black, Dromore).

Anyone seeking further information on the 2007 programme can contact Ryan Moffett, WIP Programme Manager, Queen’s Students’ Union, 028 9097 3106.

Before and after the Washington semester, each student is challenged to get involved in a community service project that he or she has never participated in before, and one that will stretch their learning. Since 2003, WIP interns have contributed over 5000 hours of unpaid service and many have remained committed to their project long after the program has officially ended. WIP alumni carry on the program's public service tradition through their own public service organization, YES – Youth Empowerment Scheme (www.youthempowermentscheme.org).

The Washington-Ireland Programme is an extension of Project Children, a program that sponsors six-week summer holidays in the U.S. for Protestant and Catholic youth from Northern Ireland. The participants, who stay with American Host Families, range in age from 10-14 years old and come from neighbourhoods in which the Protestant-Catholic conflict has taken an especially heavy toll. For most children, these visits provide a first-time opportunity to get to know people from the other side of the sectarian divide. In its 27-year existence, Project Children has touched more than 17,000 young lives.

For further information, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384


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Queen's University Belfast and Amity University India discuss new areas of collaboration

Dr Shukla's visit is aimed at identifying areas of mutual collaboration and knowledge transfer between Queen's and Amity University, currently ranked the number one private university in India. Dr Shukla obtained her PhD at Queen's in 1989 and on her visit she will also discuss the establishment of an informal branch of Queen’s Graduates Association for Queen's alumni residing in India and South Asia.

Dr Balvinder Shukla (R), Director General of Amity Business School, Amity University, India, is pictured with Lord Rana MBE, Honorary Consul of India, Northern Ireland and President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce (Centre) and Dr M. Satish Kumar, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology Queen's University (L), during her current visit to Queens.

For further information, please contact: Communications Office, 028 9097 5384


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Integrated Education in Northern Ireland and Israel - Striking Similarities found in Case Study

A case study which has explored and found striking similarities between integrated education in Northern Ireland and Israel will be the subject of a research seminar at Queen's University Belfast today. The case study explores the educating together of Catholic and Protestant children and Palestinian and Jewish children in two troubled societies, Northern Ireland and Israel, where children are normally kept separate within the education system.

Dr Clare Mc Glynn from the School of Education at Queen’s University wrote the case study with Dr Zvi Bekerman of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and they recently presented a paper on their research to the annual conference of the influential American Educational Research Association in San Francisco.

“This was a parallel study of principals, policy makers and stakeholders in Northern Ireland and Israel, which drew out many striking similarities. There were also clear differences around the management of pupil diversity which will be further explored at today’s seminar,” according to Dr Mc Glynn. “It is argued that a cross-fertilization of theoretical perspectives is necessary both to analyse integrated school settings and identify how they can be effectively supported by their stakeholders and policymakers in the future.”

The Research seminar will be held on Friday 19 May at 1.00pm in the Cathcart Room, School of Education, 69/71 University Street, Belfast.

Dr Claire Mc Glynn is a lecturer in Education and her research interests focus mainly on integrated education, multicultural and intercultural education, education for social cohesion in conflict and post-conflict societies and teacher education for diversity.

In June 2005 Dr Claire Mc Glynn along with Dr Zvi Bekerman, organised and chaired an international conference in Jerusalem on ‘Sustained Peace Educational efforts for Social Cohesion and Co-existence in International Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies’.

For further information, please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320 or Dr Claire Mc Glynn on 028 90975960.


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World-famous lecture series explores the Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages

The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages is the overall theme for this year’s series of Wiles Lectures at Queen’s University, the first of which will take place tomorrow (Tuesday, 16 May), entitled The Boundaries of the Supernatural.

The Wiles Lectures have been delivered each year since 1954, following the foundation of the Wiles Trust. Over the years, they have become known amongst historians worldwide as one of the most prestigious of such series.

This year’s Wiles Lecturer is Professor Robert Bartlett of the Department of Mediaeval History at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Professor Bartlett is one of the world's most distinguished medieval historians. A former research fellow at Gottingen University, he is currently Professor at the University of Saint Andrews. His publications include The Making of Europe and Trial by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal.

The Wiles Trust was founded by Mrs Janet Boyd of Craigavad, Co. Down, in memory of her father, Thomas S. Wiles of Albany, New York. Its purpose is to encourage the extension of historical thinking into the realm of general ideas by inviting eminent scholars to deliver a series of lectures – normally four – relating their research to the general history of civilization.

Professor Bartlett’s lectures are as follows:

  • Tuesday 16 May Lecture 1: The Boundaries of the Supernatural
  • Wednesday 17 May Lecture 2: The Machine of This World: Ideas of the Physical Universe
  • Thursday 18 May Lecture 3: Dogs and Dog-heads: The Inhabitants of the World
  • Friday 19 May Lecture 4: The Secrets of Nature and Art: Roger Bacon’s Opus Maius.

All four lectures, which are open to the public, will take place at 5.00pm, in Room G07 of the Peter Froggatt Centre at Queen’s.

For assistance with disability access, please contact Catherine Boone on 028 90 97 3325.

For further information, please contact: Communications Office,028 9097 5384


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World's top Tenor to Headline 2006 Belfast Festival at Queen's

One of the world's finest tenors, a celebrated musical theatre company from South Africa and the world music 'kings' of "rumba flamenca" are just some of the highlights of the 44th Belfast Festival at Queen's (Thursday 19 October to Saturday 04 November), the first details of which were revealed today at the Belfast Waterfront Hall.

Speaking at the Waterfront launch, Graeme Farrow, who has just been announced as director of the 2006 Belfast Festival at Queen’s said: “Belfast Festival at Queen’s aims to refresh the parts that other events throughout the year can’t reach and we are confident that the 2006 festival programme – further details of which will be released in the coming months - will set a high benchmark for years to come.”

Topping the bill at this year’s festival is The Ulster Bank Opening Concert on Friday 20 October at the Waterfront Hall, featuring Argentine tenor José Cura with the Ulster Orchestra. José Cura is a world-renowned tenor who possesses a treacly, seductive, dangerous voice that can really raise the roof. Since he burst dramatically onto the opera scene in the late ‘90s, he has been hailed in the media as the successor to the Pavarotti-Domingo-Carreras triumvirate and baptised as "the fourth tenor".

This “phenomenally gifted artist” (The Times) has starred in performances at major opera houses across the world and following his Belfast Festival at Queen’s appearance – (his only UK and Ireland date of 2006, at which he will he will sing and conduct arias and overtures from some of the world’s greatest operas) - he will play Cavaradossi in Franco Zefferelli’s production of Tosca at The Met in New York.

To celebrate the centenary of Shostakovich’s birth, the Festival Closing Concert at the Waterfront Hall on Friday 03 November will feature Dmitri Alexeev playing the Shostakovich Piano Concerto no. 1 with the Ulster Orchestra and a Northern Ireland Premiere of a major orchestral work. Full programme details will be announced soon.

Dimpho Di Kopane is a lyric theatre and film ensemble consisting of forty fantastically talented South African actors and singers, who were recruited from over two thousand auditions held throughout rural and urban South Africa.

