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UCL PEOPLE | 2010


Contents Welcome to the 2010 issue of UCL People magazine.

Features

People is now published once a year. Alumni Network card holders receive UCL Connect magazine in the autumn. Sign up to receive your copy: alumni@ucl.ac.uk

News Current news 4 The latest from UCL

Helping Haiti 6

After The Apprentice 16

A History in the Making 22

Dr Tiziana Rossetto and Dr Beverley Adams on identifying the most devastated areas of Haiti

Margaret Mountford’s transition from Sir Alan’s right-hand woman to PhD candidate

How constant investment in UCL’s environment is crucial

Front cover

Margaret Mountford by John Carey UCL People is produced for UCL alumni by the university’s Alumni Relations and Communications teams Art direction

studiospecial.com

Hitting the headlines 14

Production

Recent media coverage

Gerald’s Game 32

Cancer Today 38

The Life of Pi 46

Online news 26

Two UCL researchers discuss their very different, but equally groundbreaking, work

The history of the magazine and its people

Design

Thriller novelist Gerald Seymour reflects on his career

Janine Shalan, UCL Communications

A guided tour of UCL’s new homepage

Fiona Davidson, UCL Communications

Main photography

Matt Clayton, Elaine Perks and John Carey Contact

UCL Alumni Network Gower Street London WC1E 6BT UK

Recent news 30 A summary of the last year

Regulars Welcome 3

Campus Q&A 29

Provost’s Circle 56

Benefits and Services 60

Professor Alwyn Davies

UCL’s supporters transforming university life.

Discounts and offers for alumni

From Professor Chris Thompson

Public Events 62 Lectures, workshops, exhibitions and more

Telephone +44(0)20 7679 7677 Facsimile +44(0)20 7209 0117 alumni@ucl.ac.uk

Parting Shot 64 Reggie’s abduction and student loans protest

Cover stories 44 Publications by and about the UCL community

Opinion 13 Qasim Rafiq, former head of the UCL Islamic Society

International Alumni Groups 58 Sinead Devlin meets alumni in Asia

Alumni careers 54 Networking events and opportunities


Contents Welcome to the 2010 issue of UCL People magazine.

Features

People is now published once a year. Alumni Network card holders receive UCL Connect magazine in the autumn. Sign up to receive your copy: alumni@ucl.ac.uk

News Current news 4 The latest from UCL

Helping Haiti 6

After The Apprentice 16

A History in the Making 22

Dr Tiziana Rossetto and Dr Beverley Adams on identifying the most devastated areas of Haiti

Margaret Mountford’s transition from Sir Alan’s right-hand woman to PhD candidate

How constant investment in UCL’s environment is crucial

Front cover

Margaret Mountford by John Carey UCL People is produced for UCL alumni by the university’s Alumni Relations and Communications teams Art direction

studiospecial.com

Hitting the headlines 14

Production

Recent media coverage

Gerald’s Game 32

Cancer Today 38

The Life of Pi 46

Online news 26

Two UCL researchers discuss their very different, but equally groundbreaking, work

The history of the magazine and its people

Design

Thriller novelist Gerald Seymour reflects on his career

Janine Shalan, UCL Communications

A guided tour of UCL’s new homepage

Fiona Davidson, UCL Communications

Main photography

Matt Clayton, Elaine Perks and John Carey Contact

UCL Alumni Network Gower Street London WC1E 6BT UK

Recent news 30 A summary of the last year

Regulars Welcome 3

Campus Q&A 29

Provost’s Circle 56

Benefits and Services 60

Professor Alwyn Davies

UCL’s supporters transforming university life.

Discounts and offers for alumni

From Professor Chris Thompson

Public Events 62 Lectures, workshops, exhibitions and more

Telephone +44(0)20 7679 7677 Facsimile +44(0)20 7209 0117 alumni@ucl.ac.uk

Parting Shot 64 Reggie’s abduction and student loans protest

Cover stories 44 Publications by and about the UCL community

Opinion 13 Qasim Rafiq, former head of the UCL Islamic Society

International Alumni Groups 58 Sinead Devlin meets alumni in Asia

Alumni careers 54 Networking events and opportunities


ATLAS A New Landscape for Physics

Welcome

Welcome to UCL People magazine. You’ll find this edition packed with stories about life at UCL, bringing together the perspectives of alumni, staff and students who make up our community.

UCL is contributing a wealth of engineering, computing and scientific expertise to the ATLAS project – one of the detectors in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Geneva.

As a member of UCL Council and volunteer Chair of the Executive Committee for the £300 million Campaign for UCL, I’m closely involved with life here at the university. But then, I suppose I always have been. I studied medicine here, and then an intercalated degree in psychology, met my wife in my first week at university, and recently saw one of my daughters graduate in English, so you could say that UCL certainly changed my life and definitely for the better.

www.hep.ucl.ac.uk/atlas

There are plenty of inspirational figures in these pages, from Margaret Mountford, who has gone from starring in TV’s The Apprentice to studying for a PhD in Papyrology at UCL, through to war reporter turned thriller writer Gerald Seymour, who graduated from Modern History in the ‘60s. If you’re interested in finding out how current university research relates to society today, you’ll be inspired by our features about how UCL’s earthquake expertise is helping tackle the crisis in Haiti, and by our spotlight on the latest cancer research. For a dose of nostalgia, turn to our history of Pi magazine through the ages, which features covers of Pi from the past 50 years, alongside interviews with former editors. On a more serious note, I am very much aware that those of us who graduated from UCL 50, 25, even 10 years ago had support that students today could only dream of. Today’s students face pressures from reduced government funding, must absorb new fees and the high cost of living in London, and look ahead to an uncertain job market. Through the generous support of alumni, staff and friends we are building a better and stronger UCL. There are plenty of ways you can participate in the life of UCL, from staying abreast of our news, joining a wide variety of events, taking part in alumni programmes and providing much needed philanthropic support.

Chris Thompson profile Currently Chief Medical Officer at the Priory Group

UCL Bachelor of Medicine 1977, UCL Psychology 1974 and MD 1988 University of Southampton (1988-2004) including Head of the Medical School (2001-2004) Honours include winning the Gold Medal of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1983), Honorary FRCP and honorary MRCGP

For my part, I remain involved with UCL because I think it is important and I find great energy in the affiliation. I believe that the support of alumni is crucial for the future of this great institution. I hope that you, too, will find inspiration and reengagement with UCL through UCL People.

Professor Chris Thompson

UCL Council member since 2007 and Chair of the Campaign Executive Committee since 2008 02|03


ATLAS A New Landscape for Physics

Welcome

Welcome to UCL People magazine. You’ll find this edition packed with stories about life at UCL, bringing together the perspectives of alumni, staff and students who make up our community.

