11-2005 Press Releases

30/11/2005: Queen's University winter graduation ceremonies 2005
29/11/2005: Adventurous chemists at Queen's
28/11/2005: North Down and Ards Institute in partnership with Queen's
28/11/2005: Queen's researcher receives grant for breast cancer research
25/11/2005: Queen's pays tribute to George Best
25/11/2005: Business innovation lecture at Queen's was big success
23/11/2005: Queen's University scoops top Delivery Partner Award
23/11/2005: Ian Rankin to read at Queen's University's Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry
22/11/2005: Doctor Who Day at Queen's
21/11/2005: Report reveals growth of 'religious independents' in Northern Ireland
21/11/2005: Psychological effects of the Troubles to be discussed at special conference
17/11/2005: Royal recognition for Queen's world-leading pollution solution
17/11/2005: Queens annual black-tie affair
16/11/2005: Queen's University astronomer counts his lucky stars
16/11/2005: First traditional singer in residence welcomed to Queen's University
15/11/2005: Leading UK legal expert considers whether human rights can survive
14/11/2005: School of Law to head new study on corporate governance scandals
14/11/2005: Paul Rankin gives healthy cooking tips to Queen's students
10/11/2005: International business innovation expert to speak at Queen's
09/11/2005: Queen's University remembers fallen service men and women
09/11/2005: Medical School investment announced
01/11/2005: Queen's launches new course in Sustainable Development
01/11/2005: Young people connecting healthy eating to dieting
01/11/2005: The Walt Disney Company & Walden Media Supports Queen's University's New £44 Million Library with Reading Room Named in Honour of CS Lewis

Queen's University winter graduation ceremonies 2005
Sisters Georgina (left) and Amy Mulligan from Newry look forward to graduating together from Queen's University Belfast on Friday 16 December, when each will collect an MA in Music degree at the University's winter graduation ceremonies, 14-16 December.
Sisters Georgina (left) and Amy Mulligan from Newry look forward to graduating together from Queen's University Belfast on Friday 16 December, when each will collect an MA in Music degree at the University's winter graduation ceremonies, 14-16 December.

Lord Melvyn Bragg and The Irish Times editor, Geraldine Kennedy, will be among the notable figures from the worlds of literature and broadcasting, science, social sciences, and journalism to receive honorary degrees at the winter graduation ceremonies at Queen's University Belfast.

Graduation ceremonies will take place from Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 December in the Sir William Whitla Hall. Almost 1,600 students will graduate at the five ceremonies, beginning on Wednesday evening.

Receiving honorary degrees will be:

  • Lord (Melvyn) Bragg - Doctor of Literature Degree for distinction in literature and broadcasting. Writer, novelist and pre-eminent figure in arts broadcasting in Britain, Lord Bragg is responsible for editing, producing and presenting a wealth of pioneering, award-winning television and radio programmes, most notably through The South Bank Show. He has published numerous works of fiction and non-fiction since 1965, is President of the National Campaign for the Arts and was made a Life Peer in 1998.

  • Geraldine Kennedy - Doctor of the University for services to journalism. Editor of The Irish Times since 2002, the first woman to hold such a senior post in the Irish newspaper industry, Geraldine Kennedy's career in Irish journalism also included the role of political correspondent with the Sunday Tribune. In 1987 she became a member of the Irish Parliament for the Dun Laoghaire constituency. As a TD, she represented the newly formed Progressive Democrats and was the party's spokesperson for foreign affairs.

  • Professor Sir David King - Doctor of Science Degree for distinction in science and for public service. The Government's Chief Scientific Advisor and Head of the Office of Science and Technology, he has chaired the Foot and Mouth Disease Panel (2001) and the GM Science Review Panel (2003), in addition to leading a range of other specific and on-going public advisory groups and committees. Considered one of the outstanding surface scientists of his generation, and an active researcher, he has received numerous awards in recognition of his achievements: he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1991, a Foreign Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002 and became a Knight Bachelor in 2003. Professor King has also enjoyed a distinguished career in academia, holding posts at Imperial College, London, the University of East Anglia, the University of Liverpool and the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge he became Master of Downing College (1995-2000) and Head of the University Chemistry Department (1993-2000).

  • Rt. Hon. Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve - Doctor of Literature Degree for distinction in philosophy and ethics. Chair of the Nuffield Foundation, former President of the Aristotelian Society, life peer, the Rt. Hon. Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve, born in Belfast, held academic positions in universities in America and the UK, becoming Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge in 1992. Awarded a CBE in 1995, and made a life peer in 1999, she has written widely on political philosophy and ethics, international justice and bioethics.

  • Professor Gina Green - Doctor of Science Degree for distinction in psychology and for her contribution to the understanding of autism. A psychologist, and an expert in the fields of autism and mental health, Professor Green is a former President of the Association for Behaviour Analysis, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, who was named 'Mental Health Professional of the Year' in 2000 by Psychology Today. She has also held a number of university and research appointments, including Director of Research at the New England Centre for Children in Massachusetts (1991-2001) and Director of Professional Training and Research at the Institute for Effective Education in San Diego(2001-2003).

Details of the ceremonies are as follows:

Wednesday 14 December

7.30pm
Institute of Lifelong Learning
Address by:
Professor Ken Bell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education

Thursday 15 December

10.30am
Faculty of Engineering; Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Honorary graduands:
Professor Sir David King; Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve
Address by: President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Gregson

2.30pm
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Honorary graduand:
Professor Gina Green
Address by: Professor Gina Green

Friday 16 December

10.30am
Faculty of Humanities; Faculty of Science and Agriculture
Honorary graduand:
Lord (Melvyn) Bragg
Address by: Lord Bragg

2.30pm
Faculty of Legal, Social and Educational Sciences
Honorary graduand:
Geraldine Kennedy
Address by: Geraldine Kennedy

Notes for editors:

  1. Press officers will be on duty at the Sir William Whitla Hall for each of the ceremonies. Media packs will be available.
  2. Requests for interviews with the honorary graduands should be made to the Marketing, Recruitment and Communications Office.

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

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Adventurous chemists at Queen's

Researchers at Queen's University hope to revolutionise the world of chemistry by developing a culture of adventure.

The team, including Dr Joe Vyle and Dr Stuart James, received a grant from the EPSRC to develop this 'culture of adventure' at the university by exploring new ways of thinking and challenging the norm.

Dr James explained researchers at Queen's had put together two proposals which aimed to change the way scientists thought about certain materials. "The first project, which is quite ambitious, is to create the first liquid with microscopic holes in it," he said. "Solids which have microscopic holes are well-known and are enormously useful - they are used in everything from washing powders to large scale chemical plants. This is because they can mop up or release other substances. However one problem is that they work quite slowly as many of the holes are buried deep inside the solid. But with a porous liquid it would flow because the holes would be continually moving around allowing it to mop up or release other substances incredibly quickly."

The idea for the project was envisioned by Dr James, who is an expert on porous materials, and Dr Cristina Lagunas, who is an expert in liquid technology. If the project becomes successful it could have significant benefits for a range of different applications.

"If we are able to prove this concept the long term benefits would be tremendous," Dr James explained. "This has the potential to change the way that chemical plants operate or even improve dialysis treatments in hospitals."

The second project, if proved successful, promises to revolutionise the field of computing by exploring the use of RNA, which is a biological compound similar to DNA.