The name of the company means "combined talents" in Sotho, aptly describing the way in which the group works, relying on every company member's unique skills as well as their collective focus and energy to create work of the highest calibre.

Described as "one of the most moving, beautiful, humane and courageous shows you will ever see’" (The Daily Telegraph), Dimpho di Kopane will also bring The Mysteries (Yiimimangaliso) to the Belfast Waterfront Hall on Tuesday 24 October and Saturday 28th October.

The Mystery Plays were popular medieval street theatre, performed on carts or ‘pageant wagons’ in the streets of towns all over Europe. They are dramatic versions of stories from the Bible, such as the Creation or the Harrowing of Hell. Although the main purpose of the plays was, originally, to teach people about their religion, they are full of striking characterisation, lively dialogue and comic interludes throughout – funny, transcendent and moving.

Dimpho Di Kopane’s production was the first of its kind in South Africa. Performed predominantly in four languages – English, Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans – the production tells the ancient stories of the Mystery Plays through the evocative sounds of South Africa’s uniquely diverse and rich musical tradition. The gorgeous vocals of the score are accompanied by instruments made from objects found mostly in scrap yards.
“The ten commandments have acquired an eleventh - Thou shalt go to 'The Mysteries'. Now.” Time Out

Dimpho Di Kopane’s production of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen (Belfast Waterfront Hall, Thursday 26th and Saturday 28th October) was commissioned to celebrate the author’s 2005 Bicentennial Celebration in Denmark. Their version - Ikumkanikazi yeKhephu – sees the original 1844 story become completely reinterpreted through a South African prism, using traditional and original music by Charles Hazlewood, and traditional Xhosa music and ceremonies. Here is a chance to see a story of courage, reconciliation and the triumph of love in one of the most beautiful, life-affirming family shows you will ever see.

“Dimpho Di Kopane’s…highly appealing style, a straightforward and humorous approach to theatre-making, is overwhelming and heartwarming to any spectator. Not at all unlike the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen.” - Lars Seeberg, Secretary General, Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

Since the 1987 release of the international hit single Bamboleo, from their platinum-selling eponymous debut album, The Gipsy Kings have dominated the World Music charts and sold more than fourteen million albums worldwide. Hailing from the gypsy settlements in Arles and Montpelier in the south of France, the band’s vigorous guitar work and passionate vocals are the trademarks of an indigenous musical tradition known as “rumba flamenca” and you can see them up close and personal at their festival show at Belfast Waterfront Hall on Tuesday 31 October.

Tim Husbands, Managing Director of the Belfast Waterfront Hall said: “The Waterfront Hall is delighted to continue its long and successful partnership with Belfast Festival at Queen’s. This year’s Festival programme offers outstanding events featuring the very best local and international talent. We look forward to welcoming audiences to these unique events throughout the Festival period.”

Tickets for all the above events will be on sale from today from the Belfast Waterfront Hall box office, 028 90334455 or online from www.belfastfestival.com  

Further details of this year’s Belfast Festival at Queen’s programme will be released over the coming months, with the main festival launch taking place on Thursday 07 September.

For further information, please visit www.belfastfestival.com

For artist images, interview requests or further information, please contact: Sarah Hughes, Communications Officer, Culture and Arts Division, 028 90971398, s.hughes@qub.ac.uk

Further Artist Information:


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School of Chemistry at Queen's University Belfast goes to top of the UK rankings
Professor Robert Burch MRIA, Head of the School of Chemistry at Queen's University Belfast. Queen's School of Chemistry has been named the leading Chemistry School for research citations per paper published in the UK for the period from 2001 to 2005 by the Thomson Scientific, publishers of Science Watch
Professor Robert Burch MRIA, Head of the School of Chemistry at Queen's University Belfast. Queen's School of Chemistry has been named the leading Chemistry School for research citations per paper published in the UK for the period from 2001 to 2005 by the Thomson Scientific, publishers of Science Watch

The School of Chemistry at Queen's University Belfast has overtaken the research powerhouses of Oxford and Cambridge to be named the leading institution for research citations per paper published in the field of Chemistry during the last five years. The results published in Science Watch, ranks UK universities based on both the total number of citations and the average number of references to them as authorities in research papers published during the 2001-2005 period.

The Head of the School of Chemistry, Professor Robbie Burch, said “Credit goes first and foremost to all the staff, both academic and support staffs in Chemistry, who have contributed to this success through their commitment and dedication. The outcome is also a ringing endorsement of the financial support provided by the University and the Mc Clay Trust which has allowed the recruitment of outstanding staff in recent years. Through these investments the School has developed world class research at Queen’s in the areas of Catalysis, Biological Organic chemistry, and Innovative Materials.

“Further advances in the development of the School can be anticipated with the launch of the new School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the consequent opportunities to develop new and exciting research at the interface between the disciplines of science, engineering, and medicine.”

The news arrived with Professor Burch as he received Ireland’s highest academic honour, election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy. The Academy founded in 1785, is an all-Ireland, independent academic body which promotes study and excellence in the sciences, humanities and social sciences. It has around 300 members and election to membership is a public recognition of academic excellence.

The Ballymena- born scientist has the staff celebrations for two major achievements in one week on hold, as he is currently in the University of California at Berkeley demonstrating on-going research work at Queen’s in the understanding of catalysts and their potential impact in reducing harmful emissions from motor vehicles


Science Watch is the bimonthly newsletter published by Thomson Scientific and part of the Thomson Corporation of Philadelphia.

The Science Watch rankings are derived from Thomson Scientific’s United Kingdom University Science Indicators, a database containing publication and citation statistics on upwards of 150 UK universities and affiliated institutions in over twenty main scientific fields.

Science Watch looked at the average number of citations per paper published in establishing their rankings where Cambridge ranked first in ten of the 21 fields and Oxford ranked first in four. Professor Robbie Burch is The Head of the School of Chemistry at Queen’s University and was one of four scientists and scholars from Queen’s University newly elected to the Royal Irish Academy and announced on 12 May.

Membership of RIA is by peer nomination and election. There are currently 369 Members of the Academy including Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney who is a former graduate and member of staff at Queen’s. Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name.

For further information, please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320.


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New Drama Production Featuring Queen's Students Begins at QFT Studio Theatre

A new production featuring Drama Studies students at Queen's hits the boards in the QFT this week, when Hamilton Willis's, The Greyhound, begins its first run in the Studio Theatre from Wednesday 17 May, to Saturday 20 May.

Inspired by by Sir John Lavery’s painting of the same name that currently hangs in the Ulster Museum, the play explores the life of Melissa and Cairn, a married couple who jump in and out of other characters’ lives, with each new person representing a different path both could have taken. With both the main and other parts played by Emma McErlean and Sam Bowman, the audience are being invited to use their imagination, a task aided by the renowned miming ability of both actors.

