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An Olympic Legacy

Athena SWAN at King’s

King’s Doctorate for Chapman Katherine Grainger Pincher






Comment For staff, students & friends

Issue 204 | November 2013

Introducing Professor Karen O’Brien 5

King’s in Pictures 6-7 NEW

King’s among top 20 universities in the world King’s has been ranked in the top 20 in the QS World University Rankings of the top 800 global higher education institutions. Placed 19th in the recently published listings, King’s has improved upon last year’s ranking by seven places. The College also retained its position of sixth in the UK for the third year running. Each faculty at King’s has also made significant improvement. The scores are based on six categories, including academic reputation, employer

reputation and proportion of international faculty. King’s scored more than 90 out of 100 in four of the categories. Commenting on the College’s improved position, the Principal Professor Rick Trainor said: ‘It is excellent news that King’s has risen by seven places to reach the top 20 in the world in the QS World University rankings – our highest position since the establishment of the league table in 2004. ‘Particularly pleasing are

our scores for ‘academic reputation’ and ‘employer reputation’ which are based on international surveys. This is testament to the quality of our faculty and students and the reputation of our research and teaching across the globe.’ In addition to its World University Rankings, QS awards universities a ‘star’ rating of between one and five stars, depending on their performance across criteria including: research quality, teaching quality, graduate employability, and

internationalisation. The star rating system aims to give prospective students an additional tool to use when choosing a university, providing deeper insights into individual institutions. King’s has had its ‘five star’ status renewed again in 2013. QS defines a typical ‘five star’ university as ‘world class in a broad range of areas, enjoys a high reputation and has cutting edge facilities and internationally renowned research and teaching faculty’.

Marion Milner: The Life 12

News A word from the Principal

The new academic year has brought two significant international league table advances for King’s. I am delighted the College is now ranked among the top twenty universities in the world on the QS table (up seven places) and that the Times Higher now places us at 38th (up 19 places). On both tables we are ranked sixth among UK institutions. Our rise in these rankings is testament to hard work and achievement across the College, not least in terms of research quality. This is a major consideration as we approach the November submission to the Research Excellence Framework. Similar advances in UK league tables must await significant overall improvements in King’s performance in the National Student Survey. As indicated in my staff e-mail in August, the College’s performance in the ‘overall satisfaction’ measure in NSS 2013 fell farther behind the sector average, despite very good performances in a number of subject areas and modest overall improvement in the difficult category of ‘assessment and feedback’. It is urgent, for the educational wellbeing of our students and for the reputation of King’s, that we build on the successes of NSS 2013 and make rapid improvements in those aspects of the undergraduate student experience which require attention. Karen O’Brien, Vice-Principal (Education), has been commenting on successive drafts of action plans for each part of the College and I have reaffirmed the minimum expectations which students should have of their experience at King’s. The World Questions/King’s Answers fundraising campaign continues to move forward rapidly. I was proud to represent King’s in Kuala Lumpur recently as a guest of Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay and his family. I am most grateful to them for their gift of £7m which will be used to set up a Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law. It will help to strengthen King’s reputation as a dynamic international hub for legal teaching and research. I am also very pleased that we have renewed our Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises the College’s commitment to improving and promoting women in STEMM subjects. As part of King’s new initiative on diversity and inclusion, this commitment extends to all subjects and to all aspects of diversity. We are working hard to foster an inclusive environment and to ensure that King’s creates opportunities to help all the members of the College community achieve their goals. I hope that everyone has an enjoyable and productive term. Rick Trainor, Principal

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King’s joint first for PhD completion rates

King’s is joint first in England for its PhD completion rates, according to recently released data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The College shares this position with Queen Mary, University of London. More than 86 per cent of those who start full time research degrees qualify within seven years, compared with the national average of almost 73 per cent. Professor Vaughan Robinson, Director of the Graduate School, commented: ‘This result is a testimony to the quality of supervision available at King’s, the rigorous way in which we monitor the progress of our doctoral candidates and give them feedback, and the training we make available through the PhD journey. ‘It also reflects our admissions and selection processes, which ensure that we accept excellent students well-matched to the research interests of their supervisory team and the research culture of the department within which they will be working. Our Research Degrees Examinations Board also plays a key role in ensuring appropriate and timely examination of theses.’

More than 86 per cent of King’s full time PhD students qualify with a research degree within seven years



Gene discovery could lead to new HIV treatments A team led by researchers at King’s has identified a new gene which may have the ability to prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from spreading after it enters the body. The study is the first to identify a role for the human MX2 gene in inhibiting HIV. Researchers say this gene could be a new target for effective, less toxic treatments where the body’s own natural defence system is mobilised against the virus. The work was led by Dr Caroline Goujon, Marie Curie Fellow, and Professor Mike Malim, from the Department of Infectious Diseases. Professor Malim said: ‘This is an extremely exciting finding which advances our understanding of how HIV virus interacts with the immune system and opens up opportunities to develop new therapies to treat the disease.’

Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law Plans for a new research-based centre for politics, philosophy and law have taken a major step forward following a £7 million donation from the family of Malaysian alumnus, Mark Yeoh. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay and his family hosted the Principal Professor Rick Trainor and special guests at an evening of celebrations at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Kuala Lumpur to mark the Yeoh family’s gift. The donation is the largest from a Malaysian family to any UK university and will provide (from left) Professor David Caron, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay, Principal Rick Trainor and Dato’ Mark Yeoh, Seok Kah

three new academic posts and 16 Yeoh Tiong Lay LLM scholarships. The scholarships will be £30,000 each, and preference will be given to students from Malaysia. The gift will continue to build King’s reputation as a dynamic international hub for legal teaching and research in the heart of London. Dato’ Mark Yeoh, Seok Kah, who graduated with an LLB (Hons) in 1987, congratulated King’s for responding boldly to changing global realities by pushing the boundaries

in the study of law. ‘King’s has always been unconventional and groundbreaking in its approach to the law, even when I was a student,’ he said. ‘My lecturers were fervent in challenging myopic worldviews. They helped me examine and interpret the complexities of our day-to-day, especially pertaining to matters of law, not least, where difficult moral and ethical issues were involved. As an alumnus, I am very pleased my family has contributed towards this new centre.’