Dr Vyle, who is an expert in RNA and Professor Amilra de Silva, who is an expert in molecular computing, hope to use this material to store information.

"Instead of using silicon chips to do computations, as today's computers do, we will try and see if we can do the same thing by using a biological material called RNA," Dr Vyle explained. "RNA is similar to DNA and can store enormous amounts of information in chemical form. For example all the information needed to make a human being is contained within a microscopic quantity within each of our cells. What we hope to do is demonstrate that the chemical information in RNA can also be used to do computations. This will be enormously exciting since RNA can store much more information in miniaturised form than any of today’s conventional storage materials."

Work on both projects is expected to begin next year and will be led by Queens Chemistry PhD students Emma Smith and Niamh O'Reilly.

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

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North Down and Ards Institute in partnership with Queen's

Earlier this month saw the beginning of a new and exciting partnership between Queen's University and the North Down and Ards Institute (NDAI).

Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson and NDAI Director Brian Henry signed a Memorandum of Understanding that would allow both educational establishments to collaborate on number of programmes.

 Queen's grants partnerships with institutions based on certain criteria such as its size and catchment area, its geographical location and its reputation regarding teaching and learning.

The North Down and Ards Institute is the only college in Northern Ireland to hold four Centre of Excellence Awards for Engineering, Electronics, Software Engineering and Information Communication and Technology plus a Special Recognition Award for Multimedia.

The Centre of Excellence award is public recognition of high quality teaching and learning and is awarded in vocational areas key to Northern Ireland's development.

The NDAI also already collaborates with Queen's on three programmes, the foundation degree in Creative Multimedia which streamlines students to the BSc Creative Multimedia degree at Queen's, the HND Music Production which allows students to go on to stage two of a BSc in Music Technology and the HND Music Performance programme which allows students to go on to stage two of a BSc in Music.

Prof Gregson said:
"This Memorandum of Understanding is just another step in Queen's commitment to further enhance education in Northern Ireland. The NDAI is one of the largest education and training providers in Northern Ireland with almost 16,000 enrolments and 630 staff. It is the only institute to be recognised as a multi-centre of excellence specialising in electronics, manufacturing engineering and ICT and computing. With this agreement we will be able to create more programmes that will allow students throughout the Ards and North Down Boroughs to further their education at Queen's." 

Note to editors:
Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson and NDAI Director Brian Henry signed the memorandum on Monday, 14 November.

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

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Queen's researcher receives grant for breast cancer research

A leading Queen's researcher has been granted more than £130,000 to fund research that could one day lead to the development of another breast cancer fighting drug that would have the same affect as Herceptin.

Dr Paul Mullan from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology is investigating the role of a predictive marker known as TBX2 in breast cancer treatment.

"One of the ways cancer develops is a phenomenon known as gene amplification," Dr Mullan explained. "Here the tumour cell makes multiple copies of particular regions of chromosomes which harbour genes important for tumour growth. These cancer causing genes are referred to as oncogenes and in general contribute to uncontrolled cell growth which can form tumours."

There are number of these amplified regions or amplicons in breast cancer. One of the most common amplicons in breast cancer (30%) is the region on chromosome 17 (17q12) which contains the HER2 oncogene. HER2 is the key gene that is responsible for the development of this type of breast cancer and cancer clinicians have specifically targeted this gene using the drug Herceptin.

A region which receives much less attention and is the focus of Dr Mullan's research is chromosome 17 (17q23) which is found in up to 20% of breast cancers.

Dr Mullan explained this region contained another gene which appears to have profound effects on tumour cell growth.

"This oncogene called T-box2 (TBX2) is responsible for switching off other genes and is known to do this in at least two of the major growth control genes which are key in the prevention of cancer. What we know is when TBX2 is amplified it usually means that there is a more aggressive form of breast cancer."

Dr Mullan said his research intended to study the effect of TBX2 in the development of breast cancer and hoped it would one day lead to better treatments. While the work is in its early stages, TBX2 looks to be a promising breast cancer therapeutic target.

"My ultimate aim would be to design a drug which specifically targeted this gene," he explained. "By understanding how this form of cancer develops we will open the path to discover new ways of treating it and designing more effective breast cancer treatments much in the same way as clinicians did with Herceptin."

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

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Queen's pays tribute to George Best

Queen's University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson today paid tribute to honorary graduate and footballing legend George Best who has died at the age of 59.

Professor Gregson said: "We are greatly saddened to learn of George Best's death, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

"George Best was awarded an honorary Doctorate of the University in December 2001 for services to association football. He made an historic and unsurpassed contribution to this sport, and he did so with a unique blend of skill and glamour. He will be greatly missed."

 

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Business innovation lecture at Queen's was big success
L-R: Roger La Salle with Tracy Meharg from Invest NI and Sir Gerry Loughran.
L-R: Roger La Salle with Tracy Meharg from Invest NI and Sir Gerry Loughran.

Members from the local business community gathered at Queen's University last week to hear successful Australian entrepreneur Roger La Salle deliver a major lecture on business innovation.

The First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture entitled 'Innovation - the key to market success', focused on the concepts around the journey of discovery into market segments, innovation and the "La Salle Matrix Thinking"™ which was devised by Mr La Salle.

Mr La Salle is an international expert on business innovation and a Director of INNOVIC, the Victorian Innovation Centre based in Melbourne. Before becoming a public speaker and consultant on industry innovation, Mr La Salle was a professional engineer who worked in a wide variety of positions from Senior Engineer to air navigation in the Australian Department of Civil Aviation, to production management with Motorola Australasia. He has also worked as a Group Director in technology consulting and at a Senior General Management level in technology strategy in a major public company. In addition he has been responsible for two successful technology start-up companies and the source of intellectual property for a third very successful company. He has also invented two high-tech products that have achieved international success and has written two books, 'Think New' and 'Think Next'.

At the talk La Salle spoke about one of the toughest challenges facing businesses today - competition. He put forth the question that while most business leaders recognised that the greatest asset of any organisation was its people, how many actually captured the real value of their people, the latent intellectual capital that is so seldom encouraged and harvested?

He also explored other related issues and explained the his highly acclaimed La Salle Matrix Thinking model which he described as providing a method of finding new commercial opportunities and capturing a lifetime of work to conceive winning innovations and business opportunities. It has been adopted by many Australian and international organisations to inspire new breakthrough business opportunities.

The event was sponsored by First Trust Bank and Invest Northern Ireland.

Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive at Invest NI said: "Innovation plays a central role in the continued development of any successful economy. Only by investing in innovative product development, marketing and training opportunities will companies be able to grow and succeed in today’s tough business environment."

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

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Queen's University scoops top Delivery Partner Award
Queen's In the Community win Prince's Trust Award: (l-r) Prof Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr David Dobbin, Chairman, Prince's Trust NI Council, Mr Mervyn Farrell, Special Projects Officer, QUB and Ms. Christine Bleakley, BBC NI.

Queen's In the Community Scoop Prince's Trust Award: (l-r)
Queen's In the Community win Prince's Trust Award: (l-r) Prof Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr David Dobbin, Chairman, Prince's Trust NI Council, Mr Mervyn Farrell, Special Projects Officer, QUB and Ms. Christine Bleakley, BBC NI.

Queen's University Belfast was recognised as the Delivery Partner of the Year yesterday at The Prince's Trust's Celebrate Success awards ceremony held in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.