UCL is contributing a wealth of engineering, computing and scientific expertise to the ATLAS project – one of the detectors in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Geneva.

As a member of UCL Council and volunteer Chair of the Executive Committee for the £300 million Campaign for UCL, I’m closely involved with life here at the university. But then, I suppose I always have been. I studied medicine here, and then an intercalated degree in psychology, met my wife in my first week at university, and recently saw one of my daughters graduate in English, so you could say that UCL certainly changed my life and definitely for the better.

www.hep.ucl.ac.uk/atlas

There are plenty of inspirational figures in these pages, from Margaret Mountford, who has gone from starring in TV’s The Apprentice to studying for a PhD in Papyrology at UCL, through to war reporter turned thriller writer Gerald Seymour, who graduated from Modern History in the ‘60s. If you’re interested in finding out how current university research relates to society today, you’ll be inspired by our features about how UCL’s earthquake expertise is helping tackle the crisis in Haiti, and by our spotlight on the latest cancer research. For a dose of nostalgia, turn to our history of Pi magazine through the ages, which features covers of Pi from the past 50 years, alongside interviews with former editors. On a more serious note, I am very much aware that those of us who graduated from UCL 50, 25, even 10 years ago had support that students today could only dream of. Today’s students face pressures from reduced government funding, must absorb new fees and the high cost of living in London, and look ahead to an uncertain job market. Through the generous support of alumni, staff and friends we are building a better and stronger UCL. There are plenty of ways you can participate in the life of UCL, from staying abreast of our news, joining a wide variety of events, taking part in alumni programmes and providing much needed philanthropic support.

Chris Thompson profile Currently Chief Medical Officer at the Priory Group

UCL Bachelor of Medicine 1977, UCL Psychology 1974 and MD 1988 University of Southampton (1988-2004) including Head of the Medical School (2001-2004) Honours include winning the Gold Medal of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1983), Honorary FRCP and honorary MRCGP

For my part, I remain involved with UCL because I think it is important and I find great energy in the affiliation. I believe that the support of alumni is crucial for the future of this great institution. I hope that you, too, will find inspiration and reengagement with UCL through UCL People.

Professor Chris Thompson

UCL Council member since 2007 and Chair of the Campaign Executive Committee since 2008 02|03


UCL News current news from UCL

UCL and Yale sign groundbreaking health alliance

Recognising their shared aspirations for the advancement of biomedical research and healthcare for people around the world, Yale University, Yale-New Haven Hospital and UCL and its associated hospitals signed an agreement in October 2009 that makes them allies in a global effort to improve the human condition through translational medicine. The Yale-UCL alliance will provide opportunities for high-level scientific research, clinical and educational collaboration. The partnership is the brainchild of Yale’s Dr Michael Simons and UCL’s Professor John Martin, two distinguished heart researchers and physicians. It will immediately create new joint clinical programmes to treat cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, sudden cardiac death

A new initiative by the UCL Public Engagement Unit is bringing the talent and ideas of the UCL community to young Londoners.

Bright club shines

Hosted in the Wilmington Arms in Islington, Bright Club blends comedy, music, art, new writing, science, performance, and anything else that can happen on a stage. Each month UCL experts dissect one of the important things in life from eight different directions, and in doing so create a great experience. Bright Club participants receive training from comedians, and have

The UCL-led Thames Discovery Programme has uncovered the remains of some of the world’s most powerful and famous 19th-century battleships.

and chronic total occlusion of the coronary arteries. “This is a remarkable partnership between two of the world’s top universities,” said UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant. “Our initial focus will be on cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurosciences. This will be a very active partnership and we look forward to the advances, in biomedicine and beyond, which will be the consequence of this unique alliance.”

19th century warship discovered

Programme archaeologists and volunteers first observed the remains during a 2008 site survey on the river foreshore near Charlton. Records show that among the last wooden warships broken up at the site was the 131-gun HMS Duke of Wellington, the largest and most powerful ship in the world when she was first launched in 1852.

in Chief at Portsmouth until 1891, when she was replaced by HMS Victory. The aim of the Thames Discovery Programme is to involve UCL with the wider London community through the furthering of research into the archaeology and history of the capital.

The ship served in the Crimean War and ended her active service as the flagship of the Commander

Find out more

www.ucl.ac.uk/news/newsarticles/0910/09100802

Much valuable evidence gets ‘lost in translation’ on the journey towards implementation and policy, to the detriment of billions of people worldwide.

usually never done anything like this before. Themes so far include lust, film, metal and crime and have featured well-known comedians, musicians as well as UCL staff and students, who have pondered a fantastic array of subjects, from the animal kingdom’s most colourful sexual habits to how Def Leppard sound even worse when heard through a cochlear implant.

That was the message at a UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health symposium, Evidence-Based Decision Making: Who’s counting the evidence and whose evidence counts? in February 2010. It examined the complex relationship between the gathering of evidence, and the use of that evidence in public policymaking.

College London), Malcolm McNeil (UK Department for International Development), Dr Kalipso Chalkidou (NICE International) and Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya, pictured (Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL) contributed, while Dr Sarah Hawkes (UCL Centre for International Health & Development) chaired the session.

www.thamesdiscovery.org

Find out more

Find out more www.brightclub.org

Global health event counts the evidence

This symposium brought together speakers from the worlds of research, funders and public policy, to discuss who uses evidence and how they use it. Professor Peter Piot (Imperial

Find out more Global health symposia are available to view online: www.ucl.ac.uk/global-health

04|05


UCL News current news from UCL

UCL and Yale sign groundbreaking health alliance

Recognising their shared aspirations for the advancement of biomedical research and healthcare for people around the world, Yale University, Yale-New Haven Hospital and UCL and its associated hospitals signed an agreement in October 2009 that makes them allies in a global effort to improve the human condition through translational medicine. The Yale-UCL alliance will provide opportunities for high-level scientific research, clinical and educational collaboration. The partnership is the brainchild of Yale’s Dr Michael Simons and UCL’s Professor John Martin, two distinguished heart researchers and physicians. It will immediately create new joint clinical programmes to treat cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, sudden cardiac death

A new initiative by the UCL Public Engagement Unit is bringing the talent and ideas of the UCL community to young Londoners.

Bright club shines

Hosted in the Wilmington Arms in Islington, Bright Club blends comedy, music, art, new writing, science, performance, and anything else that can happen on a stage. Each month UCL experts dissect one of the important things in life from eight different directions, and in doing so create a great experience. Bright Club participants receive training from comedians, and have

The UCL-led Thames Discovery Programme has uncovered the remains of some of the world’s most powerful and famous 19th-century battleships.

and chronic total occlusion of the coronary arteries. “This is a remarkable partnership between two of the world’s top universities,” said UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant. “Our initial focus will be on cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurosciences. This will be a very active partnership and we look forward to the advances, in biomedicine and beyond, which will be the consequence of this unique alliance.”