The play is being choreographed by Féidhlim Brennan, also known as a champion Irish Dancer who has worked with the Riverdance ‘flying squad’ and Celtic Storm. According to Producer, Elizabeth Wallace, who is also acting as Stage Manager: “Audiences for The Greyhound are promised a visual delight which will draw upon the actors’ backgrounds in movement, mime, dance and voice. Nearly Starving Artists are committed to producing theatrical experiences that are run on discipline, dedication and enjoyment. I would urge people to come along and enjoy a show that is funny, charming and breathtaking.”

The Greyhound will run in the Studio Theatre at QFT, 20 University Square, Belfast, from Wednesday 17 May to Saturday 20 May, at 7.30pm each night. A matinee will also take place at 2.30pm on Saturday 20 May. Tickets, costing £10 or £6 concession, are available from the QFT Box Office or by telephoning 028 9097 1097.

In a novel move, the ticket price also includes access to a tea dance hosted after the performance, complete with a one man piano concert.

Founded by Quin Golding and Elizabeth Wallace, previous productions by Nearly Starving Artists have included Look Back in Anger for the QFT Upstairs and the sell-out Trainspotting in association with the Queen’s University Players.

Playwright - Hamilton Willis Hamilton
Willis has previously written for the Belfast Festival (Play the Game) and Six Parishes Productions (The Hard Sell). Hamilton has worked with the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Bablake Players and Q2Q Theatre as a writer, actor and director. Hamilton Willis is a founding member of Nearly Starving Artists.

Director - Quin Golding Quin
Golding is the director of the sell out show Trainspotting and a founding member of nearly starving artists. Previous directorial credits include John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger and Peter Schaffer’s Equus.

Choreographer - Féidhlim Brennan
Féidhlim Brennan is a championship Irish dancer who is ranked in the top ten in Britain and highly worldwide. He has worked with Riverdance Flying Squad and the new Northern Irish based show Celtic Storm. Whilst at Queen’s University, Belfast, he gained experience as choreographer and movement director. The Greyhound is Féidhlim’s debut as a professional choreographer.

Emma McErlean –Actor
Emma McErlean has most recently played in Psycho Beach Party for Rawlife. She has worked as an actress for many years with Belfast companies such as Bruiser. Emma was attached to the Lyric Drama Studio for two years and is in the process of starting her own company.

Sam Bowman – Actor
This is Sam Bowman’s debut professional role. Whilst at Queen’s University, Belfast he performed in Under Milk Wood and rehearsed readings for the Belfast Festival. His previous work includes Amadeus, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and has played in the Waterfront Studio.

Further information from Queen’s Communications Office, Tel: 028 9097 5384 or via email at lizzie@lizzierocks.com / 07736 389349.


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Inauguration of Robson Organ Completes the Restoration of Great Hall at Queen's

The Great Hall at Queen's will once again resonate with the sound of organ music on Wednesday 24 May, when a performance by Belfast City Organist and Professor of Organ at London's Trinity College, Colm Carey, will mark the inauguration of the Robson Organ in the Hall’s Organ Gallery.

The inauguration of the Robson Organ is the final element in the £2.5 million restoration of the Great Hall. The first project in the University’s £150 million Campaign for Queen’s, the restoration programme fulfilled Sir Charles Lanyon’s vision and made the Great Hall once again the focal point of the University. Lanyon was appointed architect for the new Queen’s College, Belfast in 1846 and the University still possesses his original drawings. He found the budget of £34,377 so restrictive that he was forced to cut back on details of his great design. These details in turn provided the inspiration for restoration plans created by Queen’s graduate and Director of Conservation at Consarc, Dr Dawson Stelfox.

The original organ belonging to the Great Hall was removed and rebuilt in the Sir William Whitla Hall at Queen’s in the 1930s. Searching for a suitable replacement for some time, Queen’s obtained the Robson Organ from Christ Church, Durham Street, Belfast, in 1994, when it closed its doors.

First installed in Christ Church in 1857 by Thomas Robson, the Organ was a favourite instrument of Sir Charles and his wife who regularly attended the church. With the assistance of a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Robson Organ, which pre-dates the Mulholland Organ in the Ulster Hall by four years, was lovingly restored to its original form by the firm of William Drake of Buckfastleigh, Devon and is now a significant and rare example of the work of Thomas Robson.

A ticketed performance open to the public, Colm Carey’s recital will feature works by Mendelssohn, Haydn, Samuel Wesley, John Stanley, William Russell and Thomas Attwood.

Commenting on the organ inauguration, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: “The inauguration of the Robson Organ means that our Great Hall now reflects in full Sir Charles Lanyon’s original plans and I am sure that he would be delighted to witness the fulfilment of his vision. The installation of the Organ enhances the Hall’s role as the centrepiece of the University and one of the most important examples of the architectural heritage of Belfast, and we are indebted to all those involved in this major restoration project.”

Michael Alcorn, Head of the School of Music at Queen’s added: “The installation of the Robson Organ is an important landmark not only in relation to the restoration of the Great Hall, but also for the School of Music and Sonic Arts. The organ will provide a further prized asset for both study and performance at Queen’s and also preserve an important element of the musical life of the City of Belfast. I have no doubt such a historical instrument will have an important part to play in the future of Queen’s.”

Referring to the significance of the restoration project, Professor Patrick Murphy, NI Committee Member of the Heritage Lottery Fund added: “We were delighted to be able to support this project to conserve an important piece of our heritage. The Heritage Lottery Fund is committed to ensuring that people can experience and enjoy their heritage and it is wonderful to see the Robson organ restored and being played again in the magnificent setting of the Great Hall."

Tickets costing £10 and £8 for the Organ Inauguration in the Great Hall at Queen’s, at 7.30pm on Wednesday 24 May, are available now and can be purchased from the Queen’s Film Theatre Box Office, Drama and Film Centre, 20 University Square. Tel: 028 90 97 1097 or book online from www.queensfilmtheatre.com.


The Great Hall at Queen’s was officially opened by Prince Charles in February 2002.

The Robson Organ will complement the two other organs in Queen’s University which can be found in the Whitla Hall and the Harty Room.

The Robson Organ was built in 1857 by Thomas Robson and rebuilt and enlarged in 1864 by J. W. Walker who added a third manual and additional couplers in 1864. Further extensions to the instrument were made by J.C. Coombe in 1878 and by Harrison and Harrison in 1891. It is one of the few such instruments to not suffer from 20th Century modernisation, other than the provision of an electric blower.

Born and brought up in Ireland, Colm Carey studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève. Winning top performing awards with distinction at both institutions, Colm Carey's numerous appearances, both live and recorded, in the UK and Ireland formed the strong foundations for his subsequent solo performances in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA. Acclaimed as a sensitive and thoughtful musician, he continues to perform widely on platforms throughout the world.

As co-founder and Artistic Director of the London Organ Summer Course, Visiting Tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music and as Professor of Organ at London's Trinity College of Music, Colm Carey has undertaken a variety of outreach work with younger performers. This extension of his busy performing life characterises his work as Belfast's recently appointed City Organist where his many concert activities run alongside educational events for the local community.

