No. 4447 Thursday 25 September 1997 Vol. 128

Oxford dons take stock of BSE `crisis' : Professor Colin Blakemore, Waynflete Professor of Physiology, has called for a judicial review of the government's handling of the BSE crisis, in his new role as President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

University joins city tribute to Diana : The University joined local civic, public, and charitable bodies and schools, in an informal Civic Tribute to the work and memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, organised in the Town Hall by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Bill Baker, on 9 September.

Freedom of the City for University : The University has been granted the Freedom of the City of Oxford at a ceremony in the Town Hall on 13 September.

Infections cause chronic diseases : Persistent infections may be responsible for a greater proportion of deaths from cancers and other chronic diseases than previously suspected, according to recent reviews published in Nature (4 September) and The Lancet (9 August) by Oxford researchers.

Former Chancellor `was object of' Shakespeare's desire : In the first Arden edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets since 1918, a Fellow of Somerville College has rejected the age-old cult of the `Dark Lady' and identified the likely addressee and `only begetter' of Shakespeare's sequence as William Herbert, the Third Earl of Pembroke, who later became Chancellor of the University and founded Pembroke College.

Award for Professor Dawkins: Professor Richard Dawkins, Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science and Fellow of New College, has won the 1997 International Cosmos Prize, awarded by the Expo '90 Foundation in recognition of his `tremendous impact on our view of the world'. He plans to use the prize, worth 40 million yen (c.£200,000), to support scientific research.

Award for Professor Kay Davies: Professor Kay Davies, Professor of Genetics and Fellow of Keble College, has won the first F. Mouchley-Small Scientific Achievement Award, presented by the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the United States, for her research on the disease. The prize, including $10,000 (c.£6,200) research funding, was presented live on US television during a telethon for the Association.

Oxford Society: Mr Tim Lewis, a former managing director of Blackwell Publishers, has been appointed Acting Secretary of the Oxford Society. He succeeds Dr H.A. Hurren, who served as Secretary 1986–97. For information on the Society contact 01865 270088.

Grant to Professor Morriss-Kay: Professor Gillian Morriss-Kay, from the Department of Human Anatomy, has received a grant of £118,000 from Action Research, to fund research to gain a better understanding of the genetic causes of craniosynostosis, a condition which leads to abnormal skull growth in one in 2,500 children.

Ruskin School: The Ruskin School of Drawing has been shortlisted for the prestigious Prudential Award for Visual Arts. The final winner will receive £50,000 at an awards dinner at the Tate Gallery on 30 October.

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