Focus: Athena SWAN PAGE 4


Nobel Prizes to be awarded to a member of King’s or its associated institutions. In 1964, Professor Higgs published a series of papers that proposed the existence of an invisible field spread across the universe which causes particles to form the building blocks of atoms. Professor Higgs was the first


Leading the way on improved cancer screening information A new approach to compiling public information about cancer screening has been developed by a team of experts across King’s Health Partners. It follows an independent review that sought views on how the benefits and possible side effects of screening should be communicated more effectively in leaflets and letters. Professor Amanda Ramirez and Dr Lindsay Forbes of the College’s Promoting Early Presentation Group and the King’s Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre have developed a new informedchoice approach to the information people receive on cancer screening in England. The work has been carried out on behalf of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes. In the past information about

cancer screening has been criticised for emphasising the benefits whilst underplaying the possible harm. Women will now receive fuller information when they are invited for a screening appointment from the NHS Breast Screening Programme. In addition they will also receive a leaflet which provides a balanced view that has been written by the team of independent experts from our Academic Health Sciences Centre. Professor Ramirez says: ‘The new cancer screening information represents an unprecedented move toward offering informed choice to people being invited for screening. The public and professionals hold a very wide range of views on informed choice and it has been a fascinating challenge to integrate them.’

New information will provide balanced information about the benefits and harms of cancer screening

to suggest the mechanism by which this field could be detected – a particle now known as the ‘Higgs boson’. A new particle consistent with the Higgs boson was discovered in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern in Switzerland. This discovery provides the ‘missing piece’ of the Standard Model, which explains how parts of

the universe interact with one another. Professor Levitt graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from King’s in 1967. He now works in the Department of Structural Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Professor Levitt was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Martin Karplus and

Arieh Warshel, for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems. The Principal Professor Rick Trainor said: ‘We send our warmest congratulations. King’s is extremely proud and honoured that 2013 sees two of our alumni awarded Nobel Prizes.’


An Olympic Legacy Following the success of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, King’s Cultural Institute is undertaking its first Cultural Enquiry. It will explore the role that the UK’s vibrant arts and cultural sector can play in adding value to sporting and major national events in the future. Directed by Fran Hegyi, former Senior Adviser to the 2012 Olympic Culture Team, the Enquiry is being funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to create a lasting cultural legacy nationwide from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Enquiry aims to ensure that the knowledge gained through London 2012 is harnessed in order to strengthen future bids and to save valuable time and money in organising integrated cultural programmes for future major events. Advised by a panel of leaders from across the public and private sectors, the enquiry will review existing research, hear evidence and take views from people involved in planning, funding and managing arts and cultural programmes. It will work with event organisers, policy makers and community representatives. Deborah Bull, Director of Cultural Partnerships at King’s, says: ‘One year on from London 2012, I am delighted to be launching the Cultural Institute’s first Cultural Enquiry, which will test


The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Fellow and Honorary Doctor Professor Peter Ware Higgs (above left), jointly with François Englert, while Professor Michael Levitt (above right) is one of three to be awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The awards are the 11th and 12th



King’s alumni secure two 2013 Nobel Prizes

The Enquiry will discover the role that arts and culture can play in adding value to major national events

the case for a coordinated approach to the integration of culture and the arts within major sporting events. ‘The power of culture to add value to what was an extraordinary sporting occasion was felt by us

all, from the one billion viewers worldwide who watched Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony to the 43 million who took part in the Cultural Olympiad programmes in their local communities around the country.’ November 2013 | Issue 204 | 3

Features Focus

Athena SWAN: Commitment to women in science recognised King’s Athena SWAN Bronze Award has been successfully renewed. This is a significant achievement as we create an improved working environment, not just for women working in science disciplines, but for all staff. Vice-Principal (Arts & Sciences) Professor Evelyn Welch, Chair of the Athena SWAN College Steering Committee says: ‘We are delighted to receive the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of the steps being taking to develop equality for women in science career progression. It is well deserved and I am grateful for all the efforts of those who helped us to maintain this status. However, this is just a first step in terms of good employment practice as we acknowledge there’s still a significant amount to be done, not just in science but right across the College. ‘We are also delighted to have been selected for the Equality Challenge Unit’s gender charter mark pilot. We know we have work to do but we are determined to create a fair, welcoming and supportive environment that ensures all members of our King’s community are able to succeed.’ Launched in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment to gender equality in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM). It is important to create an inclusive culture which enables women to participate to their full potential, in what traditionally has been and still is a male dominated area. King’s has been a member of the Athena SWAN Charter

since 2007 and gained its Bronze institutional award in 2008. A significant amount of work has been done to get King’s to this point by everyone involved, including the Athena SWAN College Steering Committee which includes representatives from the STEMM Schools. A Parenting Leave Fund has been established, to support STEMM academics returning from maternity, paternity or adoption leave. In October a mentoring programme for STEMM women academics was launched. If successful within STEMM, the ambition will be to introduce this activity across the other Schools. Also a new King’s Award has been established to encourage and acknowledge those who champion women in science. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony in November. The Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) has created a photographic exhibition, ‘Inspiring Women’, celebrating its female professors. Evidence shows women take inspiration and encouragement from female role models. They also held an academic promotions workshop in May about how to apply for promotions. Professor Elizabeth Kuipers, who leads the IoP’s Athena SWAN SelfAssessment Team, says: ‘Our aim is to improve the working practices for women in science to encourage and support their careers. Retaining women in science is very important. We have been lucky to have the encouragement from our Dean and Head of School, Professor Shitij