For further information, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384


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Primary schoolchildren see the wonders of science at Queen's

Around 200 primary schoolchildren from 20 schools throughout Northern Ireland will "connect" with the world of science when they present the results of their own research at Queen's University later this week.

The Primary ConneXions event, now in its fourth year at Queen’s, gives the young researchers the chance to present the findings from their scientific projects to each other and to an invited audience of scientists, engineers and educationalists.

This year’s theme, ‘Seeing Science’, encourages the young people to see the relevance of science in everyday life.

Queen’s Special Projects Officer, Mervyn Farrell said: “My colleagues and I are amazed by the diversity of school projects being presented this year. This year’s conference promises to be something special. “The young participants have been seeing their local environments through new eyes and have been studying a range of subjects, such as insect life in ponds, aircraft noise, climbing frame construction and alternative energy, including the conversion of cow manure to fuel.”

Queen’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Outreach and Economic Development Professor Gerry McCormac said: “The Primary ConneXions event is a vital part of our valuable outreach to local primary schools. It plays a major role in introducing young children to the possibilities and wonders of science and in encouraging them to acquire a range of skills, including project preparation and presentation, which will help them in their future school careers.”

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, 028 9097 5310

The Primary ConneXions event will take place in the Peter Froggatt Centre at Queen’s University on Wednesday and Thursday, 17 and 18 May, from 10.15am to 1.00pm. Media facilities will be available.


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New Research Grants for Health and Life Sciences at Queen's University

Major local charities have provided a significant part of new Research grants amounting to £1,395,000 for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Queen's University.

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association are one of the major funders to support the University's work on diabetes with grants amounting to £300,000 allocated across two research teams.

The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International has separately provided £278,000 for specific work on eyesight and links to diabetes.

Ulster Garden Villages Ltd is another local funder granting £125,525 towards the establishment of a University clinical ophthalmic research unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

The Director of the Centre for Vision Science at Queen's, Professor Alan Stitt, said that the recent refurbishment of their facilities with a new state of the art laboratory based in the Royal Victoria Hospital campus has enhanced both their research capacity and attracted an international team of researchers which now number between 60 and 70 people.

"The research we do here in Vision Sciences is producing patient benefit now and word of that is spreading. Research grants from major charities involve people who know what it is to experience degenerative and life-threatening diseases, their aim is getting results and breakthroughs and I am confident that we will continue to maximise the funds provided to us for that purpose."

The Dean of the Faculty, Professor James Mc Elnay said the aim of the eleven research clusters in Health and Life Sciences is to expand further in areas of healthcare improvement for chronic diseases, child health and welfare.

"In areas of cancer research, diabetes, asthma and Cystic Fibrosis, our research progress is recognised throughout the world represented in the growing applications from international researchers to come and work here. The University places a high value on harnessing that excellence for local advantage and the current grants from local charities is a practical statement of the highly valuable partnerships with our own local community and in support of our research. This is also evidenced by the attendance at our Research Showcase from leading charities working in Health and Life Science areas today," Professor Mc Elnay said.

For more information please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320.

Notes for Editors
Leading charities including Action Cancer, Ulster Garden Villages, Action MS, Ulster Garden Villages Ltd, Belfast Association for the Blind, Ulster Wildlife Trust, Insight-Trust for the Visually Impaired and the MS Society for Northern Ireland will all be represented at the Research Showcase at Queen's on Friday 12 May.

The Research Showcase has been organised to display to local charities, and senior executives from the public and private sectors involved in funding research at Queen's, work in progress within the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences across eleven different clusters of scientists and researchers.

The Research Showcase will be introduced by the Vice-Chancellor, Peter Gregson in the Council Chamber at 11.00am and invited guests and politicians will view the Showcase in the Great Hall during the morning.

Opportunities for interviews with leading researchers, and politicians-MPs and MLAs will be available along with photo opportunities. Further information from the Communications Office, 028 9097 5320


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Museums and Galleries Month: Happy Birthday Florence!

As part of Museums and Galleries Month, the Naughton Gallery at Queen's together with the Queen's University Belfast's School of Nursing & Midwifery invites you to an innovative celebration of Florence Nightingale's birthday.

Nightingale, who was born on 12 May 1820, was a pioneer of modern nursing who came to be known as The Lady with the Lamp. She set a shining example for nurses everywhere of compassion, commitment to patient care, and diligent and thoughtful hospital administration.

On Saturday 13 May in the Medical Biology Centre beside the City Hospital on Lisburn Road, people of all ages can find out what life was like for nurses and patients in Nightingale's time and through the ages with a hands-on exploration of medical instruments and techniques past, present and future.

Professor Jean Orr, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's said: "This event is a fun opportunity for families and friends to see how patient care has been changed by modern technology, while celebrating the birthday of one of the most important figures in modern nursing."

Happy Birthday Florence! will include the launch of a new display of medical instruments and nursing memorabilia. Amongst the activities on offer for visitors are looking after the School of Nursing's 21st century animatronic patient simulators, studying the collection of nursing badges and old uniforms and even having a go at designing new versions for the 21st century!

The event is free and suitable for all the family and will be open from 12.00pm-4.00pm on Saturday 13 May. Car parking will be available at the front of the Medical Biology Centre and there is a lift at the front of the building for wheelchair access.

For further information, please visit www.naughtongallery.org contact Clare Leeman, Naughton Gallery Outreach Officer, 028 9097 3758, c.leeman@qub.ac.uk

For more information on Museums and Galleries Month, which continues until Sunday 04 June, please visit www.24hourmuseum.org.uk.

For further information please contact Sarah Hughes, Communications Officer, Queen's University Belfast Culture and Arts Division, 028 9097 1398, s.hughes@qub.ac.uk


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Ending Terrorism and Insurgencies post 9/11

The continued violence of smaller rebel groups can prevent effective international intervention and getting United Nation's troops into Darfur to end the suffering of more than 2 million people forced from their homes, a Conference will be told at Queen's University this Friday.

Roberto Belloni from the School of Politics at Queen's is one of the speakers at the Conference entitled "A Farewell to Arms?: ending terrorism and insurgencies in a post-Cold War and post 9/11 world."

Dr Belloni's address on 'Darfur and the problem of violence for intervention' comes as hopes are rising that the 'blue helmets' of the United Nations might be allowed to take over the peacekeeping mission in war torn Sudan.

Sudan's government and the main rebel group in Darfur signed a peace agreement last Friday to end more than three years of fighting. Yet the government in Khartoum has since been sending out mixed messages saying that they need more time for assessment while warning that no one has the right to impose foreign forces on their soil. The 7,000 strong peacekeeping mission provided by the African Union has proved largely powerless in preventing attacks on villages and aid convoys.

In a separate Conference session on the role of politics in ending terrorism and insurgencies, Andrew Sanders from Queen's will tackle "The problem of division when ending violence: the case of the Real IRA".

Professor Adrian Guelke will examine examples of international norms in ending violence and describe "How South Africa escaped a racial bloodbath", and Dr Jean Allain from the School of Law at Queen's will address "Human Rights and counter-terrorism" in the post 9/11 world.