The Awards Ceremony, which was held in association with Invest NI and Ulster Bank, celebrated the achievements of disadvantaged young people supported by The Trust who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and have had a positive impact on the local community. The outstanding levels of support provided by Prince's Trust volunteers and staff from partner organisations across the region were also recognised at the event.

Queen's University, through its 'Queen's in the Community' initiative has been supporting the Prince's Trust's Sound Live programme for six year; providing professional expertise in event production, technical assistance, venue facilities and hospitality for the final Sound Live Gig.

Sound Live is a six month programme, starting with a week long residential, for young people to get training and advice about the music industry from professional musicians. It aims to boost their confidence and help them to move forward with their lives. At the end of the residential the young people hold a final night gig where they perform to invited guests, showcasing the skills they have learned throughout the week.

Collecting the award on behalf of Queen's University Belfast was Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro Vice Chancellor for Outreach and Economic Development, and Mervyn Farrell, Special Projects Officer. Queen's was among six others who were selected to go forward to The Prince's Trust’s Celebrate Success UK finals.

The seven finalists will compete against others from 11 Prince's Trust regional and country Awards for a place on the shortlist for the UK finals. Overall winners will be revealed at the prestigious Prince's Trust & RBS Celebrate Success Awards ceremony which will take place in London in February 2006.

Siobhan Craig, Regional Director of The Prince's Trust in Northern Ireland said, "We are often surrounded by quite negative images of young people, but with these awards, The Prince's Trust is highlighting the success of young people from Northern Ireland, and their very positive participation in the community. Celebrate Success is about celebrating the incredible strength and determination that the young people involved have shown, and the hugely positive impact Trust volunteers, partners and staff have on young people's lives."

The other UK nominated finalists were:

  • In-School Achiever Award supported by BT: Tori McCann, Belfast Model School for Girls, Belfast
  • Skills Development Award supported by Construction Industry Training Board: Thomas Brolly, Limavady Alternative Education Project, Limavady
  • Delivery Partner Award: Queen's in the Community, Queen's University, Belfast
  • Leadership Award supported by Management & Leadership Network: Narene Skeffington Burns, Youth Worker, South Eastern Education & Library Board
  • Ulster Bank Enterprise Award: Kevin Lynch, Lynch's Direct Flower Wholesalers, Derry
  • Mentor/ Volunteer Award supported by Management and Leadership Network: Andy Cowan-Martin, Prince's Trust Mentor
  • Young Achiever of the Year Award: Kevin Traynor, Sonic DJ Academy

For more information please contact: Mags Connolly on 028 90745454,  mags.connolly@princes-trust.org.uk, M: 07904894548

Notes for the editor:

  1. The Prince's Trust offers practical support to help young people get their lives working, particularly those who are facing barriers in their lives: those who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.
  2. The charity was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976, and since then it has helped half a million young people across the UK.
  3. Last year The Prince's Trust in Northern Ireland supported just over 1,600 young people get their lives working.

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Ian Rankin to read at Queen's University's Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry

The autumn season of exciting book launches and readings hosted by the Queen's University Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry concludes on Thursday 24 November with a visit from the UK's best-selling crime author, Ian Rankin.

Best known for the acclaimed Inspector Rebus series, Ian Rankin will read extracts from his work, including the latest Rebus novel, Fleshmarket Close.

Born in Fife, Scotland, in 1960, Ian Rankin was educated at Edinburgh University. He then worked as a civil servant, and as a researcher and journalist. His first published book was The Flood (1986), followed in 1987 by Knots and Crosses, the first in the series of novels featuring Inspector John Rebus and set in contemporary Scotland.

Several of the Inspector Rebus novels have been adapted for television, and his work has won many UK and international awards. Most recently, Fleshmarket Close won the 2005 British Book Awards Crime Thriller of the Year award, and Ian Rankin was this year awarded the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger, a lifetime achievement award.

Commenting on his work, Ian Rankin stated: "I started writing novels while an undergraduate student, in an attempt to make sense of the city of Edinburgh, using a detective as my protagonist. Each book hopefully adds another piece to the jigsaw that is modern Scotland, asking questions about the nation's politics, economy, psyche and history ... and perhaps pointing towards its possible future."

Opened less than two years ago, the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry has already established itself as a world-class centre for literary excellence. It is named after one of Queen’s University’s and Northern Ireland’s most famous sons, poet and Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney.

Ciaran Carson, Professor of Poetry at Queen's and Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry said: "The Centre plays a vibrant role in the University’s contribution to the literary arts. As part of this, we present each semester a strong and vibrant programme of events that are open to the public and generally free of charge.

"I am delighted to welcome Ian Rankin to Queen's to round off our autumn programme on a popular and high note."

Ian Rankin will read from his work at 7.00pm on Thursday 24 November in lecture room GO9 in the Queen's Lanyon Building.

For further information, please contact: Professor Ciaran Carson, The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, 028 9097 1070; or Dolores Vischer, Marketing, Recruitment and Communications Office 028 9097 5320 / 3087

Notes:
The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry will host a C S Lewis Celebration on Saturday 03 December when the writer's work will be discussed by local and visiting academics. For further information, contact the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at the School of English. 028 9097 1070

 

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Doctor Who Day at Queen's

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Society at Queen's will hold Dr Who Day this Wednesday, 23 November in anticipation of the forthcoming season return of the popular sci-fi series which will be broadcast on Christmas Day.

Earlier this year the society held Dr Who Day a week before the long-running programme made a welcome return to TV screens delighting fans here in Northern Ireland and around the globe. The day-long event was very successful, so the organisers have decided to hold another event on the 42nd anniversary of the screening of the first episode.

One of the organisers, Michael Perkins, said the fun-filled day would be a celebration of British television's most enduring science fiction series.

"It's a full day-long event," he explained. "There will be screenings of a couple of classic episodes as well as one of the new ones, there will also be a mini quiz, a panel debate and a short presentation on the history of Dr Who. And, of course, there should hopefully be plenty of Dr Who fans there too!"

All proceeds from the previous event went to the Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association. This time, all proceeds will go to the BBC Children in Need Appeal, the programme's chosen beneficiary and subject for a special mini-episode starring new doctor, David Tennant which can viewed on the Dr Who website.

Activities will begin at 2.00pm at Varsity Bar and should finish about 11.00pm.

For further information about the event contact Michael Perkins, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Queen's University via email at m.j.perkins@qub.ac.uk

For media queries, please contact: Emily Moulton, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384.

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Report reveals growth of 'religious independents' in Northern Ireland
'Driven to disaffection' – 11.5% in NI now see themselves as having no religion

One major change within Northern Ireland society over the past 30 years has been the growth in the proportion of people with no religion. In the most recent Northern Ireland Life and Times survey, conducted in 2004, 11.5% described themselves as 'religious independents'.

A new report published this week highlights trends in the religious demography of Northern Ireland using a variety of surveys from 1989 to 2004. In the report entitled 'Driven to disaffection: Religious independents in Northern Ireland', Professor Ian McAllister explores this move away from a formal religious commitment, and the long-term political implications.

The report is published by ARK - Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive - which is a joint initiative between Queen's University and the University of Ulster.

