No. 4433 Thursday 17 April 1997 Vol. 127

Oxford moves to widen net for applicants : The University has just launched two innovative moves as part of its continuing efforts to attract the brightest students whatever their background—a summer school for up to 60 students from state maintained schools and a new schools video.

Why locusts swarm in a crowd : Locusts invaded the University Museum of Natural History on 17 March, as Dr Steve Simpson from the Department of Zoology used live exhibits to illustrate his talk on `Biblical Swarms', part of the set97 programme.

SET97 boosted by Science Competition : Set97, the national week of science, engineering, and technology, has been deemed a tremendous success at Oxford University.

Ethics of genetic testing in focus : People in Britain may soon be able to buy do-it-yourself genetic tests over the counter, Professor Kay Davies revealed during her keynote lecture for set97.

Notice: A valid University Membership Card will be required to gain access to the Science Area and University departments over the weekend 25–7 April. Full information will be published shortly on departmental notice boards.

British Academy of Sport: The bid to site the proposed national British Academy of Sport, supported by the University, on the former United States airfield at Upper Heyford has reached the short-list of three. A final announcement is expected in mid-June. The Consortium includes the British Olympic Association, Oxford Brookes University, Cherwell District Council, and Oxfordshire County Council, as well as the University.

Forestry award: Dr Nick Brown and Mr Steve Jennings, of the Oxford Forestry Institute, have won a grant of £211,000 from the Overseas Development Administration to investigate the ecology and silviculture of mahogany in the Brazilian Amazon. There is growing concern that logging practices which remove 95 per cent of adult trees will lead to the commercial extinction of the species.

Linguistics seminar: The Department for Continuing Education is holding an advanced seminar on Applied Linguistics from 22–27 June for those involved in teaching English language and literature at universities and colleges in Europe. The seminar, organised in conjunction with the Coimbra Group network of leading European universities, will focus on new trends in English and the way language change encodes shifts in social attitudes.

Oxford candidates: More prospective parliamentary candidates for the forthcoming general election were educated at Oxford than at any other university, according to a survey carried out by The Times newspaper. Of 1,884 candidates standing for election as Conservative, Labour, or Liberal Democrat MPs, 199 were educated at Oxford. Two other universities which featured prominently were Cambridge, with 148 alumni standing, and London, with 125.

Zoology award: Professor Paul Harvey frs, of the Department of Zoology, has been awarded the 1997 National Academy of Sciences Annual Award for his work on the evolutionary foundations of cross-species comparisons.

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