For more information please contact Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320. To attend the Conference (places limited), contact Professor Adrian Guelke-a.guelke@qub.ac.uk.  


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Health and Life Sciences at Queen's Research Showcase

The Great Hall at Queen's University will be filled by the largest Research Showcase ever organised by the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences on Friday 12 May. The event has already attracted an audience of senior executives from the public and private sectors, agriculture and food industries, and charities working in health and life areas.

The Showcase will cover key current research across all of the eleven Research Clusters in the Faculty covering Health and Life Sciences. It will display latest work in areas such as diabetes, cancer, asthma and cystic fibrosis along with research collaborations to making medicine use in children safer, reduce pollution and promote sustainability, tackle the use of illegal drugs in meat production and other issues impacting on many people's daily lives.

In announcing the event, Professor James Mc Elnay, Dean of the Faculty said, "Applied research, alongside pure research and teaching at this University increasingly drives much of Northern Ireland's 21st century knowledge-based economy, but it should be understood that our work also impacts on lives across continents.

"This is an opportunity to share with some of the international companies, Government Departments and leading charities who already support our work, the scope of research, and current work in progress While the focus at Queen's is on international excellence, we also place a high value on harnessing that excellence for local advantage here in Northern Ireland.

Our applied research has made the difference between life and death in some cases, while in others it has improved the quality of life for many people throughout the world and continues to do so," Professor Mc Elnay said.

The Queen's Showcase comes after a recent Department of Trade and Industry report confirmed that the UK has now moved ahead of the United States in citations of pre-clinical and health research papers and for biological sciences, for the first time. It is also ranked second just behind the US, on the number of research publications. This despite the fact that UK spending on research continues to be below many competitor countries.

For more information please contact Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320. Media opportunities will be available in the week leading up to the event to interview key researchers in their specialist fields - and on the day of the event, Friday 12 May. Please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

Media opportunities on the day include:

11.00am. Opening introduction by the Vice-Chancellor, Peter Gregson, and the Dean of the Faculty, Professor James Mc Elnay in the Council Chamber.

11.30am. Research displays in the Great Hall for guests and politicians.

2.00am-4.00am. Showcase open to Queen's staff and research Fellows and postgraduate students with opportunities to question researchers in their particular fields.

A full brochure explaining the scope and research activities of the eleven Research Clusters is available, but not for use before Friday 12 May. Please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 5320.

Examples of some areas of Research work that will display at the event includes:

Cancer- a huge area of work with six types of cancer highlighted and facts and figures on current numbers of people diagnosed with key areas of on-going Queen's research highlighted, such as therapies to improve current chemotherapy;

Diabetes-links to major sight threatening diseases of the retina such as diabetic retinopathy, modifying foods that may benefit people suffering from diabetes and kidney disease, new drug candidates for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease;

Medicines for children-pharmacy research to make medicine use in children safer and more effective

Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis- Experimental medicine determining the value of new chemical and molecular therapies;

Cardiac Arrest-Issues in the training of volunteers to use defibrillators to reduce death from sudden cardiac arrest;

Nursing interventions to support patients breathe without the help of a mechanical ventilator;

Hip Fractures-evaluating the effectiveness of making hip protectors available to residents of nursing homes and results of trials in Northern Ireland;

Reducing pollution- Brownfield regeneration to increase the supply of affordable housing, encourage economic growth, health and wellbeing;

Agri-environmental schemes-design and delivery of schemes for environmental benefit, sustainability and providing the public with value for money;

Illegal drugs in meat production-new ways of providing mass screening for illegal steroid abuse.


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Queen's "UK leader in promoting gender equality" - Gregson
Cherie Booth, QC, Patron of the Opportunity Now awards, with the Queen's University delegation who were presented with the education sector award in London. Queen's won the major national award for the work of its Gender Initiative which aims to improve the profile and position of women within the University. The Awards recognised employers from the private and public sectors who have made equal and inclusiveness work cultures a business imperative.

Pictured are (from left) Queen's Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Queen's Women's Forum Brenda McLaughlin; Professor Margaret Mullett, Director of Queen's Gender Initiative; Cherie Booth, QC; Professor Jean Orr, co-Chair, Queen's Women's Forum and Lynn Boyd, Gender Initiative administrator.
Cherie Booth, QC, Patron of the Opportunity Now awards, with the Queen's University delegation who were presented with the education sector award in London. Queen's won the major national award for the work of its Gender Initiative which aims to improve the profile and position of women within the University. The Awards recognised employers from the private and public sectors who have made equal and inclusiveness work cultures a business imperative. Pictured are (from left) Queen's Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Queen's Women's Forum Brenda McLaughlin; Professor Margaret Mullett, Director of Queen's Gender Initiative; Cherie Booth, QC; Professor Jean Orr, co-Chair, Queen's Women's Forum and Lynn Boyd, Gender Initiative administrator.

Queen's University is now acknowledged as the United Kingdom higher education leader in promoting gender equality, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson has said.

The Vice-Chancellor was speaking following the announcement in London on Thursday night that Queen's has won a major national award for its work in this area. Queen's won the Opportunity Now education sector award for the work of its Gender Initiative which aims to improve the profile and position of women within the University. The Awards recognised employers from the private and public sectors who have made equal and inclusiveness work cultures a business imperative.

Professor Gregson said: "The promotion of gender equality in the higher education sector in the United Kingdom in the past has been less than distinguished. Queen's University has played, and will continue to play, a leading role in bringing about necessary change. Winning the Opportunity Now award recognises the pioneering work of our Gender Initiative in introducing a series of measures which enhance and celebrate the role of women and which serve as exemplars for other institutions."

Director of the Gender Initiative Professor Margaret Mullett said: "We are thrilled to have won this major award, which is the culmination of six years of hard work by the women of Queen's. Our success would not have been possible without the support of the University at the highest level, in particular from former Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain who set up the Gender Initiative, the current Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson and Queen’s Registrar James O'Kane."

Opportunity Now is a not for profit organisation that works with employers to promote the business benefits of creating a workplace that fully taps the talents of both men and women.

Its Director, Norma Jarboe, said: "Evidence shows that employers who make diversity an important organisational or business objective reap tangible benefits. Queen's University Belfast has shown a great commitment to the women within their organisation and a great commitment to creating a workplace which fully utilises everyone's talents. We value the best practice that Queen's University is developing and sharing with our membership - other employers could learn a lot from Queen's."

The Queen's Gender Initiative was launched in October 2000 to implement the recommendations of the Women's Forum Report (Report on Gender Imbalance at Queens: May 2000). The findings and recommendations were formulated on the basis of the suggestions of 600 women attending a series of 'listening seminars' in 2000. This listening exercise as a whole was awarded the Opportunity Now Workplace Award Northern Ireland (HE Sector) in October 2001.

The Initiative has produced a stream of tangible results in relation to family-friendly policies, flexible working, enhanced childcare provision, the establishment of a central maternity fund and mentoring schemes for female staff. The Initiative also commissioned a major work of art - 'Women Emerging from the Shadows', a 16 ft by 6 ft painting by award-winning Newry-born artist Michelle Rogers, to celebrate the past and future contributions and achievements of women at Queen's. The painting, which was commissioned as part of the Gender Initiative's work to change cultural attitudes, now hangs in the University's Council Chamber.