19th century warship discovered

Programme archaeologists and volunteers first observed the remains during a 2008 site survey on the river foreshore near Charlton. Records show that among the last wooden warships broken up at the site was the 131-gun HMS Duke of Wellington, the largest and most powerful ship in the world when she was first launched in 1852.

in Chief at Portsmouth until 1891, when she was replaced by HMS Victory. The aim of the Thames Discovery Programme is to involve UCL with the wider London community through the furthering of research into the archaeology and history of the capital.

The ship served in the Crimean War and ended her active service as the flagship of the Commander

Find out more

www.ucl.ac.uk/news/newsarticles/0910/09100802

Much valuable evidence gets ‘lost in translation’ on the journey towards implementation and policy, to the detriment of billions of people worldwide.

usually never done anything like this before. Themes so far include lust, film, metal and crime and have featured well-known comedians, musicians as well as UCL staff and students, who have pondered a fantastic array of subjects, from the animal kingdom’s most colourful sexual habits to how Def Leppard sound even worse when heard through a cochlear implant.

That was the message at a UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health symposium, Evidence-Based Decision Making: Who’s counting the evidence and whose evidence counts? in February 2010. It examined the complex relationship between the gathering of evidence, and the use of that evidence in public policymaking.

College London), Malcolm McNeil (UK Department for International Development), Dr Kalipso Chalkidou (NICE International) and Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya, pictured (Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL) contributed, while Dr Sarah Hawkes (UCL Centre for International Health & Development) chaired the session.

www.thamesdiscovery.org

Find out more

Find out more www.brightclub.org

Global health event counts the evidence

This symposium brought together speakers from the worlds of research, funders and public policy, to discuss who uses evidence and how they use it. Professor Peter Piot (Imperial

Find out more Global health symposia are available to view online: www.ucl.ac.uk/global-health

04|05


UCL alumna Dr Beverley Adams (UCL Geography 1995) and Dr Tiziana Rossetto, who leads the university’s Earthquake & People Interaction Centre, have played leading roles in the development of a web-based tool being used to help Haiti’s earthquake victims.

Nearly a quarter of a million people dead. Many more than that injured. A million left homeless. The human cost of the earthquake that struck the Caribbean island of Haiti on Tuesday 12 January this year places it among the worst natural disasters of modern times. The epicentre of the earthquake, which reached 7.0 on the moment magnitude scale used to measure seismic energy, lay about 16 miles to the west of the capital Port-au-Prince. It reduced more than a quarter of a million homes to rubble, destroying critical infrastructure and national landmarks such as the Presidential Palace, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, the City Hall and the headquarters of the United Nations mission.

As the relief effort cranked into action on the ground in Haiti, a global network of scientists and engineers from universities and other organisations turned to their computers. Together they constitute the Global Earth Observation Catastrophe Assessment Network (GEO-CAN) and their expertise underpins a unique web-based tool that helped aid agencies decide how to respond to the disaster. UCL has played a twin role in the development of the Virtual Disaster Viewer (VDV), which has been described as a ‘social networking tool’ for assessing the impact and damage caused by earthquakes. Dr Beverley Adams is the European director of ImageCat Ltd, the

Helping Haiti

06|07


UCL alumna Dr Beverley Adams (UCL Geography 1995) and Dr Tiziana Rossetto, who leads the university’s Earthquake & People Interaction Centre, have played leading roles in the development of a web-based tool being used to help Haiti’s earthquake victims.

Nearly a quarter of a million people dead. Many more than that injured. A million left homeless. The human cost of the earthquake that struck the Caribbean island of Haiti on Tuesday 12 January this year places it among the worst natural disasters of modern times. The epicentre of the earthquake, which reached 7.0 on the moment magnitude scale used to measure seismic energy, lay about 16 miles to the west of the capital Port-au-Prince. It reduced more than a quarter of a million homes to rubble, destroying critical infrastructure and national landmarks such as the Presidential Palace, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, the City Hall and the headquarters of the United Nations mission.

As the relief effort cranked into action on the ground in Haiti, a global network of scientists and engineers from universities and other organisations turned to their computers. Together they constitute the Global Earth Observation Catastrophe Assessment Network (GEO-CAN) and their expertise underpins a unique web-based tool that helped aid agencies decide how to respond to the disaster. UCL has played a twin role in the development of the Virtual Disaster Viewer (VDV), which has been described as a ‘social networking tool’ for assessing the impact and damage caused by earthquakes. Dr Beverley Adams is the European director of ImageCat Ltd, the

Helping Haiti

06|07


HELPING HAITI

US- and UK-based company that has developed the VDV and coordinates GEO-CAN. And Dr Tiziana Rossetto, who is based at UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, has been at the forefront of the project from its inception. Dr Adams graduated from UCL Geography with a first class degree and went on to complete a masters in remote sensing, which relates to the gathering of information about the planet’s physical, chemical and biological systems through the analysis of satellite imagery, aerial photography and other technologies. She returned to the department to complete a PhD, analysing the erosion of the UK’s vulnerable east coast and producing guidelines on how it might be protected through managed retreat and the reconstruction of salt marshes. Her transition from academia to the world of business happened in a flash. In the final days of her doctorate, her husband was offered a job in Los Angeles. It was there that Dr Adams joined ImageCat, a young company specialising in ‘risk management technology’. Part of the business – e City Risk – focuses on providing the insurance industry with rapid and reliable information to inform business decisions before, during and after disasters.

Dr Adams said: “One morning I was writing a few minor corrections for my final viva examination and a few hours later I was talking to my husband about moving to LA. We just decided to go for it and it’s probably the best thing that ever happened to me. ImageCat always had a cutting-edge ethos. “All of a sudden I was using my expertise in remote sensing and the interpretation of satellite imagery and aerial photography to look at disaster zones. Back in 2001 that was largely unknown. For me it was a perfect combination of intellectual challenge and doing something good for the world with a solid commercial application.” In response to the Northbridge earthquake that devastated California’s San Fernando Valley in 1994, the US Department of Transport and NASA had sponsored ImageCat to develop a way of detecting collapsed bridges. The company was also working with the US-based National Science Foundation and Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) to apply the same techniques to detect collapsed buildings. ImageCat set up a European arm headed by Dr Adams and the technology evolved into the VDV after a

lunchtime conversation between Dr Adams and Dr Rossetto, with whom she was already collaborating on a different research project. Dr Rossetto is a member of the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT), a group of British earthquake engineers, architects and academics who seek to collaborate with colleagues in earthquake-prone countries to improve the seismic resistance of both traditional and engineered structures. She said: “We had long wanted a better means with which to share and disseminate our findings from field missions, so I discussed the problem with Beverley and we came up with the idea of an online platform for sharing data, equipped with satellite imagery for better understanding the data and for looking at damaged areas that were not accessible by the team during their time in the field.” With the backing of the UK’s Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, MCEER and the US-based Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), a pilot version of the VDV was used to analyse the impact of the Sichuan Earthquake in China in 2008. It developed further after the L’Aquila earthquake, which struck the Abruzzo region of Italy last year. Dr Rossetto

images above courtesy of eeri. © 2010 eeri

Virtual Disaster Viewer (VDV) Put simply, the VDV allows experts from around the globe to examine digital maps of earthquake-affected areas, comparing before and after satellite images to assess the extent of the damage. The resolution of this imagery is now so high that observers can distinguish details down to individual buildings, cars, vegetation and even folds in tents in temporary camps. This means they can assess the number of collapsed, heavily damaged and intact buildings, the number of collapsed bridges, the areas affected by landslides and the length of roads obstructed by them.