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, visits the ‘Inspiring Women’ exhibition at the IoP

Kapur, and support from across the Institute. Our success will depend on not just one single activity but instead on the outcomes from the range of our activities; which include supporting career breaks to encouraging early career researchers more effectively.’ The School of Biomedical Sciences held an Athena SWAN Symposium in July which included workshops on different funding opportunities and initiatives for women in science. Dr Susan Duty, Dr Elizabeth Bradbury and Dr Tara Keck presented the Athena SWAN Charter; as well as the School’s progress in advancing


Dr Susan Duty Dr Susan Duty is Reader in Pharmacology & Neuroscience in the School of Biomedical Sciences (BMS). Her research focuses on identifying new strategies for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. She has been at King’s since 1995. What is your role in supporting the Athena SWAN Charter?

I chair the BMS Self Assessment Team, which has been up and running for 12 months. In this group we have representatives from each research division and from teaching. I also represent BMS on the King’s Athena SWAN Steering Committee. Why is it important that women pursue careers in science?

Women make excellent scientists. Without their input science will miss out on a large pool of talent. It is really important that we make it easier for them to stay in science and reach their full potential. 4 | Issue 204 | November 2013

What is BMS doing to improve women’s experiences?

We are developing an action plan based on a recent staff opinion survey. This will focus our efforts where women tell us they face the most challenges. Raising awareness is also important and we held a symposium in July to do just that. Workshops explained the different funding opportunities and initiatives for women, before we showcased the research of some of BMS’ current female scientists.

I’ll leave you to guess which is the most challenging! Do you have any female role models working in science?

Dame Nancy Rothwell was a great inspiration to me during my PhD days in Manchester. I now take my inspiration from women like Professor Karen Steel and Professor Fiona Watt who balance extremely successful careers here at King’s with having children.

What are some of the challenges you have in your career?

What would your advice be for women starting out in a career in science?

It’s fair to say that my challenges have increased significantly since having a family. I really have to prioritise my time. A typical day for me involves balancing research and teaching requirements, keeping on top of paperwork and making sure my daughters get to school on time.

Science is fun and is extremely rewarding. It offers huge variety from carrying out research in your chosen field, sharing knowledge and inspiring students to increasing opportunities for international collaboration. There is definitely something in it for everyone.

the representation of women and initiatives to enhance their career progression. There were also research presentations by a selection of the School’s women scientists. Furthermore, the School of Medicine recently held an event titled ‘Athena SWAN – it’s everybody’s business’, and had as one of their speakers Professor Welch. This is part of a series of three events for this academic year to engage staff about the Charter. A number of the STEMM schools are now progressing with ambitious goals for Silver applications. For a School to attain a Silver award they

will need to show the positive impact of the changes they’ve made and also evidence they are addressing the gender issues being faced by students. Sandra Brown, Equalities Officer, whose role has been to work with the steering committees and coordinate activity says: ‘Athena SWAN is not only helping King’s establish good working practices for women working in the sciences, but also we are taking the opportunity to extend the principles to our colleagues in the disciplines of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.’

Introducing King’s in Pictures PAGE 6


Professor Karen O’Brien Professor of English Literature Karen O’Brien is the Vice-Principal (Education) and joined King’s in April 2013. Her broad remit includes ensuring there is a balance between our research and educational priorities and improving the experience students have at King’s. Professor O’Brien also talks about how the outdoor life helps her relax. What are your initial impressions of King’s?

King’s is an enormously exciting place to work, although we can sometimes be too modest about the achievements and standing of the College. I think the summer atmosphere on Guy’s Campus is something special as it brings together staff, students, patients and people from the local community. What did you do before King’s?

I was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education at Birmingham University and before that, for many years, a teaching and research professor at Warwick University. What is your own academic field?

I work on the intellectual history of the Enlightenment when transformative ideas were developed about justice, social progress and the potential for science to change the way people viewed and controlled the natural

world. At the moment I am writing about the rise of Malthusian theories of population growth and how these dented some of the optimism of the Enlightenment era.

intensively with fellow Vice Principals to ensure a sense of balance in the College between our research and our educational priorities. Our idea is that the College is ‘research led and student centred’, and that the phrase ‘in the service of society’ really does capture something about the way we bring research and education together.

What does your role as Vice-Principal (Education) involve?

I have a very diverse role for everything to do with students and education, as well as an oversight role for admissions, recruitment and broadening access to higher education. Some of my job involves direct management, for example of the Graduate School, but mostly I work across academic schools and professional services.

How will you ensure successful implementation of any changes to improving the student experience?

I will be using all the

usual channels, but, in my experience, the most effective way to bring about change is for me to spend time in departments, hospitals, labs and students’ social spaces exchanging ideas and reinforcing priorities. We are working on our Student Voice Strategy which embeds student perspectives in the decisions we make. How do you relax?

I like to spend time outdoors with my children, especially coarse fishing. I am good with maggots! If you were hosting a dinner party who would your top three guests be?

Aphra Behn, Benjamin Franklin and Gore Vidal. It would be a witty, combative and unpredictable occasion. What is your favourite film?