The key findings of the report are:

  • In line with international trends, a significant minority in Northern Ireland now see themselves as having no religion. This group is now the fourth largest religious group in Northern Ireland.
  • If these trends continue, those with no religion will form the second or third largest group in Northern Ireland by 2011.
  • Those with no religion are more likely to come from Protestant than Catholic families.
  • There has been a significant decline in church attendance among Catholics.
  • There is evidence to support gradual population replacement as one explanation for the growth in secularisation.
  • There is also suggestive evidence that disaffection with politics is causing the growth of this secular group.

The report's author, Professor Ian McAllister, commented that, "The results indicate strong support for the view that disaffection from politics has been a motivation to reject religion. However, this move towards secularisation does not suggest a reduced role in politics for religion. In particular, people who are the most religious are often the most politically active, and so exert the most influence on parties and politicians. If secularisation is to have any impact on the political process, those who see themselves as secular will have to re-enter politics and influence it from within."

Ian McAllister is based at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. However, he received funding from the Nuffield Foundation for this project to work with ARK in 2004/5 and carried out the research while based at the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research at Queen's University Belfast. 

Notes for editors
1. Professor Ian McAllister is based at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. ian.mcallister@anu.edu.au (office: 61 (0)2 6125 5553)
2. The report uses a pooled dataset, combining the Northern Ireland Social Attitudes surveys (1989-1996), the Northern Ireland Life and Times surveys (1998-2004), the 1998 Northern Ireland Referendum and Election Survey and the 2003 Northern Ireland Election Study.
3. The development of the pooled dataset was funded by the Nuffield Foundation.
4. The Northern Ireland Life and Times survey is carried out annually and documents public opinion on a wide range of social issues – see www.ark.ac.uk/nilt
5. ARK is a joint project between Queen’s University Belfast and University of Ulster.
6. The full report can be found on the ARK website at www.ark.ac.uk/publications
7. The Nuffield Foundation is a charitable trust established by Lord Nuffield. Its widest charitable object is 'the advancement of social well-being', in which the Foundation has long had an interest. The views expressed in reports from research supported by the Foundation are however those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.

For further information, please contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320. The full report can be found on the ARK website at www.ark.ac.uk/publications

 

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Psychological effects of the Troubles to be discussed at special conference
(L-R above) Dr. Orla Muldoon (Project Director and Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, QUB) Pat Clements (Victims Unit Community Relations Council) Lord Alderdice (FPsych ex leader of Alliance Party and Speaker of the Assembly) ,  Ruth Tallion, (Research Co-ordinator ADM/CPA Intermediary Funder) Pat Colgan (Director of the EU’s Peace 2 Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation).
Dr. Orla Muldoon (Project Director and Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, QUB) Pat Clements (Victims Unit Community Relations Council) Lord Alderdice (FPsych ex leader of Alliance Party and Speaker of the Assembly) , Ruth Tallion, (Research Co-ordinator ADM/CPA Intermediary Funder) Pat Colgan (Director of the EU’s Peace 2 Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation).
L-R: Ciara Downes (PhD student funded by the project), Pat Colgan (Director of the EU’s Peace 2 Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation) Lord Alderdice, Pat Clements (Victims Unit Community Relations Council) Dr. Karen Trew (Reader, School of Psychology, QUB) Katharina Schmid (PhD student funded by the project), Dr. John Kremer, (Reader, School of Psychology, QUB), Dr. Orla Muldoon (Project Director and Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, QUB) Ruth Tallion, (Research Co-ordinator ADM/CPA Intermediary Funder).

The results of a large scale survey examining the long-term psychological effects of the Troubles will be revealed at a special conference in Armagh on Tuesday, 22 November.

The Legacy of the Troubles project was conducted by researchers from the School of Psychology at Queen's University under the direction of senior lecturer Dr Orla Muldoon.

The conference will be held at Armagh City Hotel tomorrow and will feature a distinguished panel of guests including Lord John Alderdice, Human Rights Commissioner Lady Christine Eames, Joan Clements from the Community Relations Council, Des Poole from the Northern Ireland Association of Mental Health and Peace 2 programme director Pat Colgan, whose organisation funded the research.

It is expected panellists will deliver their views on how these results can be interpreted and used in wider policy decision making both in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

3000 people from Northern Ireland and the six border counties of the Irish Republic were surveyed in 2004 for the report.

The survey found a considerable proportion of the population experience significant mental health problems which they attribute directly to the Troubles. One in 10 reported post-traumatic symptoms that are suggestive of clinical Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It also found that PTSD was twice as common in Northern Ireland than in the border counties however one in 20 respondents from the border counties also displayed clinical symptoms suggestive of PTSD as a result of the Troubles.

School of Psychology senior lecturer Orla Muldoon, who directed the survey, said the results showed the Troubles did have a significant effect on some people’s lives.

"What these findings tell us is that there are a proportion of people living in Northern Ireland and the six border counties that have been traumatised by The Troubles," she explained. "The findings also show that while the Troubles have affected people in Northern Ireland and the border counties, the affect of the conflict has not been felt evenly across the population - some have suffered while others have not suffered at all."

The survey also examined the relationship between experience of the troubles and political attitudes. These results indicated that support for the Good Friday Agreement was related to experiences during the troubles in Northern Ireland and the border counties. Experience was also related to self-reported nationality. Additionally, in Northern Ireland those who viewed themselves as Irish, though they had more positive appraisals of their nationality, perceived they were more likely to be discriminated against and believed they typified their group more than those who identified as either Northern Irish or British.

For further information about the conference, please contact Dr Orla Muldoon on 028 9097 4283. 

For press inquiries, please contact: Emily Moulton, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384.

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Royal recognition for Queen's world-leading pollution solution
QUILL Directors Professor Ken Seddon (left) and Professor Jim Swindall demonstrate some of the ionic liquids developed in the world-leading centre.
QUILL Directors Professor Ken Seddon (left) and Professor Jim Swindall demonstrate some of the ionic liquids developed in the world-leading centre.

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast are leading the world in the design of an exciting new 'green' technology which has the potential to impact on the daily lives of everyone around the world.

Queen's University Ionic Liquids Laboratories (QUILL) are creating designer solvents which will not only massively reduce industrial pollution but will also improve working conditions for thousands of people and significantly enhance job and wealth creation.

QUILL was announced tonight as one of the winners of the Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education.

The awards - part of the national honours system - recognise and honour outstanding achievement by universities and colleges in the United Kingdom.

One of the most successful universities in the United Kingdom in the history of the Anniversary Awards, Queen's stands alongside Oxford, UMIST and Loughborough in having won one of these awards on four occasions since the Prizes were founded in 1993.

Working with a range of industrial partners, including ICI, BP and Shell, QUILL is acknowledged as the world leader in its field. Earlier this year it was selected as the research group to represent the United Kingdom in the Carnegie Green Chemistry network, a major new global initiative from the G8 countries.

Welcoming tonight's news, Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "We are delighted to learn of the award of a Queen's Anniversary Prize to QUILL. This is fantastic news and I warmly congratulate QUILL's Directors, Professor Ken Seddon and Professor Jim Swindall, on their achievement.

"As a world-class centre working with international partners on research which will benefit global society, QUILL embodies the values of Queen's Vision for the Future. The Vision is summed up in the phrase ‘leading, inspiring, delivering’. QUILL is demonstrably leading the world in the development of an exciting new scientific process, inspiring a whole new generation of international researchers and delivering solutions to a problem of global proportions."

The Centre's Director, Professor Ken Seddon, said: "The potential of ionic liquids is immense. For example, one of the companies we have worked with, the Swiss chemical giant BASF, reported an 80,000 times increase in productivity after introducing ionic liquids to one of their processes.