stills from the virtual disaster viewer

The VDV collates all this information to build up a master map of the damage caused across the whole disaster zone. It can also integrate aerial intelligence with detailed ground-based photos as it allows field reconnaissance teams to upload photos in real-time. The data can be accessed through any internet-connected device. The end result helps those on the ground to target emergency food and medical supplies, prioritise repairs to infrastructure, and plan for the long haul of reconstruction and recovery. 08|09


HELPING HAITI

US- and UK-based company that has developed the VDV and coordinates GEO-CAN. And Dr Tiziana Rossetto, who is based at UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, has been at the forefront of the project from its inception. Dr Adams graduated from UCL Geography with a first class degree and went on to complete a masters in remote sensing, which relates to the gathering of information about the planet’s physical, chemical and biological systems through the analysis of satellite imagery, aerial photography and other technologies. She returned to the department to complete a PhD, analysing the erosion of the UK’s vulnerable east coast and producing guidelines on how it might be protected through managed retreat and the reconstruction of salt marshes. Her transition from academia to the world of business happened in a flash. In the final days of her doctorate, her husband was offered a job in Los Angeles. It was there that Dr Adams joined ImageCat, a young company specialising in ‘risk management technology’. Part of the business – e City Risk – focuses on providing the insurance industry with rapid and reliable information to inform business decisions before, during and after disasters.

Dr Adams said: “One morning I was writing a few minor corrections for my final viva examination and a few hours later I was talking to my husband about moving to LA. We just decided to go for it and it’s probably the best thing that ever happened to me. ImageCat always had a cutting-edge ethos. “All of a sudden I was using my expertise in remote sensing and the interpretation of satellite imagery and aerial photography to look at disaster zones. Back in 2001 that was largely unknown. For me it was a perfect combination of intellectual challenge and doing something good for the world with a solid commercial application.” In response to the Northbridge earthquake that devastated California’s San Fernando Valley in 1994, the US Department of Transport and NASA had sponsored ImageCat to develop a way of detecting collapsed bridges. The company was also working with the US-based National Science Foundation and Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) to apply the same techniques to detect collapsed buildings. ImageCat set up a European arm headed by Dr Adams and the technology evolved into the VDV after a

lunchtime conversation between Dr Adams and Dr Rossetto, with whom she was already collaborating on a different research project. Dr Rossetto is a member of the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT), a group of British earthquake engineers, architects and academics who seek to collaborate with colleagues in earthquake-prone countries to improve the seismic resistance of both traditional and engineered structures. She said: “We had long wanted a better means with which to share and disseminate our findings from field missions, so I discussed the problem with Beverley and we came up with the idea of an online platform for sharing data, equipped with satellite imagery for better understanding the data and for looking at damaged areas that were not accessible by the team during their time in the field.” With the backing of the UK’s Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, MCEER and the US-based Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), a pilot version of the VDV was used to analyse the impact of the Sichuan Earthquake in China in 2008. It developed further after the L’Aquila earthquake, which struck the Abruzzo region of Italy last year. Dr Rossetto

images above courtesy of eeri. © 2010 eeri

Virtual Disaster Viewer (VDV) Put simply, the VDV allows experts from around the globe to examine digital maps of earthquake-affected areas, comparing before and after satellite images to assess the extent of the damage. The resolution of this imagery is now so high that observers can distinguish details down to individual buildings, cars, vegetation and even folds in tents in temporary camps. This means they can assess the number of collapsed, heavily damaged and intact buildings, the number of collapsed bridges, the areas affected by landslides and the length of roads obstructed by them.

stills from the virtual disaster viewer

The VDV collates all this information to build up a master map of the damage caused across the whole disaster zone. It can also integrate aerial intelligence with detailed ground-based photos as it allows field reconnaissance teams to upload photos in real-time. The data can be accessed through any internet-connected device. The end result helps those on the ground to target emergency food and medical supplies, prioritise repairs to infrastructure, and plan for the long haul of reconstruction and recovery. 08|09


helping haiti

“This response to Haiti has given me a personal reward in terms of seeing some of the fruits of our research doing something to help people.” Dr Tiziana Rossetto

Left to right: Dr Tiziana Rossetto and Dr Beverley Adams

led a nine-strong team from EEFIT to assess the devastation first hand. Using digital cameras and laptops, they were able to upload photographs from the field, adding a ‘street view’ to the VDV’s existing ‘eye in the sky’ layer of information. But it was Haiti where the technology came of age. Dr Adams said: “You have to remember that in a disaster scenario everyone is hungry for data and they want it fast. There are experts around the world and everyone wants to help but it is unrealistic to expect them to jump on a plane. So how do you tap into that communal knowledge and expertise? The VDV was the answer to that question. We applied it on the ground for the first time in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake in China in 2008. “We had a group of 100 experts logging into the system and looking at the satellite imagery, comparing before and after pictures of the terrain. They could tell which buildings had collapsed, which areas had been cut off by landslides, which roads had been left impassable. We fed that information to non-governmental organisations, the United Nations, whoever was interested. Haiti represented a coming together of all the different pieces of the puzzle. We had the concept of distributed damage assessment, where hundreds of experts pool their knowledge. And we had information uploaded from teams on the ground. But Haiti was the first time we had a large number of humanitarian groups actively using the information filtered through our network of experts, which has grown to about 1,000 people. “After the earthquake struck, the World Bank approached ImageCat and asked us to build up a true picture of what had happened. In less than 48 hours GEO-CAN experts had provided a detailed damage assessment through the VDV. On the basis of that information, the World Bank and the major aid agencies were able to coordinate the relief effort and make longer term plans for reconstruction. It’s difficult to detach yourself from a tragedy of that scale, but our focus had to stay on the survivors.”