The Searchers, no question. And Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks always amuses me.

What is your top priority for this academic year?

I will be working

Senior appointments in the Health Schools King’s has appointed Professor Stuart Carney (below) as Dean of Medical Education and Head of the Division of Medical Education, and Dr Ian McFadzean (far right) as Dean of Bioscience Education. The new Dean of Medical Education will enhance the College’s reputation as an innovator and leader in the field of Medical Education, ensuring that all medical teaching is grounded in research excellence and innovation. Professor Carney has a distinguished track record in medical

school leadership and is recognised as an expert in the field of medical education. He joins King’s from the University of Exeter Medical School where he was Vice Dean of Education. Working alongside Professor Carney, Dr McFadzean will help to rebalance the weighting of teaching and research across the Health Schools and ensure appropriate mechanisms are in place to recognise excellence in education. A well known and respected academic who

Dr McFadzean will help to rebalance the weighting of teaching and research across the Health Schools

has been at King’s for more than 20 years, Dr McFadzean is currently based in the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics. In his new role Dr McFadzean will provide strategic leadership and direction for undergraduate bioscience education. These appointments are central to the plans to reorganise the Health Schools. The changes are intended to create the best possible educational experience for students, to grow the quality and quantity of science and to provide the best possible environment for translational science. There are also plans to establish a Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine and an Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in 2014/15.

for Affective Disorders (CfAD). Focusing on mood and anxiety disorders, CfAD will be a centre of excellence for understanding the science related to these conditions. Professor Young was the former Chair of Psychiatry at Imperial College London

He has a first class degree in mathematics from Cambridge University and has a notable track record of commitment to excellent classroom practice, developing an innovative curriculum and active outreach to London schools.

New appointments History at King’s and look forward to further developing our The Centre for the History of Science, already exceptionally strong Technology and Medicine has moved connections with historians from Imperial College London to of other specialisms, and those King’s, bringing many new staff to the concerned with policy.’ Department of History. The Centre Professor Allan Young is led by Professor David Edgerton, Professor Allan Young (right) Hans Rousing Professor of the has joined the Institute History of Science and Technology. of Psychiatry Professor Edgerton said: ‘We to head up the are delighted to have joined the new Centre distinguished Department of Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

where he was also Director of the Centre for Mental Health within the Division of Brain Sciences. First Head of the King’s College London Mathematics School

Dan Abramson (right) has been appointed as the first Head of the new King’s College London Mathematics School, due to open in 2014. Mr Abramson has been Head of Mathematics at Highgate School in North London since 2007.

King’s in Pictures FA visit Honor Oak Park The FA visited the College’s Honor Oak Park sports ground as part of the Sir Bobby Robson National Football

Day. More than 300 children from the local area attended a day of coaching. They were joined by England

Manager Roy Hodgson, FA Chairman Greg Dyke and former England Women’s Captain, Faye White.

Political campaigning in the digital age At the event ‘Contested Spaces: The Third Quadrennial Global Internet and Politics Conference’, hosted by the King’s Policy Institute, the minds behind Obama’s electoral victory

joined other technology experts at King’s earlier this year to share insights into the US Presidential campaign that revolutionised political campaigning in a digital age.

MRC Centenary celebrations

King’s took part in a series of events to celebrate the centenary of the Medical Research Council (MRC). Highlights included a 12ft inflatable lung courtesy of the MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, and a Science Open Day at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre.

6 | Issue 204 | November 2013

King’s Doctorate and Fellowship for Katherine Grainger PAGE 8

Twin research comes of age

The Department of Twin Research has celebrated 21 years of genetic research this year. Thanks to thousands of volunteer twins, scientists have discovered more

than 400 novel genes associated with at least 30 diseases over the last two decades, marking a golden era in genetic discovery. The Department at King’s

is home to TwinsUK – the biggest UK adult twin registry of 12,000 twins. Set up in 1992, the TwinsUK cohort has had a major impact on genetic discoveries, allowing

researchers to study the genetic and environmental causes of common age-related traits and diseases such as short-sightedness, cancer, pain, diabetes and obesity.

Professor Tim Spector, Director of TwinsUK at King’s, said: ‘This is a huge milestone for us and represents a coming of age landmark.’

Student space gets new look

Refurbished student space at the newly opened Virginia Woolf building

Scientists shine in heart research competition (from left) Professor Roderick Beaton, the Revd Professor Richard Burridge, Lord Byron, the Principal and Dr Christine Kenyon-Jones.

International Byron Conference The 39th International Byron Conference, organised by King’s and the Byron Society, was held at King’s this summer. Some 130 participants from more than 20

countries worldwide discussed ‘Byron: the poetry of politics and the politics of poetry’. The conference was organised by Professor Roderick Beaton, Koraes Professor of Modern

Greek & Byzantine History, Language & Literature, Centre for Hellenic Studies and Dr Christine Kenyon-Jones. It was opened by the present Lord Byron and the Principal.

Scientists from King’s British Heart Foundation (BHF) Centre of Research Excellence have won ‘Video of the Year’ in a national image and video competition run by the BHF, while Dr Andrew Cobb, Cardiovascular Division, was ‘highly commended’ for his image ‘At the heart of a cell’. The heart-shaped image shows a nucleus from a single vascular smooth muscle cell. November 2013 | Issue 204 | 7

Student News King’s Doctorate and Fellowship for Katherine Grainger One of the UK’s most distinguished sportswomen, the rower Katherine Grainger CBE, was awarded her PhD in Law at a graduation ceremony at King’s this summer. She also received a Fellowship of the College, one of King’s highest honours, at the same ceremony, which took place at the Barbican Centre in London. Katherine took the gold medal for the double sculls at London 2012, becoming the first British woman to win medals at four successive Olympic Games. In addition to a demanding

training programme over several years, she has been working on detailed research at King’s for a PhD in Law that focused on homicide. Offering his congratulations to her, the Principal Professor Rick Trainor commented: ‘This is a remarkable achievement, demonstrating not only Katherine’s abilities, both academic and sporting, but also her tremendous discipline and commitment.’ More than 5,500 students graduated from King’s this summer.