"Ionic liquids act as solvents for a broad spectrum of chemical processes and can dissolve a wide range of materials – even rocks, coal and almost anything organic, amazingly well. However, unlike conventional solvents, they do not emit vapours. Put quite simply, they have remarkable properties which have tremendous applications in the development of clean technology for manufacturing processes. They are the basis of a whole new industrial technology."

His co-director, Professor Jim Swindall, former Director of the University's environmental research initiative, QUESTOR, which won a Queen's Anniversary Prize in 1996, said: "I am delighted and honoured to be part of another Queen's Anniversary Prize winning initiative which underlines the excellence of the University's work in the field of green chemistry. The work of QUILL represents the most exciting area of chemistry in which I have been involved during my 44-year career. New findings are coming up nearly every day."

QUILL has received accolades from many leading scientists. American Professor Robin Rogers, who was awarded the Presidential Green Challenge Award for his work with ionic liquids in June, said: "Professor Seddon and QUILL have revolutionised and will continue to revolutionise science and engineering by introducing a new way of thinking about chemical compounds; thinking that has led directly to tremendous industrial interest and application. I have never in my career experienced such a phenomenon and likely will not again."

QUILL and one of its industry partners, Merck, won the Royal Society of Chemistry Teamwork in Innovation Award for the "development and commercialisation of ionic liquids in the chemical industry" earlier this year.

The first Queen's Anniversary Prize to Queen's was awarded for its Servicing the Legal System programme in 1994. Queen's environmental research initiative, the QUESTOR Centre, was awarded an Anniversary Prize in 1996, followed by Queen’s Palaeoecology Centre in 2000.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes will be presented at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace in February.

For further information, please contact:
Professor Ken Seddon, Tel 028 9097 5420
Professor Jim Swindall, Tel 07879 666520
Kevin Mulhern, Tel 028 9097 5323 or 07813 015431

Notes for editors:

QUILL
QUILL was founded in April 1999 as an industrial consortium, with members from all sectors of the chemical industry. QUILL was the first research centre in the world to focus on the development of ionic liquids. Its structure is based on the successful QUESTOR (Queen's University Environmental Science and Technology Research) Centre which was founded and set up by Professor Jim Swindall in 1989, and won the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 1996. Professor Swindall was awarded the OBE for services to analytical science and the environment in 1997. Research carried out between Queen’s and individual companies, or by QUILL itself, has generated more than 20 patent applications. Its 16 members are drawn from all sectors of the chemical industry and are located in nine countries and on four continents.

THE QUEEN’S ANNIVESARY PRIZES
The Prizes scheme was set up in 1993 by The Royal Anniversary Trust with the consent of the Queen and the approval of the Prime Minister and all political parties, and of the Charity Commission. Prizes are awarded every two years. Uniquely in the field of education, these Prizes sit within the national honours system. They recognise and honour outstanding achievement and excellence in UK universities and colleges.

The Queen's Prizes scheme highlights high-quality work taking place in the vital sectors of higher and further education. It promotes excellence in UK universities and colleges through its awards.

A Prizewinner must be able to demonstrate outstanding work at world-class level.

 

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Queens annual black-tie affair

A former Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland and a long serving educator are among the guest speakers at Queen's University’s black-tie event to be held this Friday evening.

Baroness Fritchie DBE, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University for public service earlier this year, and retiring Methodist College Principal, Dr Wilfred Mulryne, will join Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson as guest speakers at the annual Charter Day Dinner to celebrate the granting of the university's original Charter in 1908.

The formal evening, which has been organised by the Queen's Graduates' Association with support from First Trust Bank, gives graduates, staff and guests the opportunity to socialise with each other and hear about the University's future plans.

The Charter Day Dinner will be held in the Great Hall on Friday, 18 November at 8.00pm and will be preceded by a reception in the Visitors' Centre starting at 7.00pm.

For further information visit the alumni website at www.qub.ac.uk/alumni/

For press queries please contact: Emily Moulton, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or Gerry Power (Alumni Officer) 07703 460600

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Queen's University astronomer counts his lucky stars
Dr Steven Smartt, awarded the Philip Leverhulme prize for his research into supernovae.
Dr Steven Smartt, awarded the Philip Leverhulme prize for his research into supernovae.

A leading young researcher from Queen's University, who has just returned from Budapest to collect a prestigious award, has just learnt he has earned a second accolade.

Dr Stephen Smartt has been awarded the Philip Leverhulme prize for his research into supernovae - the explosions that signal the end of a star's life creating heavier elements such as oxygen and iron and dispersing them through space.

The £50,000 prize is awarded to individuals (under 36) who have excelled in their field, gained an international standing and of whom it is felt that their best research is yet to come.

Each year approximately 25 awards are given to individuals in five selected subject areas. Dr Smartt was one of six astronomy and astrophysics researchers to receive the prize. But this is not the only accolade he has won.

Earlier this year he was one of two UK astronomers to receive the prestigious European Young Investigator (EURYI) award for his research. The five-year award is worth about 1.2 million Euro or about £827,000 - almost financially equivalent to a Nobel Prize – and is only given out to 25 researchers around the globe.

A special ceremony for all of the 2005 EURYI Award winners was held on Wednesday 09 November in Budapest, Hungary, before the beginning of the World Science Forum in Budapest on 10-12 November.

Dr Smartt said he felt very honoured and grateful to receive both prizes because they would allow him to build a leading group at Queen's.

"Supernovae are key to many of the current challenges in astronomy," he explained. "They provide evidence of the accelerating expansion of the universe and the existence of the mysterious Dark Energy which drives this process. Yet very little is known about supernova progenitor stars."

There have only been four cases in the world where astronomers have identified what a star looked like before the supernova occurred. Dr Smartt confirmed three of those examples.

"In this project I want to understand what types of stars produce supernovae. These explosions have produced the oxygen we breath, the calcium in our bones and the minerals the earth is made of. They have given our solar system the chemical ingredients for life. We want to understand their origins to help trace the evolution of Universe"

Note:
The Philip Leverhulme Prizes commemorate the contribution made by Philip Leverhulme, the Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of the Leverhulme Trust's founder, William Hesketh Lever. Since 2001, the Trustees have awarded 106 of these Prizes totalling £5.3 million of funding to support and recognise research in subjects as diverse as Classics and Software Technology.

The EURYI Awards scheme was developed by the European Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORCS) and the European Science Foundation (ESF) to attract outstanding young researchers from anywhere in the world to work in Europe for the further development of European science, contributing to building up the next generation of leading European researchers. The first round of the scheme was launched in September 2003, and resulted in 25 Awards being made in July 2004.

Candidates are selected by a two-stage process, firstly at the national level by the relevant Participating Organisation and secondly at the international level by high-level scientific panels managed by the ESF. ESF’s role in the coordination and selection processes of EURYI is supported by funds from the European Commission's Framework Programme 6.

For further information, please contact:
Dr Stephen Smartt, Queen's University Belfast, 01223 330803 Mobile 07754 782758 email S.Smartt@qub.ac.uk
Emily Moulton, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or news.release@qub.ac.uk

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First traditional singer in residence welcomed to Queen's University
A reception was held at Queen's University Belfast on Wednesday 23 November to welcome Singer in Residence Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin to the University's Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. Pictured (l-r) are: Professor Ciaran Carson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry,  Deidre Davitt of Foras na Gaeilge and Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin.
A reception was held at Queen's University Belfast on Wednesday 23 November to welcome Singer in Residence Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin to the University's Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. Pictured (l-r) are: Professor Ciaran Carson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Deidre Davitt of Foras na Gaeilge and Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin.