Dr Adams said ImageCat’s relationship with UCL – the company hosts and co-supervises masters students and PhDs from the university and works with both the geomatic engineering and the remote sensing groups based here – had been crucial to the VDV’s development. “It’s been an excellent partnership,” she said. “We bring the commercial knowhow and real-world experience and UCL brings the scientific innovation.” Dr Rossetto wants to see the tool using new types of remotely sensed data and made more user friendly. She is excited about its huge potential. “The VDV allows data to be collected in a rapid way and that simply wasn’t possible before. It’s a community-based web application, almost like Facebook or Wikipedia focused on rescue and relief. We would like to have a third phase of development where we can bring in even more data, better images, aerial photography, and lidar (laser radar) and thermal images, all of which should give us an even more accurate assessment of where the damage is, which in turn helps aid agencies decide where to focus their efforts. “What we hope is that the technology can be applied to a wide range of other disasters, so not just earthquakes but also tsunamis, hurricanes, and more. Personally, what is exciting for me as a researcher is that we often don’t have this direct impact on saving people’s lives. Although our research has a long-term impact on, for example, codes of practice and better building and so forth, we don’t see the effect on an individual scale. This response to Haiti has given me a personal reward in terms of seeing some of the fruits of our research doing something to help people.” james kay

10|11


helping haiti

“This response to Haiti has given me a personal reward in terms of seeing some of the fruits of our research doing something to help people.” Dr Tiziana Rossetto

Left to right: Dr Tiziana Rossetto and Dr Beverley Adams

led a nine-strong team from EEFIT to assess the devastation first hand. Using digital cameras and laptops, they were able to upload photographs from the field, adding a ‘street view’ to the VDV’s existing ‘eye in the sky’ layer of information. But it was Haiti where the technology came of age. Dr Adams said: “You have to remember that in a disaster scenario everyone is hungry for data and they want it fast. There are experts around the world and everyone wants to help but it is unrealistic to expect them to jump on a plane. So how do you tap into that communal knowledge and expertise? The VDV was the answer to that question. We applied it on the ground for the first time in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake in China in 2008. “We had a group of 100 experts logging into the system and looking at the satellite imagery, comparing before and after pictures of the terrain. They could tell which buildings had collapsed, which areas had been cut off by landslides, which roads had been left impassable. We fed that information to non-governmental organisations, the United Nations, whoever was interested. Haiti represented a coming together of all the different pieces of the puzzle. We had the concept of distributed damage assessment, where hundreds of experts pool their knowledge. And we had information uploaded from teams on the ground. But Haiti was the first time we had a large number of humanitarian groups actively using the information filtered through our network of experts, which has grown to about 1,000 people. “After the earthquake struck, the World Bank approached ImageCat and asked us to build up a true picture of what had happened. In less than 48 hours GEO-CAN experts had provided a detailed damage assessment through the VDV. On the basis of that information, the World Bank and the major aid agencies were able to coordinate the relief effort and make longer term plans for reconstruction. It’s difficult to detach yourself from a tragedy of that scale, but our focus had to stay on the survivors.”

Dr Adams said ImageCat’s relationship with UCL – the company hosts and co-supervises masters students and PhDs from the university and works with both the geomatic engineering and the remote sensing groups based here – had been crucial to the VDV’s development. “It’s been an excellent partnership,” she said. “We bring the commercial knowhow and real-world experience and UCL brings the scientific innovation.” Dr Rossetto wants to see the tool using new types of remotely sensed data and made more user friendly. She is excited about its huge potential. “The VDV allows data to be collected in a rapid way and that simply wasn’t possible before. It’s a community-based web application, almost like Facebook or Wikipedia focused on rescue and relief. We would like to have a third phase of development where we can bring in even more data, better images, aerial photography, and lidar (laser radar) and thermal images, all of which should give us an even more accurate assessment of where the damage is, which in turn helps aid agencies decide where to focus their efforts. “What we hope is that the technology can be applied to a wide range of other disasters, so not just earthquakes but also tsunamis, hurricanes, and more. Personally, what is exciting for me as a researcher is that we often don’t have this direct impact on saving people’s lives. Although our research has a long-term impact on, for example, codes of practice and better building and so forth, we don’t see the effect on an individual scale. This response to Haiti has given me a personal reward in terms of seeing some of the fruits of our research doing something to help people.” james kay

10|11


Appreciating informality Mr George Carothers

Opinion Qasim Rafiq Former head of UCL Islamic Society

This image was the winner of the 2009 Research Images as Art/Art Images as Research competition, held annually by the UCL Graduate School. It illustrates Dharavi, India, arguably Asia’s largest slum. See all the entries at: www.grad.ucl.ac.uk/comp

“For me, student Islamic societies should be part of the solution, not the problem”

Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction As the first English university to admit students regardless of nationality, class and religion, UCL is at the forefront of studying issues arising out of cultural diversity. This theme is embedded in the Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction: www.ucl.ac.uk/interculturalinteraction UCLU Islamic Society www.uclisoc.com

On Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (UCL Mechanical Engineering 2008) set himself alight on an airbus approaching Detroit, using a device that fortunately failed to ignite. As a former president of the UCL Islamic Society (UCL ISOC), Abdulmutallab’s attempted bombing turned the media spotlight on UCL, raising issues about the radicalisation of Muslim students and freedom of speech on campus. The university has since launched an independent enquiry to investigate whether his time at UCL could have contributed to his radicalisation, and to explore the lessons to be learnt. Qasim Rafiq (UCL Biomedical Engineering 2008) was a close friend of Abdulmutallab. “When I heard Umar’s name mentioned on TV as the Detroit bomber, I couldn’t believe it was him. I’d met him at UCL Fresher’s Fair, and we were friends right through university – he was UCL ISOC President after me. Umar was modest and worked hard for the society. He never said anything to me or to any of our friends that made us suspect him of radicalism, though he did cut himself off from us after leaving UCL. “The fact that Umar was president of UCL ISOC has raised many public questions about student Islamic societies, in which I continue to have an involvement. As well as doing my PhD at Loughborough, I am now Head of Media for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies. For me, student Islamic societies should be part of the solution, not the problem, offering a place for Muslim students to discuss Islamic issues and to share with the wider student community.