Katherine Grainger CBE received her PhD in Law at the Barbican this summer

Michael Smith’s London to Brighton Charity ride for the Candle Project

Professor David Green (left) joined volunteers on Michael’s charity bike ride to Brighton

Staff, students, friends, partners and supporters got on their bikes and tandems recently for the Michael Smith London to Brighton cycle ride. Their aim was to raise awareness and funding for the Candle Project, a small south London charity – that Michael is a patron of – that helps children who have suffered bereavement. Michael recently graduated with a first class Geography degree from King’s and has made a significant contribution to the Geography Department during his time at the College. David Green (pictured above), Professor of Geography, 8 | Issue 204 | November 2013

commented: ‘When Michael asked if anyone from Geography was interested in riding to Brighton for the Candle Project, we decided it was time to repay the support that he so generously gave to the Department during his time as a student.’ Michael’s support of the Candle Project is very personal. He and his twin brother, Dan, are visually impaired, having lost their sight at the age of 19 as a result of a very rare genetic disorder. Michael explained that losing one’s sight is in some ways similar to suffering bereavement, as both are forms of permanent loss.

When he was first invited to talk to the Candle Project, he struck up an instant bond with the children and decided to become a patron of the charity. Michael and his brother Dan, have both been selected for the British paralympic cycling squad for Rio 2016. When he’s not training, working, or giving inspirational talks, Michael donates his time to several charities, including Blind in Business and the RNIB, as well as the Candle Project. He also promotes disability sports at King’s.

Michael (third from left) graduated this summer with a first class Geography degree

Flashback: Chapman Pincher PAGE 11

Young Talent in the ‘Spotlight’ at Summer School

Students commented on how much the K+ Spotlight Summer School had increased their confidence

The 2013 K+ Spotlight Summer School, held recently at the Strand Campus, has been yet another success for the K+ scheme. One hundred students from sixth forms in Greater London took part in the Summer School programme, organised by King’s Widening Participation

Department, which works to broaden access to higher education. The purpose was to give students from London boroughs a flavour of life at King’s and to equip them with the knowledge and skills to produce an independent academic project. The Summer School is also designed to

raise the academic aspirations of students in London boroughs. This year it involved four days of academic lectures, small group tutorials, practical group work and field trips which all took place with the help of King’s PhD students and a team of King’s Student Ambassadors.

The PhD students all work for The Brilliant Club, an award-winning non-profit organisation which aims to widen access to selective universities. One student commented: ‘I wanted to leave London for university, but I want to go to King’s now!’ Another added: ‘I can’t explain how much

Wannabee in London with Me?

Overcoming obstacles together

Toronto-raised Laura Konkel, currently studying for a Masters in Intelligence and International Security at King’s, has published a children’s book showcasing the sites and secrets of London. Entitled Wannabee in London with Me, Laura wrote her book to raise funds for children’s charities and is currently planning two more parts to the series for Toronto and India. A trip to Zambia during her childhood was Laura’s main inspiration for writing Wannabee in London with Me. ‘Until you have lived in a tiny village in Africa you can’t begin to imagine the impact that it has on your life,’ she said. ‘That was the reason I decided to write the book.’ With a foreword by David Wootton, former Lord Mayor of London, the story guides children

King’s welcomed students and staff from Delhi University this summer as part of a joint initiative between the British Council, Delhi University and King’s International Programmes team and Disability Advisory Service. The aim of the ten day visit was to share knowledge around disability support in higher education, both in the UK and India. Eleven students with a range of disabilities, along with staff from Delhi University’s Equal Opportunities Department, took part in a variety of activities. Studying at the King’s Summer School, tours of the Strand Campus and Maughan Library were highlights for the students. They were impressed with changes the Estates and Facilities team had implemented such as: Braille signage, tactile flooring on stairwells and the support provided by assistive

through the city, describing fun facts along the way. ‘The book is full of must see attractions, history and lots of little known facts about London,’ Laura enthused. ‘For example the two skulls and crossbones on the gates of St. Nicholas Church inspired Captain Henry Morgan to use them as his ensign. They became the dreaded symbol of pirates around the world.’ Laura completed the book while working on her Masters at King’s in the Department of War Studies. ‘The Department is phenomenal and the programme is renowned throughout the world,’ she said. ‘The best part has been interacting with fellow students who have actually been in warzones and can relay their own personal experiences. The fact that students, as well as teachers, actively shape the classroom experience is incredible.’

Spotlight has done for my confidence. I have never spoken so freely and openly about my opinions.’ Anne-Marie Canning, Head of Widening Participation, said: ‘The Spotlight Summer School has been an enriching experience for students, staff and academics alike.’

technology that is available in the library. Garima Nadar, an economics student, commented: ‘The facilities provided to the visually impaired and people with other disabilities were very impressive.’ Students met Rob Richardson, captain of the British Paralympic Sitting Volleyball team. Pushalal Ganesh, student of geography, said: ‘Meeting the Paralympic athlete really encouraged and motivated us.’ This is one of the first programmes of its kind in the world and was a fantastic opportunity for students and staff to build long term relationships to develop a global perspective on disability support. The visit from Delhi will be followed by a visit of King’s students to Delhi University next year. November 2013 | Issue 204 | 9

King’s people Salisbury Cathedral appointment for King’s Dean commitment to the College community in the widest sense, demonstrating how ‘in the service of society’ can be achieved in many different forms of public engagement and knowledge transfer.’