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University Belfast has the distinction this year of hosting the University's first traditional singer in residence. Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, one of the most accomplished traditional singers of her generation, will be welcomed to the University at a reception taking place on Wednesday 23 November.

Born in County Armagh, Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin is unique in being the first woman to have released an album of her own contemporary songs in the Irish language with her new seventh album Áilleacht (Beauty), released earlier this month.

"Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin is regarded as one of the best sean-nós singers of her generation and she is the author of the critically acclaimed study of the songs of Oriel, A Hidden Ulster. We are delighted that she has been able to join us," commented Professor Ciaran Carson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry.

"Her residency has been made possible through a generous grant from Foras na Gaeilge, the organisation charged with the promotion of the Irish language," he added. Pádraigín will be is in residence with the Seamus Heaney Centre until next September.

As the first traditional artist to be a recipient of a Major Arts Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, all 54 songs restored and published in A Hidden Ulster are to be recorded by Ní Uallacháin during her residency at Queen's University.

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin will be conducting a series of events and workshops with students and staff at Queen's based on her deep knowledge of traditional song, and she participated in several of the events based around the An Leabhar Mòr / The Great Book of Gaelic exhibition that recently took place in the Ulster Museum.

“To be associated with the Seamus Heaney Centre, in such a creative and innovative way, is a great honour," said Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin. "Of course," she added, "the tradition of singing poems in Ireland and Scotland goes back at least to Bardic times.So in a sense this residency is making a reconnection there. Séamus Heaney himself has translated some song/poems from Irish, one of which I sing.

"I hope this residency will create a focus for a series of explorations between traditional song and wider cultural concerns both inside the University, and also here in Belfast and Scotland too. It’s also an ideal base for the continuation of my research on the Ulster song tradition," Pádraigín added.

The reception welcoming Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin to Queen's University Belfast is being hosted jointly by The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry and Foras na Gaeilge.

The Seamus Heaney Centre is also proud to announce that Leontia Flynn has recently taken up the position of Research Fellow at the Centre. Regarded as one of the most promising poets of her generation, her first collection of poems, These Days, published by Jonathan Cape in 2004, was that year’s winner of the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. Her doctoral thesis was on the poetry of Medbh McGuckian.

For further information, please contact: The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, 028 9097 1070: or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

Notes:
The reception welcoming Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin to Queen's University Belfast will take place 6.00-8.00pm on Wednesday 23 November in the Old Staff Common Room in the Lanyon Building at Queen's.

 

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Leading UK legal expert considers whether human rights can survive

One of the UK's most eminent legal figures, Professor Conor Gearty, is to give an important public lecture on human rights at Queen's University Belfast on Thursday 17 November at 5.00pm.

The Queen's University lecture is the third Professor Gearty is giving around the UK as part of the prestigious Hamlyn Lecture series. It is being hosted by the Human Rights Centre within the School of Law at Queen's.

Professor Gearty is Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Professor of Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics: he is a founding member of the highly-regarded Matrix Chambers. He is the latest in a long line of judges, legal academics and experts to deliver these esteemed annual lectures.

The Hamlyn lecture series first began 56 years ago in 1949, when Lord Denning spoke on Freedom under the Law. Other speakers have included Lord Woolf, Lord Scarman, LSE emeritus professor Michael Zander and last year's lecturer Sir Bob Hepple QC FBA.

"We are delighted that Queen's was selected as one of the three UK lecture venues for such an important lecture series," commented Colin Harvey, Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Human Rights Centre at Queen's. "I am confident that we can look forward to a very stimulating lecture on human rights that will offer much food for subsequent discussion."

Professor Gearty's lectures consider whether the subject of human rights can survive what he identifies as the three crises facing it at present. He also analyses what the subject needs to do if it is to meet its current challenges and prosper in the future.

In his lecture entitled The Crisis of Scarce Resources on Thursday evening at Queen's University Belfast Professor Gearty confronts the challenges that may destroy the language of human rights for the generations that follow us: the bogus war on terror and - much more ominously - the war for which that fabricated conflict is a harbinger, the future battle for the world's diminishing resources.

Writing about his choice of subject matter for the lectures, Professor Gearty commented: "For years the subject of human rights was on the margin of legal and political debate, supported with zeal by the few and ignored by the many. Then, with the end of the Cold War came recognition, prestige and immense influence. Democracy everywhere redefined itself to make human rights an essential part of its make-up rather than the subversion of true majority rule that it had long been believed to be. By the start of the new millennium, the idea of human rights was well-entrenched as the key ethic of its age, the moral music that was to accompany 'the end of history'.

"It has not worked out quite like this. Through the genius and hard work of our predecessors, we have been able to carve out for ourselves a civilised niche in a small, accidentally perfect place floating in a universe that is otherwise unknowable. To survive and to continue to thrive, we urgently need a new way of explaining ourselves to each other and saying how it is we fit where we happen to be. If the idea of human rights manages to survive its current problems, it can provide exactly this guidance and direction. No other narrative even begins to compete. We all have a stake in the outcome."

Members of the public are welcome to attend Professor Gearty's lecture in Queen's on Thursday 17 November at 5.00pm in the Larmor Lecture Theatre.

For further information, please contact: Professor Colin Harvey, Human Rights Centre, School of Law, Queen's University Belfast: 028 9097 3141 c.harvey@qub.ac.uk or Dolores Vischer, Marketing, Recruitment and Communications Office: 028 9097 3087

Notes to editors

  • The Hamlyn Trust was created by Miss Emma Hamlyn in memory of her father, a solicitor and justice of the peace. The trust's aim is to further knowledge and understanding of the law, including the comparative jurisprudence of the chief European countries, among the people of the UK. Its objective is achieved primarily by an annual series of public lectures by distinguished judges, legal practitioners, academic lawyers and other eminent speakers. For more information on the Hamlyn Trust see http://www.law.ex.ac.uk/hamlyn/index.shtml
  • The Human Rights Centre in the School of Law, Queen's University Belfast was established in 1990. It offers a focus for the School’s work on human rights. Its aim is to support a community of researchers in the area of human rights law, and to promote co-operation with other academic and human rights institutions, so as to produce scholarship of international excellence and promote understanding of human rights. For more information on the Human Rights Centre at Queen’s see: http://www.law.qub.ac.uk/humanrights T
  • he Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE was launched in autumn 2000 - and, thanks to the generous support of The Sigrid Rausing Trust- has had a full-time director in post since October 2002. The Centre draws upon LSE's considerable expertise and resources in the social sciences to develop its programmes of teaching, research and outreach in the field of human rights. See http://www.lse.ac.uk/Depts/human-rights/

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Paul Rankin gives healthy cooking tips to Queen's students

Top celebrity chef Paul Rankin is set to reveal a few culinary tips to students when he gives two cookery demonstrations this evening (Monday 14 November) in the Scholar's Restaurant at Queen's Elms Village.

The 'Ready, Steady cookery demonstration' for students is the first event of its kind to take place at Queen's. Organised by the Queen's University Occupational Health Department, with funding from the Queen's Alumni Fund, it aims to enhance students’ knowledge of and practical skills in cooking nutritious, simple and quick meals within the limitations of a student budget and to demonstrate the importance of a healthy diet.