“For instance, I happened to become President of UCL ISOC in the aftermath of the July 7 bombings in London, and the first event I put on was a debate on Islam and terrorism. Like everybody, I was scared and concerned and wanted to talk about it. This debate, and a later ISOC-led week discussing the ‘War on Terror’ attracted eminent speakers, and was attended by more non-Muslim than Muslim students. “We musn’t tolerate extremism in Islamic societies. People who incite murder and hatred should never be allowed on campus – and Islamic societies shouldn’t function through secretive meetings. However, when it comes to the threatened surveillance of Islamic societies and banning speakers from talking at universities, we must be clear about what we want to achieve. “What about an invited speaker who expresses a controversial viewpoint on politics or faith? Knowing where to draw the line isn’t easy. Universities exist to champion free speech, and I believe it is better that debates are held openly. For example, when Zionist historian Benny Morris was banned from talking at Cambridge University’s Israel Society recently, I disagreed. I may not share his views, but he should be able to express them and people of all beliefs be allowed to debate them publicly. “Muslim students are just students – not a separate category. We have the same study and money worries as any other student. If I could speak to Umar now, I’d want to ask him what he was hoping to achieve. I feel that he has set back the situation for Muslim students by several years.” 12|13


Appreciating informality Mr George Carothers

Opinion Qasim Rafiq Former head of UCL Islamic Society

This image was the winner of the 2009 Research Images as Art/Art Images as Research competition, held annually by the UCL Graduate School. It illustrates Dharavi, India, arguably Asia’s largest slum. See all the entries at: www.grad.ucl.ac.uk/comp

“For me, student Islamic societies should be part of the solution, not the problem”

Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction As the first English university to admit students regardless of nationality, class and religion, UCL is at the forefront of studying issues arising out of cultural diversity. This theme is embedded in the Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction: www.ucl.ac.uk/interculturalinteraction UCLU Islamic Society www.uclisoc.com

On Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (UCL Mechanical Engineering 2008) set himself alight on an airbus approaching Detroit, using a device that fortunately failed to ignite. As a former president of the UCL Islamic Society (UCL ISOC), Abdulmutallab’s attempted bombing turned the media spotlight on UCL, raising issues about the radicalisation of Muslim students and freedom of speech on campus. The university has since launched an independent enquiry to investigate whether his time at UCL could have contributed to his radicalisation, and to explore the lessons to be learnt. Qasim Rafiq (UCL Biomedical Engineering 2008) was a close friend of Abdulmutallab. “When I heard Umar’s name mentioned on TV as the Detroit bomber, I couldn’t believe it was him. I’d met him at UCL Fresher’s Fair, and we were friends right through university – he was UCL ISOC President after me. Umar was modest and worked hard for the society. He never said anything to me or to any of our friends that made us suspect him of radicalism, though he did cut himself off from us after leaving UCL. “The fact that Umar was president of UCL ISOC has raised many public questions about student Islamic societies, in which I continue to have an involvement. As well as doing my PhD at Loughborough, I am now Head of Media for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies. For me, student Islamic societies should be part of the solution, not the problem, offering a place for Muslim students to discuss Islamic issues and to share with the wider student community.

“For instance, I happened to become President of UCL ISOC in the aftermath of the July 7 bombings in London, and the first event I put on was a debate on Islam and terrorism. Like everybody, I was scared and concerned and wanted to talk about it. This debate, and a later ISOC-led week discussing the ‘War on Terror’ attracted eminent speakers, and was attended by more non-Muslim than Muslim students. “We musn’t tolerate extremism in Islamic societies. People who incite murder and hatred should never be allowed on campus – and Islamic societies shouldn’t function through secretive meetings. However, when it comes to the threatened surveillance of Islamic societies and banning speakers from talking at universities, we must be clear about what we want to achieve. “What about an invited speaker who expresses a controversial viewpoint on politics or faith? Knowing where to draw the line isn’t easy. Universities exist to champion free speech, and I believe it is better that debates are held openly. For example, when Zionist historian Benny Morris was banned from talking at Cambridge University’s Israel Society recently, I disagreed. I may not share his views, but he should be able to express them and people of all beliefs be allowed to debate them publicly. “Muslim students are just students – not a separate category. We have the same study and money worries as any other student. If I could speak to Umar now, I’d want to ask him what he was hoping to achieve. I feel that he has set back the situation for Muslim students by several years.” 12|13


Hitting the headlines recent UCL media coverage

A trio of students from UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering helped to safeguard the health of one of London Zoo’s star attractions – Raja the Komodo dragon. The fearsome-looking creatures, found only on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Western Flores, Rinca and Padar, need regular exposure to sunlight. They rely on the ultraviolet rays (UVB) in sunlight to help them grow and maintain healthy bones and produce eggs. The students created a unique data logger that measures Raja’s level of exposure to UVB.

Top: Komodo Dragon, London Zoo Bottom: Truncated Trunk

An astrobiologist from UCL joined an expedition to identify environments similar to Mars to test instruments bound for the red planet. PhD student Claire Cousins took part in the joint NASA and European Space Agency expedition to Svalbard, a remote group of islands in the Arctic Ocean.

A team of undergraduates from UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering spent the summer building earthquakeresistant housing in Peru. The team of second- and third-year undergraduates used improved ‘quincha’ – a variation on a traditional construction method using wood, mud and cane, that is resistant to seismic activity. They also trained the local community in the construction method, so they can continue the work themselves.

A UCL spin-off company is collaborating with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to develop the world’s first dual drug–antibody treatment for amyloidosis. Amyloidosis is a disease caused by the build-up of abnormal proteins in body tissues, which leads to organ failure. The heart, kidneys, liver, and almost any other organ can be affected. Around 500 new cases are diagnosed each year in the UK.

UCL Slade School of Fine Art student Eugenie Scrase was named winner of BBC Two’s School of Saatchi programme for her work Truncated Trunk, which depicts a tree trunk impaled on a length of fence. The prize entitled her to exhibit in Charles Saatchi’s international exhibition Newspeak and use a studio for three years, while her work has already been on show at the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia.

A UCL professor attempted to unravel the 200-year-old mystery surrounding the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The great composer was at the height of his creative powers in the months before his death in Vienna in 1791. Over the years a host of theories have emerged to account for his premature demise at the age of just 35 – including murder by a rival and suicide. But Professor Andrew Steptoe (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) concluded Mozart died from the common bacterial infection, strep throat.

Astronomers from UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory captured information from a gamma ray burst (GRB) – the most violent and luminous explosions occurring in the universe since the big bang – using a telescope aboard NASA’s Swift satellite. They hope using the telescope in this way will help to calculate the distance and brightness of GRBs within a few hundred seconds of their appearance, to gather new information about the causes of bursts and the galaxies from which they originate.

Top: gamma ray burst (NASA) Bottom: Trafalgar Square’s fouth plinth

Professor Chris Tilley (UCL Anthropology) delved into the mysteries of Stonehenge for a special edition of Channel 4’s Time Team programme. Professor Tilley played a leading role in the Stonehenge Riverside Project, a five-year research initiative giving students a chance to gain fieldwork experience of surveying, geophysics and excavation. During the excavation, the team discovered the biggest Neolithic settlement in northern Europe, and unravelled not only how, but why, Stonehenge was built.