The Revd Professor Richard A Burridge, Dean of King’s College London and Professor of Biblical Interpretation, has accepted an invitation from the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, to be appointed both Canon Theologian and Sarum Canon at Salisbury Cathedral. He will hold these positions in addition to continuing his primary role as Dean of King’s. In his role as Canon Theologian, Professor Burridge will, amongst other activities, be asked to assist the Bishop and the Cathedral Chapter in their theological reflections and to encourage theological integrity in their discernment and decisionmaking, as well as being invited to preach from time to time in the Cathedral. Professor Burridge said: ‘I am extremely honoured and delighted to be recognised in this way, particularly at the invitation of Bishop Nicholas, who is a proud King’s alumnus and Fellow of King’s College. I hope that this will be a good opportunity to emphasise the continued

The Revd Professor Richard Burridge will assist the Bishop and Cathedral Chapter at Salisbury Cathedral

Professor Mervyn Frost retires as Head of War Studies Mervyn Frost, Professor of International Relations, has recently retired from the post of Head of the Department of War Studies. Here, he talks to Comment about his six years in the role. ‘What has impressed me most during my time as Head of the Department of War Studies has been the many ways in which my colleagues have engaged with the wider world. There is an ongoing and lively dialogue with the intelligence community, the police, politicians, civil servants, the military and with diplomats. ‘Over the past six years it became clear to me that we were doing something right, for the number

Professor Beaton elected as Fellow of British Academy

Professor Frost has retired after six years as Head of War Studies

of talented students applying for our programmes has increased significantly. This has enabled us to double the size of our academic staff and to expand the range of degree programmes we offer. ‘All in all, leading the Department of War Studies has been the high point of my career, and it has been an honour to work with such outstanding colleagues. I have no doubt at all that our community of scholars will continue to make major contributions to understanding war and conflict in its many different facets in ways that will contribute to avoiding, preventing and overcoming the consequences of conflict in the future.’

Roderick Beaton, Koraes Professor of Modern Greek & Byzantine History, Language & Literature, Centre for Hellenic Studies, has been elected as a Fellow of the British Academy. His research spans Greek literature, history, and culture from the 12th century to the present; classical reception in the formation of late medieval and modern Greek identity; and the Greek novel since antiquity. King’s is one of only two British universities that have an established professorship in Modern Greek. The Koraes Chair was established at King’s in 1918. The British Academy is the UK’s national body which champions the humanities and social sciences.

having to ‘ration’ care because of time pressures, according to research by the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s, led by Jane Ball. The report received widespread coverage in national media, including BBC Radio 4 Today and The Times, and nursing trade press, including Nursing Standard.

Mock terror attack

Media watch the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) Dr Katherine Sleeman and Dr Felicity identified how a pathway in the brain Murtagh from King’s Cicely Saunders allows humans to learn new words. Institute called for greater end-of-life Dr Marco Catani (left) care resources in an interview said: ‘This research sheds with New Scientist, following new light on the unique a review of the Liverpool ability of humans to Care Pathway. Dr Sleeman learn a language, as this said: ‘In 2010 the UK pathway is not present National Cancer Research in other species.’ Institute spent £508 million The findings were on research, but only reported by the Daily around 0.24 per cent Mail, Independent and of it on palliative and Daily Telegraph. end-of-life care.’ End-of-life care

Learning new words

Nurses forced to ration care

Researchers at

Nurses are

10 | Issue 204

Mental health

Research led by Dr Sara EvansLacko, IoP, found that following the recession, unemployment has hit people with mental health issues twice as hard as people without. Reported by The Times, Independent, BBC News and El Mundo (Spain).

Dr Brooke Rogers (below), War Studies, led on research into public responses to extreme events in a mock terror event held in Birmingham. The story was reported by the Press Association, Daily Mail, Sky News, BBC News and Independent, as well as being extensively covered in regional media throughout the UK. Syrian chemical attacks

Numerous King’s

experts commented on the subject of chemical attacks in Syria and the possibility of Western intervention, resulting in extensive national and international media coverage. In War Studies, Paul Schulte discussed possible military action and rebel responsibility on Channel 4 News, BBC Radio 5 Live, Press Association, Guardian, Metro and Deutsche Welle and BBC Radio 4 Today. Sir Nigel Sheinwald debated on NPR (US) and CNN whether the US should take

Emma Letley discusses the life and work of Marion Milner  PAGE 12


Chapman Pincher BSc FKC – spycatcher Harry Chapman Pincher was born on 29 March 1914 in a field tent in Ambala, India, where his father was stationed as an officer in the Northumberland Fusiliers. He had a peripatetic childhood, attending 13 different schools before the family settled in Croft, near Darlington, where his father ran a country pub. ‘It was a lovely place, with fishing, shooting, beagles – real country life,’ Pincher says. ‘It taught me very early on to be at ease with anybody of any rank. I wasn’t put out by meeting Lord Southampton or something like that because they’d come into the pub and have a game of darts.’ Pincher attended Darlington Grammar School, where his biology master, a King’s alumnus, inspired him to be an academic and to follow in his footsteps. He duly came to King’s to study botany and zoology in 1932, at the height of the Depression. ‘Unemployment was enormous. When I walked down Southampton Row from King’s to my digs in Bloomsbury there were Welsh miners in the gutter, 30 or 40 of them, all singing for pennies,’ he recalls. He studied under the controversial geneticist Professor Reginald Ruggles Gates. Gates was so impressed with two of Pincher’s papers that he got them published (as ‘Genetical Interpretation of Alternation of Generations’ and ‘A Genetical Interpretation of the Origin of Heterospory and Related Conditions’) – a rare achievement for an undergraduate. Pincher was indeed meant to join King’s academic staff as a demonstrator: what he describes as ‘the lowest thing that crawls in the science world, essentially a junior lecturer.’ But due to the straitened