In 2003 Queen's won the national Athena award for the University's pioneering work in advancing women in the traditionally male-dominated fields of science, engineering and technology.

For further information contact: Anne Langford, 028 9097 5310 or Professor Margaret Mullett, 028 9027 3712 or 028 9027 3238


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Queen's hosts Harvard MBA Entrepreneurial Marketing Expert in First Trust Innovation Lecture
Professor Joe Lassiter, Professor of Management Practive at Harvard Business School who will be delivering the First Trust Innovation Lecture, Going Global, Staying Local, on Tuesday 09 May at Queen's.
Professor Joe Lassiter, Professor of Management Practive at Harvard Business School who will be delivering the First Trust Innovation Lecture, Going Global, Staying Local, on Tuesday 09 May at Queen's.

Going Global, Staying Local, will be the theme of a First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture at Queen's on Tuesday 09 May, when renowned lecturer Professor Joe Lassiter, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, returns to Belfast for the first time since 2004.

A teacher of Entrepreneurial Marketing with Harvard's MBA Program and of Marketing Strategy in the Executive Education Program, Professor Lassiter is a globally recognized expert in the fields of entrepreneurship and marketing.

On this visit he will base his lecture on a story about two companies, one young and the other well established. Speaking about the content of his lecture, Professor Lassiter said: "While each of these companies are somewhat unique, their case studies provide a common ground for all of us to think about a very common problem.

Each of the companies faces the problem of global competitors, entering offshore markets, and using offshore suppliers. Prices fall and loyal customers are pulled away and at the same time your own costs can rise. It can often seem that every company has become just another faceless commodity supplier. We need to understand how the global landscape is important whenever there are too many competitors chasing every order in a market."

The First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture featuring Professor Lassiter will take place on Tuesday 09 May, at 6.00pm, G9, Lanyon North, Queen's University Belfast. To register or for further information please contact Maria on 028 9097 2575,  regional@qub.ac.uk.

Notes to Editors

Professor Lassiter will be in Belfast on Monday 08 May and Tuesday 09 May and is available for interview. For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384

Joe Lassiter teaches Entrepreneurial Marketing in the MBA Program and Marketing Strategy in the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School. His research focuses on high potential ventures, including both those formed as new companies and those formed within existing organizations. He is active in new ventures and is currently serving on the Executive Steering Committee of the Cambridge Chapter of the Center for the Quality of Management (not-for-profit/ mutual learning) and on the Board of Directors of RSA Security (NASDAQ/ identity and access management).

From 1994 to 1996, Joe was President of Wildfire Communications, a telecommunications software venture backed by Matrix Partners and Greylock Management. From 1977 to 1994, he was a Vice President of CQM founding member Teradyne, and a member of its Management Committee. Joe joined Teradyne in 1974 as a Product Manager while on sabbatical from MIT. As a general manager, he was responsible for organizations ranging from start-ups to international, multi-plant businesses. Joe received his BS, MS, and PhD from MIT and was awarded National Science, Adams and McDermott Fellowships.

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or m0781 44 22 572


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Local Writers Share Their Memories of Broadcasting in BBC NI Exhibition at Queen's

An exhibition featuring 25 specially commissioned pieces on the subject of broadcasting from some of Northern Ireland’s finest local writers will open at the Visitors’ Centre at Queen’s University on Friday 05 May to Saturday 17 June, when the Centre hosts the BBC NI exhibition, The Living Air.

Seamus Heaney, Medbh McGuckian, Malachi O’Doherty, Colin Bateman, Jonathan Bardon and Anne Devlin are among the many local novelists, historians, playwrights and poets, who share their memories of broadcasting in the exhibition and also tell of how radio and TV has influenced their lives and work to date.

In addition to the featured words and photographs from the writers, visitors to the exhibition can also see a collection of wonderfully evocative images from the BBC archives at Cultra and Caversham and take home a specially commissioned 56 page book, The Living Air – Writers in Broadcasting, which accompanies the exhibition.

Speaking about the arrival of the Exhibition at Queen’s, Gwynne Donnell, Manager of the Visitors’ Centre said: “Many of the writers featured within the exhibition have strong links with Queen’s, be they past pupils or former members of staff, such as Seamus Heaney and A.T.Q. Stewart or indeed still work here, like Jonathan Bardon and Medbh McGuckian. It is particularly fitting then that the Visitors Centre at Queen’s will host The Living Air exhibition for the next few weeks and we are delighted to do so. I would encourage people to visit as it really is a wonderfully evocative exhibition.”

Anna Carragher, Controller, BBC NI and a graduate of Queen’s added: "From childhood radio has always played an extremely important part of my life, as I grew up listening to Listen with Mother and Children's Hour and if there was a time before radio I do not remember it. That is why I am delighted this exhibition is coming to Queen's University for others to enjoy and really hope it does evoke a lot of very happy and poignant memories for those who visit it."

The full list of featured writers is Sam McAughtry, A.T.Q. Stewart, John Morrow, Christina Reid, Michael Longley, Jonathan Bardon, Seamus Heaney, Bernard MacLaverty, Sam McBratney, Marianne Elliott, Frank Ormsby; Graham Reid, Ciaran Carson, Annie McCartney, Martin Lynch, Medbh McGuckian, Malachi O’Doherty, Paul Muldoon, David Park, Anne Devline, Glenn Patterson, Colin Bateman, Sinead Morrissey, Jo Baker and Daragh Carville.

Admission to The Living Air is free. The Visitors’ Centre, in the Lanyon Building at Queen’s, is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Saturday. For further details telephone 028 90 97 5252. Ends.

For further information, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 90 97 5384.


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Shameless Irish stereotypes on British Television

Irish Stereotypes and the underclass in British Television Drama is the theme of an open Lecture at Queen’s University Belfast today. The lecture is an examination of the cultural politics of representation, principally that of Irishness within British popular culture.

Visiting Professor, Sally Munt has titled her talk ‘Shameless’ and will examine the independent Channel 4 Television serial drama of the same name, written by Paul Abbot. Sally will explain how Shameless is a model for understanding how class is read through ethnicity, and how meanings of shame and shamelessness are projected onto minority groups.

Irish stereotypes have of course featured in many of the popular British television soaps over the years and the lecture at Queen’s is part of Sally Munt’s new project: Queer Feelings-The Cultural Politics of Shame.

The lecture is organised by The Centre for Women’s Studies and Gender Research Forum and will be held in the Lecture Theatre, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at 1-4 College Park East. The Lecture starts at 4.00pm and is open to the public.

For further information, please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320 or Dr Myrtle Hill, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, 028 9097 5318.

Sally R Munt is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of Media and Film in the University of Sussex. Sally is currently a visiting Professor at Queen’s University Belfast Media interview opportunities are available from 3.30pm at the Lecture Theatre venue and at the close of the Lecture.