Professor Peter Coveney (UCL Chemistry) was named as one of the top 25 most influential figures in engineering and technology. His pioneering work uses computer grids to simulate the effect of drugs on human metabolisms. Professor Coveney’s team is developing a computational method that can both model and predict the efficacy of HIV treatment and the likelihood of drug resistance development in individual patients.

UCL’s Dr Melissa Terras took a star turn on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. Dr Terras – who specialises in Digital Humanities, the use of computing in the arts, humanities, culture and heritage sectors – talked about streaming media and what it means for art as part of sculptor Antony Gormley’s One & Other project. Gormley, a graduate of UCL Slade School of Fine Art, invited hundreds of people to occupy the empty plinth – a space usually reserved for kings and generals.

Listen Up A team of researchers from UCL won a £500,000 grant to develop a synthetic artery that could revolutionise the treatment of coronary heart disease. Professor Alexander Seifalian and Professor George Hamilton (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) and their team are using the Wellcome Trust grant to take their work from the laboratory to a pre-clinical trial.

UCL is Europe’s first major university to partner with iTunes U. We produce regular podcasts and videos about our research and other activities at UCL. Sign up for a feed at: http://itunes.ucl.ac.uk See ‘UCL News and Events’ on iTunes U or read the latest stories: www.ucl.ac.uk/news

14|15


Hitting the headlines recent UCL media coverage

A trio of students from UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering helped to safeguard the health of one of London Zoo’s star attractions – Raja the Komodo dragon. The fearsome-looking creatures, found only on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Western Flores, Rinca and Padar, need regular exposure to sunlight. They rely on the ultraviolet rays (UVB) in sunlight to help them grow and maintain healthy bones and produce eggs. The students created a unique data logger that measures Raja’s level of exposure to UVB.

Top: Komodo Dragon, London Zoo Bottom: Truncated Trunk

An astrobiologist from UCL joined an expedition to identify environments similar to Mars to test instruments bound for the red planet. PhD student Claire Cousins took part in the joint NASA and European Space Agency expedition to Svalbard, a remote group of islands in the Arctic Ocean.

A team of undergraduates from UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering spent the summer building earthquakeresistant housing in Peru. The team of second- and third-year undergraduates used improved ‘quincha’ – a variation on a traditional construction method using wood, mud and cane, that is resistant to seismic activity. They also trained the local community in the construction method, so they can continue the work themselves.

A UCL spin-off company is collaborating with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to develop the world’s first dual drug–antibody treatment for amyloidosis. Amyloidosis is a disease caused by the build-up of abnormal proteins in body tissues, which leads to organ failure. The heart, kidneys, liver, and almost any other organ can be affected. Around 500 new cases are diagnosed each year in the UK.

UCL Slade School of Fine Art student Eugenie Scrase was named winner of BBC Two’s School of Saatchi programme for her work Truncated Trunk, which depicts a tree trunk impaled on a length of fence. The prize entitled her to exhibit in Charles Saatchi’s international exhibition Newspeak and use a studio for three years, while her work has already been on show at the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia.

A UCL professor attempted to unravel the 200-year-old mystery surrounding the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The great composer was at the height of his creative powers in the months before his death in Vienna in 1791. Over the years a host of theories have emerged to account for his premature demise at the age of just 35 – including murder by a rival and suicide. But Professor Andrew Steptoe (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) concluded Mozart died from the common bacterial infection, strep throat.

Astronomers from UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory captured information from a gamma ray burst (GRB) – the most violent and luminous explosions occurring in the universe since the big bang – using a telescope aboard NASA’s Swift satellite. They hope using the telescope in this way will help to calculate the distance and brightness of GRBs within a few hundred seconds of their appearance, to gather new information about the causes of bursts and the galaxies from which they originate.

Top: gamma ray burst (NASA) Bottom: Trafalgar Square’s fouth plinth

Professor Chris Tilley (UCL Anthropology) delved into the mysteries of Stonehenge for a special edition of Channel 4’s Time Team programme. Professor Tilley played a leading role in the Stonehenge Riverside Project, a five-year research initiative giving students a chance to gain fieldwork experience of surveying, geophysics and excavation. During the excavation, the team discovered the biggest Neolithic settlement in northern Europe, and unravelled not only how, but why, Stonehenge was built.

Professor Peter Coveney (UCL Chemistry) was named as one of the top 25 most influential figures in engineering and technology. His pioneering work uses computer grids to simulate the effect of drugs on human metabolisms. Professor Coveney’s team is developing a computational method that can both model and predict the efficacy of HIV treatment and the likelihood of drug resistance development in individual patients.

UCL’s Dr Melissa Terras took a star turn on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. Dr Terras – who specialises in Digital Humanities, the use of computing in the arts, humanities, culture and heritage sectors – talked about streaming media and what it means for art as part of sculptor Antony Gormley’s One & Other project. Gormley, a graduate of UCL Slade School of Fine Art, invited hundreds of people to occupy the empty plinth – a space usually reserved for kings and generals.

Listen Up A team of researchers from UCL won a £500,000 grant to develop a synthetic artery that could revolutionise the treatment of coronary heart disease. Professor Alexander Seifalian and Professor George Hamilton (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) and their team are using the Wellcome Trust grant to take their work from the laboratory to a pre-clinical trial.

UCL is Europe’s first major university to partner with iTunes U. We produce regular podcasts and videos about our research and other activities at UCL. Sign up for a feed at: http://itunes.ucl.ac.uk See ‘UCL News and Events’ on iTunes U or read the latest stories: www.ucl.ac.uk/news

14|15


After The Apprentice

Margaret Mountford talked to Hannah Russell (History Year 2) about her transition from scariest woman on TV to UCL PhD student – and gave some exclusive tips on how to nail that dream job after university.

Walking down a leafy suburban street somewhere in the plush end of West London, I nervously considered the task ahead of me. I was about to interview Margaret Mountford, one of the most intimidating and scathing women on television. Famed for the nonchalant roll of her eyes and pursed red lips that caused even the most immodest of contestants on The Apprentice to flounder, Sir Alan Sugar’s loyal aide, now a PhD student at UCL, had agreed to talk to me about her experiences. Margaret’s life prior to The Apprentice hardly suggested that a career in television would ever be on the cards for her, but her wry smile and withering stares nonetheless ended up making her a household name. Sightings of ‘Margaret from The Apprentice’ have been noted around the UCL campus ever since she announced her decision

to leave the series and focus on her studies in 2009, so my ensuing rendezvous prompted a string of excited questions, suggestions and speculations as to how scary she would really be from my UCL friends. Fortunately for me, the reality was altogether different to the intimidating matron that they foresaw. The first thing I noticed was that Margaret was not wearing her trademark red lipstick and suit. She offered me tea and biscuits as soon as I stepped through the door, and better still, suggested that I sort my own teabag out as she “hated it when it wasn’t exactly how you like it”. My formal clothes seemed entirely out of place in the comfortable and homely interior, and Margaret’s easy manner meant that I almost immediately forgot the tales of terror that I had been fed. 16|17


After The Apprentice

Margaret Mountford talked to Hannah Russell (History Year 2) about her transition from scariest woman on TV to UCL PhD student – and gave some exclusive tips on how to nail that dream job after university.