military action. Professor Anatol Lieven wrote an op-ed for the New York Times ‘Attack Syria, Talk to Iran’ which appeared in Estadao de Sao Paulo and was reported in Iranian media. Dr Stacey Gutkowski (right), Middle East & Mediterranean Studies, was interviewed on BBC World News about the issues surrounding UK intervention. Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Institute of Contemporary British History, was interviewed by BBC Radio 5 Live about events in the UK Parliament and Dr Andrew Blick told AFP that people wanted to avoid a re-run of Iraq.


King’s is the alma mater of the distinguished journalist, historian and novelist Chapman Pincher, who at the age of 99 continues to make controversial allegations about the British security services

economic times, the necessary grant never materialised, and instead he became a teacher at the Liverpool Institute, later famous for educating Paul McCartney and George Harrison. In 1940 he joined the Royal Armoured Corps where he trained as a tank gunner and was promoted to corporal, before receiving a commission and transferring

to the Rocket Division of the Ministry of Supply, where he worked as a technician. After being demobilised in 1946 he became Defence, Science and Medical Correspondent at the Daily Express, then in its heyday. The editor, Arthur Christiansen, opted for the pen name Chapman, because plain Harry ‘wasn’t pompous enough’. Pincher

had a remarkable career at the Daily Express, becoming one of Fleet Street’s most recognisable names and publishing frequent front-page scoops, largely due to his ability to be taken into the confidence of senior government members and officials, often over lunch at his favourite restaurant, L’Ecu de France in Jermyn Street. (He joked at the

Dr Sam Greene, Russia Institute, said on BBC News and Radio Five Live that Russia had urged Assad’s government to give access to UN weapons inspectors, and was interviewed on Sky News following the G20. Dr Joanna Kidd, King’s Policy Institute, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the history of chemical weapons in war and was interviewed by Globo TV (Brazil).

focusing on military use of robots encourages people to envisage a ‘terminator-type robot’. She added: ‘This is not a future that any of us working in the field envisage.’

from selection of IVF procedures, to multiple embryos, and to preterm birth.’ The findings were reported by The Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, ITV News, Press Association, Bloomberg and Xinhua (China), among others.

‘Killer robots’

Professor Maria Fox, Informatics, played down the threat of so-called ‘killer robots’ in an interview on BBC Newsnight and said that

IVF – autism link

IVF treatments for male infertility are associated with an increased risk of autism and intellectual disability, according to research by the IoP. Dr Avi Reichenberg said: ‘There are a number of risk factors,

Miranda detention

Professor Robert Wintemute, Law, commented on the controversial detention of David Miranda in the New York

time that he should have changed his name again to Chapman Luncher). In 1972 he was appointed Assistant Editor of the Daily Express and Chief Defence Correspondent of the Beaverbrook newspapers. Over the course of a very long publishing career, spanning almost seven decades, Pincher has published nearly 40 books, starting with The Breeding of Farm Animals, (Penguin, 1940) and including non-fiction, novels and children’s books. But he is best known for his work on spies and the security services, notably the bestselling Their Trade is Treachery, published in 1981, soon after he had left the Daily Express. Based on interviews with Peter Wright, a retired MI5 Soviet counterespionage officer, it accused the former Director-General of MI5 Sir Roger Hollis of being a spy – a theme Pincher has developed over the rest of his career, culminating in Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of Espionage, published in 2012. Now, at the age of 99, Pincher has just completed his autobiography, which he describes as ‘quite long’ because he has ‘met so many people.’ A keen fisherman, Pincher also lays claim to landing the biggest trout caught in a British river – a rainbow trout, ‘a colossal fish’, weighing 20lb 6oz – when he was 90, a record that he believes is unlikely to be broken. Looking back over his career, he says: ‘My only regret was that I was never on the staff at King’s, but then my life wouldn’t have been so interesting. I met everyone, went everywhere and travelled like a prince.’ Pincher was elected a Fellow of King’s in 1978. He has donated his papers to the College, where they form part of the holdings of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives.

Times. Miranda is alleged to have been carrying top-secret British documents. Professor Wintemute said: ‘I hope this is an aberration rather than a signal of a wider clampdown on press freedom and human rights.’ Helping the police

MSc Forensic Science student Poulomi Bhadra is helping the Met Police to identify time of death by studying the behaviour of flies as they feed on the bodies of murder victims. Her project was reported by BBC Breakfast, ITV (Online), Independent and The Times, and in India by the Hindustan Times, Deccan Herald and Tribune. November 2013 | Issue 204 | 11


For more news from around the College, visit the King’s website WWW.KCL.AC.UK

For the first time in Comment King’s academics personally introduce their new publications and the ideas behind their research. Marion Milner: The Life Emma Letley, Psychotherapist and Student Counsellor at King’s Counselling Service, has delved into the life and writings of psychoanalyst, writer and educationalist Marion Milner. Here, she introduces her new biography of this inspirational 20th century woman and the new series of Milner’s writings of which Emma is Series Editor.