"We wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle and show students how they can eat healthily during their time at university," explained nurse Ciara Matthews of the Queen's Occupational Health Department who organised the event. "Paul Rankin will demonstrate a range of delicious meals that are easy to prepare and affordable on a student budget, calling upon several members of his student audience to assist him. In addition, during the evening we will give out recipe cards so that students can recreate the meals in their own accommodation afterwards."

The evening's fun line-up includes a number of spot quizzes before and after the two demonstrations to test students' culinary knowledge. The lucky winners will pick up prizes of complimentary meal vouchers or luxury food hampers presented by local restaurants and businesses.

"The Queen's Alumni Fund was set up in 1999 to fund projects that enhance the student experience," said Kerry Bryson, Head of Alumni Marketing within the Development and Alumni Relations Office. "We are delighted to fund this innovative cookery demonstration that will help educate students on healthy eating and budgeting."

"Over 4,000 Queen's graduates have contributed to the Queen's Alumni Fund in the last five years and we are very appreciative of their support. The Fund supports a number of initiatives that support healthy living, including also the 'Student Lifestyle MOT' run through the University's Sport and Recreation Service. This offers students the opportunity of a free MOT that gives them information of their health and fitness levels," Kerry Bryson added.

For further information, please contact: Marketing, Recruitment and Communications, 028 9097 5320.

Notes:
Paul Rankin will give the two cookery demonstrations in the Scholar's Restaurant at the Queen's Elms Village on the Malone Road at 6.45pm and 8pm.
Media opportunities will be available before the first demonstration at 6.30pm and before the second at 7.45pm.

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School of Law to head new study on corporate governance scandals

A new £200,000 project investigating the global affects of changes to US federal corporate law will be launched at Queen's University on Monday, 14 November.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project will explore the dominant effect the US regulatory regime has on global markets and the regulatory and economic governance regimes of states across the world.

Under the direction of Dr Justin O'Brien, who is a senior lecturer in corporate law at Queen's, Regulatory Regime Change in World Financial Markets: The Case of Sarbanes-Oxley, will involve researchers from the University of Nottingham, the University of New Hampshire and Monash University in Melbourne as well as several key academics from across Queen's.

They will examine a range of issues relating to corporate liability including legislative and policy responses to corporate governance, the role of local, cultural, institutional and political factors in mediating responses to states and the current state of global regulatory practices.

Dr O'Brien said the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act on corporate liability had a significant effect on corporate law worldwide.

"What we will be doing is looking at how this act affected different countries (states) that were at different stages of socio-economic development," he explained. "These countries include Australia, China, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom."

Dr O'Brien also added: "This project, along with two major conferences held in Belfast during the year confirms the position of Queen's University as a world centre for research into regulation and governance."

The official launch of the project will take place at the Institute of Governance, 63 University Road, Belfast on Monday 14 November at 4.30pm.

For more information, contact, Dr Justin O'Brien, Principal Investigator, ESRC Project Regulatory Regime Change in World Financial Markets: The Case of Sarbanes-Oxley, on 9097 3250 or 07766 527 407.

A website containing details about the project will be set up later this month.

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

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International business innovation expert to speak at Queen's

Successful Australian entrepreneur Roger La Salle will deliver a major lecture for the local business community at Queen's University on Thursday, 17 November.

In a First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture entitled 'Innovation - the key to market success', Mr La Salle, who is an international expert on business innovation and a Director of INNOVIC, the Victorian Innovation Centre based in Melbourne, will explain the concepts around the journey of discovery into market segments, innovation and the "La Salle Matrix Thinking"™.

In his talk, La Salle will address one of the toughest challenges facing businesses today - competition. While most business leaders recognise that the greatest asset of any organisation is its people, how many actually capture the real value of their people, the latent intellectual capital that is so seldom encouraged and harvested?

His lecture will also look at other related issues and explain the highly acclaimed La Salle Matrix Thinking model which he created. La Salle Matrix Thinking is a process that provides a method of finding new commercial opportunities and captures a lifetime of work in conceiving winning innovations and business opportunities. It has been adopted by many Australian and international organisations to inspire new breakthrough business opportunities.

Before becoming a public speaker and consultant on industry innovation, Mr La Salle was a professional engineer who worked in a wide variety of positions from Senior Engineer to air navigation in the Australian Department of Civil Aviation, to production management with Motorola Australasia. He has also worked as a Group Director in technology consulting and at a Senior General Management level in technology strategy in a major public company. In addition he has been responsible for two successful technology start-up companies and the source of intellectual property for a third very successful company. He has also invented two high-tech products that have achieved international success and has written two books, 'Think New' and 'Think Next'.

Sponsored by First Trust Bank and Invest NI, the Chair of Innovation initiative brings world experts in innovation to Northern Ireland to share their insights and knowledge with local business audiences.

Roger La Salle's innovation lecture will be held in G9, Lanyon North at 6.00pm on Thursday 17 November.

Anyone wishing to attend should contact Claire McGivern at Queen's University on 028 9097 1145 or e-mail c.mcgivern@qub.ac.uk

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

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Queen's University remembers fallen service men and women

Queen's University will hold its annual Service of Remembrance on Sunday, 13 November.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson will lead representatives from a number of University associations as they lay wreaths at the War Memorial in front of the main Lanyon building to honour the University's war dead.

Among those represented will be the Students' Union, the University Officers' Training Corps, the Queen's Graduates' Association and the Senior Employees' Club. Members of Senate and Academic Council will also attend the ceremony, along with family and friends.

The ceremony will begin at 10.45am and soup and coffee will be served afterwards in the Great Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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

 

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Medical School investment announced

Health Minister Shaun Woodward announced a major expansion of the Medical School at Queen's University on 08 November.

From September 2005, the number of student places for medicine at Queen's has risen by around a third to 250.

A £7.3 million expansion of the school, including the construction of a new building, is also due to get underway soon. Mr Woodward said: "We are determined to put patients first in the Health service. More doctors mean a better service for patients. By increasing the capacity of the medical school at Queen's, we are able to increase substantially the number of students entering medical training, and this in turn will mean more doctors trained in Northern Ireland and hopefully choosing to make their careers here.

"To ensure that the University has first class facilities and accommodation in which to train students, I have agreed to provide some £4.25 million towards the cost of the expansion of the Medical School campus on the Belfast City Hospital site."

Professor Gregson, Vice-Chancellor of Queen's, said: "This is an important milestone for Queen's and the National Health Service. The increase in the number of medical graduates from Queen's will directly benefit patient care across Northern Ireland by having more trained doctors available to enter the workplace.

"Almost everyone in Northern Ireland will have been treated at some time in their lives by a doctor trained at Queen’s," the Vice-Chancellor said. "The strength of Queen's is its ability to deliver a first-class medical education in an environment where, through world-class research, we are developing the technologies and treatments of tomorrow.

"If we want the best doctors and nurses, they must be educated by clinical academics and health service clinicians who are leaders in their field, nationally and internationally.

"This decision re-affirms the position of Queen's Medical School as a leading provider of medical education in the UK and Ireland, and ensures it will remain a key contributor to the development of health services here. The University will contribute just over £3 million to the capital costs of this expansion. This demonstrates our continued commitment to medical education in Northern Ireland."