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14CHRONO Centre at Queen's Announces New Seminar Series for May

The 14CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment and Chronology at Queen's will be hosting a number of Public Seminars by internationally renowned researchers during May in order to coincide with work currently being carried out as part of the new 14 CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment, and Chronology at Queen's.

The visits will build on existing international research collaborations in environmental change, both past and present, between Queen's and many other leading institutions worldwide and will focus on the critical role of Chronology in understanding climate change mechanisms, as well as highlighting the use of radiocarbon in tracing carbon fluxes in the environment.

Speaking about the Seminars, Dr Paula Reimer, Director of the 14 CHRONO Centre for Chronology, Environment, and Climate said: "A tremendous amount of work has gone into the planning and development of the new 14 CHRONO Centre which will be the only one of its kind in Ireland upon completion. We are delighted that these respected and well-known experts have agreed to speak at Queen’s during May. Their work is recognised worldwide and I would encourage anyone with an interest in the environment, climate or chronology to come along to the lectures."

The full list of Seminars, which take place on Wednesdays at 4.00pm in Room 2-06, Elmwood Building, Queen's University, are:

  • Wednesday 03 May: Professor Barbara Wohlfarth, Stockholm University, Sweden - "Precise correlations and chronologies - how far can we stretch a lake sediment proxy climate record?"
  • Wednesday 17 May: Professor Liping Zhou Peking University, People's Republic of China - "Chronology and palaeoclimatic significance of Eurasian loess"
  • Wednesday 24 May: Dr Chris Swanston Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA - "Soil Organic Carbon: Radiocarbon as a tool for deciphering source, flux, and mechanisms of stabilization."
  • Wednesday 31 May: Dr Brent Alloway Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences (GNS), New Zealand - "Towards a Climate Event Stratigraphy for New Zealand over the last 30,000 years (NZ-INTIMATE)"

The 14 Chrono Centre is an inter-school collaboration with participation by the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology and the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen's.

More information on the visiting speakers and their research interests can be found on the CHRONO web page at www.chrono.qub.ac.uk.  For further information please contact Dr Paula Reimer on 028 9097 3980.

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384


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Queen's University Major Boost of £1 million to support new Academic Fellowships

Queen's University are celebrating success in increasing the number of Academic Fellowships they can make available during the next two years.

The news has come following the announcement by the Research Councils UK of their second funding round which commences 2006 through to 2008.

There will be eight new Academic Fellowships available at Queen's with the £1,000,000 provided from the RCUK and University funding. The primary aim of the RCUK Academic Fellowship scheme is to provide an attractive and stable path into academia and the existing Fellowships have been highly prized and successful for the researchers already in post.

The new Fellowships at Queen's will be awarded in three key areas- Sustainability, Creative Media and the Engineering of Chemistry. .

Professor Peter Gregson said this was most welcome news. "Queen's have increased the number and the value of Awards that we can now advertise to postgraduates in this second round of funding from the Research Councils UK. This investment of £1 million will complement the University's own investment in its spires of excellence ensuring that Northern Ireland sustains its world class research in those key areas."

The University has many established strengths in research areas and to demonstrate just one of the areas that will benefit from these awards is sustainability. Queen's strengths here have already been recognised by the Queen's Award for the Ionic Liquids research group, Quill ,which is a major element of the strengths in Green Chemistry as well as environmental engineering, bioremediation, and water catchment area management.

For further information, please contact: Trevor Newsom, Director of Research and Regional Services, 028 9097 5266


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Queen's University Launches European Standards on Confidentiality in Healthcare
Pictured at the launch of the publication of the European Standards on Confidentiality and Privacy in Healthcare by Queen's University are from L to R: Ciara Robinson, fourth year Medical student at Queen's and Prof. Roy McClelland, Co-ordinator of the EuroSOCAP project and Emeritus Professor of Mental Health with the Division of Psychiatry at Queen's. Between them the Standards and Guidelines have already been translated into 22 languages.
Pictured at the launch of the publication of the European Standards on Confidentiality and Privacy in Healthcare by Queen's University are from L to R: Ciara Robinson, fourth year Medical student at Queen's and Prof. Roy McClelland, Co-ordinator of the EuroSOCAP project and Emeritus Professor of Mental Health with the Division of Psychiatry at Queen's. Between them the Standards and Guidelines have already been translated into 22 languages.

Queen's University will today launch a new set of European Standards and Guidance on Confidentiality and Privacy in Healthcare, which will inform the practice of healthcare professionals and protect patients throughout the healthcare sector of the European Union and wider European community.

Co-ordinated by Roy McClelland, Emeritus Professor of Mental Health with the Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Queen's, the Standards apply to all healthcare professionals and healthcare provider institutions throughout Europe. Translated into 22 languages, the Standards (in French, German, Italian, Spanish & English) and Guidance (available in an additional 18 languages), will address the areas of healthcare confidentiality and informational privacy.

Providing background on the ethical and legal foundations of the Standards, guidance on best ethical practice for healthcare professionals and recommendations to healthcare provider institutions, the Standards will also provide a framework and model for national provision and can be used to support professional training and practice.

Professor McClelland has been working on the EuroSOCAP European Commission funded project since 2003. It confronts the challenges and tensions created within the healthcare sector between the fundamental legal and ethical requirements of privacy and confidentiality which protect the healthcare information of patients and the uncertainties of current global social changes and the impact of major technological developments in healthcare, information technology and genetics.

Speaking about the project Professor McClelland said: "All patients have the right to privacy and the reasonable expectation that the confidentiality of their personal information will be rigorously maintained by all healthcare professionals.

"The Standards and Guidance launched today are primarily ethical standards, but they also consider European legal obligations upon healthcare professionals such as the EU Data Protection Directive and the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition to legal obligations, healthcare professionals also have to exercise their professional judgement and these Standards provide comprehensive ethical guidance and support for healthcare institutions.

"The Standards were written following detailed consideration of the needs of vulnerable patients, particularly children and young people, older people, migrants and mobile populations, prisoners, homeless people, people with mental health problems, people with an intellectual disability and people who lack decision-making capacity. These considerations have greatly informed the final Standards and Guidance.

"We had a team of 20 members, including clinicians, therapists, legal experts and ethicists from 11 European States, who over a two year period developed draft standards. These were circulated widely and were then the subject of a workshop attended by 80 experts from 26 European and neighbouring states. A secondary draft was then circulated and in November 2005, we finalised the Standards, which are being translated into over 22 European languages, reflecting the Europe-wide interest in the publications.

"The Standards are aimed at the 800 million people in the 46 Member States of the Council of Europe. My hope is that the Standards and Guidance will indeed help them and the many healthcare professionals and institutions throughout Europe."

Speaking about the launch of the publications, Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Peter Gregson said: "A recent EU report on Social Values, Science and Technology found that over 90 per cent of EU citizens stressed the importance of protecting information about their private life from misuse and exploitation. Today’s launch then is both timely and significant, not only for those working in healthcare but for all European citizens. I commend Professor McClelland, the team at Queen’s and the European partners on the production of the European Guidance and Standards on Confidentiality and Privacy in Healthcare."