India’s Foreign Policy: A Reader

Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind

The Cardiovascular System at a Glance, 4th Edition,

The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing, Principles and Practice

by Professor Nikolas Rose, Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine, and J M Abi-Rached

by Professor Jeremy Ward and Dr Philip I Aaronson, Department of Physiology, and Michelle Connelly

by Professor Ian Norman, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery, and Iain Ryrie

‘This book and India’s National Security: A Reader have been published by the Oxford University Press as part of its ‘Critical Issues in Indian Politics’ series. These volumes bring together some of the key writings on Indian foreign and security policy published over the last two decades that have set the terms of the debate on the subject, both academically and in the policy realm. It was a privilege and an honour to have been associated with this project.’ Oxford University Press

‘This book arises from over five years of intensive fieldwork. It charts the emergence of neuroscience as a style of thought and explores the conditions that have allowed neuroscientific arguments to move out from the laboratory and into the everyday world – and the consequences. The book examines such key issues as the role of animal models, the epistemological basis of claims made on the basis of brain images, and the impact of neuroscience in the criminal justice system.’ Princeton University Press

‘Although the ‘at a Glance’ books are aimed squarely at students preparing for exams, we decided to veer off the straight and narrow with this one. We included many topics which are unlikely to feature in medical school exams, but which we hoped would interest readers. This seems to have worked with at least one reader as former King’s medical student, Michelle Connolly, is now a co-author of the 4th edition.’ Wiley-Blackman

‘The 3rd edition of this best selling textbook for mental health nurses is published at a time when nursing appears to be under siege. Media reports suggest that standards of nursing are in decline and public confidence has been dented by media exposés of uncaring nurses. Our aim in this book is to reinforce the fundamentals of high quality mental health nursing with the objective of helping patients regain control of their thoughts and emotions, and promote their recovery and social inclusion. ’ Open University Press

Realism and Space in the Novel, 1795-1869

Domestic Violence and Mental Health

Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution

Making Wicked Problems Governable?: The Case of Managed Networks in Health Care

by Professor Roderick Beaton, Centre for Hellenic Studies

by Ewan Ferlie, Department of Management, Louise Fitzgerald, Gerry McGivern, Sue Dopson and Chris Bennett

‘My book tells the story of how and why the most famous Englishman of his age, Lord Byron, came to die in Greece in 1824, in the service of that country’s revolution against Ottoman rule. The heroic legend of Byron’s self-sacrifice is so well-known, I had supposed there was nothing more to discover about it. But when I began looking at Greek archives, I found myself on the trail of a different Byron – the politician.’ Cambridge University Press

‘This book examines the underlying narrative of health policy reform under New Labour and innovatively argues that it was informed by principles of network governance. It examines the nature and impact of managed clinical networks and makes a guarded defence of the network form in arenas that suggest conditions of ‘wicked problems’. The book makes an assessment of the overall impact of the New Labour period in a core public service.’ Oxford University Press

by Dr Harsh V Pant, Department of Defence Studies

by Dr Rosa Mucignat, Department of Comparative Literature

by Professor Louise Howard, Department of Health Services and Population Research, Gene Feder and Roxane Agnew-Davies

‘The book starts from an apparently simple question of how novels imagine or represent space, to investigate ways in which space is, rather than a given datum, a ‘produced’ social reality. Literature, I argue, has a fundamental role in such production. In doing so, I interrogate the category of ‘realism’ and, in a larger context, the very relation between the novel and the world. The book is devoted to six canonical works of European literature such as Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.’ Ashgate

‘My research has found that mental health professionals detected less than a third of domestic violence cases, as the training was inadequate. I therefore wrote this book with experts in the field as a resource for health care professionals who suspect that patients are suffering from domestic violence. The book provides a comprehensive manual with practical guidance on how mental health professionals can identify domestic violence experienced by their patients.’ RCPsych Publications

12 | Issue 204 | November 2013

‘After 25 years teaching English Literature, I trained as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, so I was interested in Marion Milner’s position as one of the greatest women psychoanalysts of the 20th Century. I have always been engaged with matters to do with the creative process and Milner’s work on creativity was pioneering. ‘Milner’s life (1900-1998) spans a century of radical change and writing her first biography has been a hugely enjoyable journey. It introduces Milner through her family, colleagues and, above all, through her books, covering her life in an Edwardian home and her family of inventors, educators and famous intellectuals. ‘At a time when life-writing is increasingly popular, I had to allow Milner to inhabit my life. Although there were hurdles and challenges, it has been a joyful inhabiting: in Milner I have had a good companion for many years. Following her trail has allowed me to meet a wide range of her family, surviving friends and colleagues and to learn about an exceptional woman with an exceptional story. ‘The process of editing the series of Milner’s works involved selecting suitable new writers to write scholarly introductions which would make the books appealing and accessible to a 21st century audience. The series includes A Life of One’s Own, the book in which Milner discovered psychoanalysis, and Bothered by Alligators, written in Milner’s nineties and published, posthumously, for the first time.’ Comment is the College’s termly publication, edited by the Internal Communications Department, External Relations Directorate, and designed by Esterson Associates. This issue was edited by Kate Vine. Comment is printed on paper that contains materials sourced from responsibly managed forests. Articles for Comment are welcomed from staff, students and friends of the College. The Editor reserves the right to amend submissions. Suggestions and copy for the next issue can be sent to the Internal Communications team by emailing

Comment - Issue 204, November 2013  

Comment is a magazine-style publication for staff, students and friends of King's College London. In this issue: King's among the top 20 uni...

Comment - Issue 204, November 2013  

Comment is a magazine-style publication for staff, students and friends of King's College London. In this issue: King's among the top 20 uni...