 Notes:
This year saw a substantial increase of 63 students, bringing the total intake for 2005/6 to 250. Medicine is a five year course, with students having a balance of academic teaching and clinical placement training in each year:

  • Medical education is currently based at Queen's School of Medicine and Dentistry, which is located on the Lisburn Road, adjacent to the Belfast City Hospital. A substantial amount of clinical training is provided in hospitals and health centres throughout Northern Ireland.
  • The capital cost of the refurbishment of the existing Medical Biology Centre building and the provision of a new building on a site owned by the Belfast City Hospital Trust, is £7.3 million.

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Queen's launches new course in Sustainable Development

The Gibson Institute for Land, Food and Environment at Queen's University is to launch an exciting and innovative postgraduate course for those interested in leading the development of a sustainable society.

The one-year MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development will prepare postgraduates to take the lead in dealing with society's most pressing concerns - the sustainable development of the economy, society and the environment. The launch coincides with the United Nations' Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and marks the University's commitment to leadership in this field.

The programme combines leadership and other transferable skills training with intensive tuition in the key themes of sustainability and provides practical experience through carefully selected work placements.

Host organisations are available across five key sectors, non-government and campaigning organisations, rural development, governance, business and finance, and media and communications. The work placements aim to give student a real grasp of how an organisation works and how the different sectors are tackling sustainability.

The programme, which began in September, will be officially launched on Wednesday November 02 in the University's Canada Room by Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson.

Other speakers will include Sara Parkin, OBE, co-founder of the Forum for the Future, and representatives of the Department of the Environment and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Stephen Peover, Permanent Secretary at the Department of the Environment, will represent the Secretary of State, Peter Hain MP.

Dr Peter Doran, lecturer in sustainable development at the Gibson Institute, said: "Climate change, pollution and resource depletion are presenting new challenges for leaders in all sectors of our society. This new programme will prepare leaders to address these questions, and it will open doors to careers in sustainable development, one of the fastest growing fields of work in the world today."

This MSc programme was inspired by the work and intellectual leadership of the Forum for the Future. It has been made possible as a result of financial collaboration between the Gibson Trust, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Queen's University Belfast.

Note to Editors:
The launch of the MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development will take place on Wednesday 02 November in the Canada Room, Lanyon building, at 11.15am. Photographic opportunities will be available at 11.30am.

Sara Parkin is a founding Programme Director of Forum for the Future and has been an independent campaigner, writer and broadcaster on environmental and sustainable development issues for over 30 years. She was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to education and sustainable development.

For more information, please contact: Dr Peter Doran on (028) 9097 5569

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Young people connecting healthy eating to dieting

New all island research reveals insights into adolescents understanding of health lifestyle.

Young people in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are equating healthy eating with dieting and weight loss. Foods are being classified as simply 'good' and 'bad', indicating little understanding of the need for a lifestyle where moderation and exercise are also important, according to new research funded by safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board.

The research also reveals that while today's young people are well informed about the long term dangers of a junk food diet, they prefer chips, chocolate and crisps as their favourite foods.

In addition, the older generation has been found to be more confident about their food safety knowledge than they should be. Female homemakers, aged over 45, who would have studied home economics at school, were actually found to be less well informed about best practice in the home than other sections of society, confirming the need to keep messages about food safety and hygiene contemporary and relevant.

These are among the findings being presented today at 'New Insights', a one day conference organized by safefood.

The conference brings together food safety experts from across Ireland and the UK to look at how public education and communications activity can be best used to help consumers translate their knowledge about food safety and nutrition issues into meaningful lifestyle choices.

Delegates will hear the results of two major pieces of research, funded by safefood.

'Young People and Food: Adolescents' Dietary Beliefs and Understandings', carried out by a project team led by Dr Karen Trew, Queen's University Belfast, provides fresh insight into the dichotomy between young people's knowledge of food safety and nutrition and their behaviour.

'Novel Strategies for Food Risk Communication', conducted by a team led by Dr Mary McCarthy, University College Cork, provides evidence that while many consumers know the 'good' practices in food hygiene, every day practice varies considerably.

Martin Higgins, Chief Executive, safefood explains the importance of both the research findings and today's seminar: "We all live in an increasingly information rich age and while many more people possess at least the basic knowledge about food safety and the dangers of a diet high in fat and salt, the reasons why our lifestyle choices don't reflect this are complex and varied.

"The research being presented at this seminar will help us understand some of the factors underlying this gap between knowledge and lifestyle choices with a view to facilitating the development of best practice models for public education and interventions which really affect consumers' behaviour." 

'Young People and Food: Adolescents' Dietary Beliefs and Understandings' study is available online at www.safefoodonline.com  

To request further information, please contact: Sarah Young/Claire Hutchinson Fiona Gilligan Citigate SMARTS safefood 028 9039 5500 003531 448 0600

 

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The Walt Disney Company & Walden Media Supports Queen's University's New £44 Million Library with Reading Room Named in Honour of CS Lewis

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company & Walden Media, Queen's University is to host the Irish film premiere of the well loved children's story, 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,' by Belfast born CS Lewis on Thursday 08 December.

It will be the final fundraising event in the University's £44 million Library Campaign. The landmark building was recently granted planning permission.

The University is paying tribute to Lewis by designing a special Reading Room in his honour in the tower of the new Library. The filmmakers have provided the design of the wardrobe doors featured in the film for use in the CS Lewis Reading Room.

Key filmmakers, cast members and senior Disney and Walden Media executives will attend the premiere in Belfast and a gala dinner later that night in the Great Hall at Queen's. The lead sponsor of the events is BT Northern Ireland.

Speaking about hosting the premiere, the University's Director of Development, Aíne Gibbons said: "It is a remarkable achievement for Queen's and Belfast to have Disney stage a major film premiere here.

"We are delighted that Disney has chosen Queen's to be the beneficiary of the premiere. The event will be a marvellous opportunity to showcase all that is good about Northern Ireland.

"Queen's is very proud of its links with CS Lewis and is delighted to be putting on a range of activities around the screening of the film."

Brendan McCaul, Vice President and General Manager of Buena Vista International (Ireland) added: "We are very pleased that we are staging the Irish Premiere of 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe', to acknowledge and celebrate the works of CS Lewis. It is particularly appropriate that our partner in this exciting venture is Queen's University Belfast."

Danny McLaughlin, Managing Director of BT Regions said: "BT strongly values education and the creative arts, and the life and joy they are given in film and new media. We're delighted to support this visual celebration of the genius of one of the world’s greatest writers."

Media enquiries, please contact: Kevin Mulhern Communications Office, telephone 028 9097 5323 / 07813 015431

For further information on the release of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE in Ireland please contact the Buena Vista International (Ireland) press department: +353 16773484 x 22 or ruth.bradley@disney.com

IMAGES are available via www.image.net (free registration required)

Please visit: www.narnia.com

Notes:

  • The All Ireland Premiere of 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' will take place on 08 December in Warner Villages Cinemas, at the Odyssey.
  • Following the screening a gala dinner for VIP guests and cast of the film will take place in the Great Hall, Queen's University.
  • A schools preview will take place on Friday morning 09 December at the Odyssey for approximately 450 children from schools involved in the 'Discovering Queen's' access programme.
  • Queen's Film Theatre (QFT) will screen a season of films in December in honour of CS Lewis.
  • A Lewis Symposium will take place in the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's on 03 December.

ENDS.

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