No. 4480 Friday 26 June 1998 Vol. 128

DNA chips `to revolutionise' biomedicine : A novel approach to analysing genes, with widespread possible applications—from tackling disease to convicting criminals—is being developed in laboratories at the University's Biochemistry Department.

Oxford science research goes on-line : Oxford has launched its first comprehensive on-line directory of its scientific and medical research on the World Wide Web, Oxford Research On-line: the Sciences and Medicine (to be known as OxRo).

Murder, mystery, and the millennium : Detective fiction, with its emphasis on revenge, greed, murder, and mayhem, flourishes best in an age of anxiety, according to the author P.D. James, who delivered the Richard Hillary Memorial Lecture on `Mystery and Mayhem: The Craft of the Detective Story' at the St Cross Building on Wednesday, 13 May.

Access boost at the Sheldonian : Access to the Sheldonian Theatre for disabled patrons has been greatly improved, thanks to a generous bequest through the estate of the late Dr David Whitbread.

Oxford studies bullying in prisons : A new study aimed at investigating the causes of conflicts and violence within Britain's prisons is being carried out by the University's Centre for Criminological Research.

Donation for homeless: Staff at the University Offices have presented a cheque for £1,431 to the Luther Street Centre in St Aldate's which provides medical care and services for the city's homeless population. The money, raised over twelve months, will be used to buy medical equipment and furniture for the new centre building.

Montesquieu publication celebrated: A distinguished gathering in Oxford of Montesquieu scholars from France, Britain, Germany and Italy, celebrated the May publication of Volume 1 of Montesquieu's correspondence, the first of a new critical edition of the Oeuvres complètes de Montesquieu, published by the Voltaire Foundation. The new complete edition of Montesquieu is a major addition to the Foundation's publishing programme, which includes the complete works of Voltaire and the correspondence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Weidenfeld Prize: This year's Weidenfeld Prize for translation from a European language has been won by Guido Waldman for his translation of Silk by Alessandro Baricco (Harvill Press)—described by Dr David Constantine, Fellow of Queen's College and Chairman of the jury, as `not a book you can easily put down'. The £1,000 prize was presented by Lord Weidenfeld at St Anne's on 2 June.

Geography awards: Three Oxford geographers have been awarded the Gold Medal from the Faculty of Science at Charles University, Prague. The medals, which commemorate the 650th anniversary of the founding of the university, were awarded to Dr Martin Price of the Environmental Change Unit, and Professor Andrew Goudie and Dr Heather Viles from the School of Geography in recognition of their contributions to the university in the field of Geography. Dr David Collins, from the School of Geography, has been awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Busk Medal.

University Virtual Shop: The University of Oxford Shop in the High Street is one of the businesses with a presence on the first comprehensive Web site dedicated to Oxford— www.oxfordcity.co.uk. It gives Internet users a virtual guide to what's on in the city and also covers community events, tourist information, and a residents' resources section with details of helplines, community centres and local television and radio.

Awards for Professor David Smith: Professor David Smith, Professor of Pharmacology and Head of the Department of Pharmacology, has been elected an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in May. He has also received the Honorary Doctorate of Medicine from Lund University, Sweden.

Environmental Course change: Professor Jim Briden, IBM Director of the Environmental Change Unit, will take over the Directorship of the M.Sc. Course in Environmental Change and Management for the 1998–9 academic year. He succeeds Professor Michael Williams who has served as Director since the inception of the course.

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