Professor Göran Hermerén, President of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, will be delivering a public lecture on the topic of Confidentiality and the Goals of Medicine in Queen's Medical Biology Centre at 5.30pm today as part of the launch. Commenting in a personal capacity on the publication of the Standards he said: "The launch of these standards is an important event as the content of these confidentiality rules in a European context has not been previously clarified.

"In my view, these proposed standards manage to strike a balance between the need for clarity and precision on the one hand and on the other the need for flexibility against the background of the diversity of European cultural traditions and values. An ethical justification of the standards is presented in a way that promotes reflection. Aspects of vulnerability are clarified, and the sources and consequences of vulnerability are discussed.

"The background of this attempt to improve the health care of vulnerable groups in Europe is that member states in the European Union have autonomy in certain areas like health care and medical research. But diseases and co-operation between researchers do not respect national borders. Harmonization of standards is therefore desirable but difficult. The various directives (on clinical trials, tissue quality, data protection etc) - which member states have to transform into national law - will have a harmonizing function, though there is a certain liberty in the interpretation and implementation of these directives. Plurality is a source of strength in Europe, but increasing mobility and other factors make common European standards desirable also in the area of health care."

Dr Keith Steele, Senior Lecturer in General Practice at Queen's who co-ordinates ethics teaching to medical and dental students said: "This document will add to and inform the medical ethics curriculum used at Queen's and augments the UK General Medical Council's guidance on confidentiality. It is particularly helpful in addressing the tensions created within the healthcare sector between the explosion of information technology and the need to protect the individual patient's privacy and confidentiality. It also defines and gives due credence to the needs of particular groups of vulnerable patients who are at particular risk of having their confidentiality compromised."

Ciara Robinson, a fourth year Medical Student at Queen's added: "For medical students these Standards underline the importance of confidentiality and privacy in respect for patients’ dignity and rights. There is now a clear reference point which will help to educate students across Europe regarding numerous issues such as data storage, consent for secondary uses of information and justifications for disclosure. For new healthcare practitioners this document looks set to be an invaluable reference point for many years."

Francis P. Crawley, Executive Director of the Good Clinical Practice Alliance - Europe, emphasises: "The Standards provide a common reference point for practitioners and patients regarding responsibilities and rights in promoting confidentiality and privacy in healthcare practice. They are particularly valuable in the European research community because they have been developed against a common set of European values, while taking into consideration the diversity of healthcare infrastructures, practitioner and patient expectations, and regulatory and legislative requirements. For the first time Europe has a reference source that can be shared for guidance as well as discussion and debate within Europe and in other countries and regions of the world."

Copies of the Standards and the Guidance are available in various languages from the Project website at www.eurosocap.org. The website also provides updates on items of interest in the area of healthcare confidentiality and privacy, a searchable database of links to relevant material, and a directory of contacts in the area throughout Europe.

Professor Göran Hermerén's lecture on "Confidentiality and the Goals of Medicine", which is open to the public, will take place at 5.30pm in Lecture Theatre 1, Queen's University Medical Biology Centre, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast. Further details on the lecture may be obtained by telephoning Marie Brooks on 028 90 9757 90,  m.brooks@qub.ac.uk.

Notes to Editors

The launch of the European Standards on Confidentiality and Privacy in Healthcare will take place at 11.00am on Tuesday, 2 May at 11.00am in The Naughton Gallery, Lanyon Building, Queen's University.

Media Opportunities will be available from 10.30am to 11.00am on Tuesday 02 May in the Naughton Gallery.

Pictures have also been issued in advance to all picture desks via email and are captioned in IPTC Information.

Professor Roy McClelland is Emeritus Professor of Mental Health at Queen's University Belfast and Coordinator of the EuroSOCAP Project which has developed the European Standards on Confidentiality and Privacy in Healthcare. He has been active for many years in promoting best ethical practice in healthcare in both Northern Ireland (especially through undergraduate and postgraduate education) and throughout the UK (through the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Patient Information Advisory Group, The Privacy Advisory Committee (Northern Ireland)). In 2003 he was awarded the Geneva Foundation Prize for Human Rights in Psychiatry.

Professor Göran Hermerén is Professor of Medical Ethics at Lund University, Sweden and President of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE). The EGE is a neutral, independent, pluralist and multidisciplinary body which advises the European Commission on ethical aspects of science and new technologies in connection with the preparation and implementation of Community legislation or policies

The key objectives of the EuroSOCAP project are to:

  1. Identify the main issues and social concerns surrounding the confidentiality of healthcare information together with the ethical obligations and legal requirements.
  2. Identify and review existing legal provision, policy documents and professional guidance on confidentiality impacting on healthcare.
  3. Prepare and disseminate EU Standards on confidentiality and healthcare.
  4. Prepare a web site on confidentiality guidelines for healthcare professionals.

For further information please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or m 0781 44 22 572 or Brendan Heaney (morning of Tuesday 02 May), 028 9097 5320 or m 0770 444 9590; Professor Roy McClelland or Dr Colin Harper of the EuroSOCAP Project: 0771 034 0699


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Royal Society elects Queen's academic
Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell who has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell who has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society

A Queen's University academic is one of four women to be elected this year to the world's oldest and most prestigious scientific academy.

Distinguished theoretical chemist Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of her exceptional contributions to science.

Emeritus Professor at Queen's and Emerita Fellow of New Hall, Cambridge, Professor Lynden-Bell has made important advances through the application of statistical mechanical theories to the properties of molecular liquids and disordered solids. She has conducted the first systematic attempt to develop realistic simulation models of "low temperature" molten salts.

Professor Lynden-Bell came to Queen's with colleague Professor Mike Finnis in 1995 to found the interdisciplinary Atomistic Simulation Centre in the School of Mathematics and Physics. She retired in 2003 but is still active in research, working with QUILL, Queen's world-leading ionic liquids laboratories which in February were awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize earlier this year, and with universities in the United States and Israel.

Her election to the Royal Society means she follows in the footsteps of some of the world's most eminent scientists, including Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the worldwide web.

Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said her election to the Royal Society was a great honour for Professor Lynden-Bell and also for the University.

"Professor Lynden-Bell's work has had tremendous applications for our understanding of liquids and their properties, and we at Queen's are delighted that her contribution to science has been recognised by the Royal Society," he said.

Professor Lynden-Bell said: “This is a great honour for me, which also recognises the excellent work of the Atomistic Simulation Centre at Queen's. I spent eight happy years in Belfast and still return regularly for continuing research collaboration with colleagues in the School of Mathematics and Physics.”

During her time at Queen’s, Professor Lynden-Bell was also involved in the work of the University’s award-winning Women’s Forum and Gender Initiative.

Founded in 1660, the Royal Society is the United Kingdom's national academy of science. At the cutting edge of scientific progress, it supports many of the UK's top young scientists, engineers and technologists. It is an independent, charitable body which derives its authoritative status from its 1400 Fellows and Foreign Members.

For further information contact: Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310


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