Walking down a leafy suburban street somewhere in the plush end of West London, I nervously considered the task ahead of me. I was about to interview Margaret Mountford, one of the most intimidating and scathing women on television. Famed for the nonchalant roll of her eyes and pursed red lips that caused even the most immodest of contestants on The Apprentice to flounder, Sir Alan Sugar’s loyal aide, now a PhD student at UCL, had agreed to talk to me about her experiences. Margaret’s life prior to The Apprentice hardly suggested that a career in television would ever be on the cards for her, but her wry smile and withering stares nonetheless ended up making her a household name. Sightings of ‘Margaret from The Apprentice’ have been noted around the UCL campus ever since she announced her decision

to leave the series and focus on her studies in 2009, so my ensuing rendezvous prompted a string of excited questions, suggestions and speculations as to how scary she would really be from my UCL friends. Fortunately for me, the reality was altogether different to the intimidating matron that they foresaw. The first thing I noticed was that Margaret was not wearing her trademark red lipstick and suit. She offered me tea and biscuits as soon as I stepped through the door, and better still, suggested that I sort my own teabag out as she “hated it when it wasn’t exactly how you like it”. My formal clothes seemed entirely out of place in the comfortable and homely interior, and Margaret’s easy manner meant that I almost immediately forgot the tales of terror that I had been fed. 16|17


after the apprentice

We began by talking about the reason for Margaret’s presence at UCL – her PhD studies in Papyrology. Although not the most likely of subjects for a former lawyer and TV personality to choose, her enthusiasm for her studies was obvious:

“Right from the start at UCL, it has been such a joy to be with people who are so passionate about what they do”

“The bulk of my research focuses on documentary papyri from Roman Egypt. I enjoy reading literature, but not studying it, which is why I am mainly looking at the documentary side. The papyri that have come into our hands are mainly document fragments discovered on rubbish tips. They include anything that the people of that time would have thrown away – shopping lists, draft contracts and even official records – people weren’t so particular about shredding in those days!” Margaret explained how documentary fragments have also been extracted from the papier-maché substance that formed layers over the mummified bodies of the period – an innovative way in which Roman Egyptians recycled their papyri. This extraction process has yielded original documents that have often never been studied by anyone else. Surely the switch from partnership in a successful law firm to student life must have been strange? Margaret tells me that in fact, she’s found many plus sides to it, such as not having clients to impress or employees to be responsible for. At UCL, she particularly enjoys being in an environment where people have such enthusiasm for their subject – and where the only deadlines that she has to adhere to are self imposed. “Right from the start at UCL, it has been such a joy to be with people who are so passionate about what they do – something that you don’t get much in law any more.” Talking of deadlines (and with an impending one hanging over my own head), I was intrigued to know if Margaret kept to a strict routine in order to get everything done. However she readily admits that she’s “not one of those mature students who keeps to her old office routine.” In fact, she’s never been a keen early riser, and does not subscribe to the notion that mature students are more organised than the rest of us: “Personally, I have too many things on to have much of a routine. This is the first time in five years that I haven’t done The Apprentice, which wrote off the whole autumn term with filming for me. As well as that, I’m Chair of Governors of an inner London secondary school, and I’m on the board of one company and of two charities.” For someone who has captivated the nation with her personal opinions of The Apprentice contestants, it turns out that Margaret has a surprising fear of public speaking. Perfectly comfortable with delivering

a withering report on a failed task on the TV show or conducting a legal transaction in her capacity as a lawyer, she consistently declines requests to be an after dinner speaker because she wonders “why people would want to listen to me, and what I would have to say!” Some aspects of the celebrity lifestyle clearly suit Margaret better than others. She is acutely aware of the photographer as we conduct our interview, and her consciousness of good camera angles and good lighting marks her out immediately as somebody who has spent many hours in the public eye. However, other aspects of fame sit more uneasily with Margaret, and she tells me that as someone who doesn’t own a television, she struggled initially to cope with the realities of becoming famous later in life. To start off with, she concedes, she was “probably quite mean” when people approached her in public, although these days she’s much more accommodating – “except when I’m struggling back on the bus from university with a heavy bag of books!” “I can always hear people whispering about me” she laughs. On one occasion, she heard a group of people on the tube decide that she couldn’t be ‘Maggie from

the Apprentice’ because she looked too young – an experience of fame that she definitely didn’t mind. Fortunately, people at UCL seem to be a well-mannered bunch when it comes to celebrity-watching: “I do get recognised around campus, but people tend to be more polite in that setting. A surprising number of people say ‘good luck with your studies’ which actually makes me feel guilty if I haven’t been working hard enough.” Margaret first met Sir Alan during her years working as a lawyer, throughout which she often helped him as an independent adviser for corporate transactions, notably when his biggest company, Amstrad, was floated on the stock exchange in 1980. The pair got on well, so when she decided to give up law in 1999, around the same time that Sir Alan was planning the first series of the show, he asked her to be one of the advisers. After watching a few minutes of the US show of the same series with Donald Trump and not being entirely impressed, Margaret was sure that she would say no to Sir Alan’s offer. But after some persuasion from her friends, she relented, deciding that since she knew nothing about the world of television, it would be an opportunity to learn about something entirely new. 18|19


after the apprentice

We began by talking about the reason for Margaret’s presence at UCL – her PhD studies in Papyrology. Although not the most likely of subjects for a former lawyer and TV personality to choose, her enthusiasm for her studies was obvious:

“Right from the start at UCL, it has been such a joy to be with people who are so passionate about what they do”

“The bulk of my research focuses on documentary papyri from Roman Egypt. I enjoy reading literature, but not studying it, which is why I am mainly looking at the documentary side. The papyri that have come into our hands are mainly document fragments discovered on rubbish tips. They include anything that the people of that time would have thrown away – shopping lists, draft contracts and even official records – people weren’t so particular about shredding in those days!” Margaret explained how documentary fragments have also been extracted from the papier-maché substance that formed layers over the mummified bodies of the period – an innovative way in which Roman Egyptians recycled their papyri. This extraction process has yielded original documents that have often never been studied by anyone else. Surely the switch from partnership in a successful law firm to student life must have been strange? Margaret tells me that in fact, she’s found many plus sides to it, such as not having clients to impress or employees to be responsible for. At UCL, she particularly enjoys being in an environment where people have such enthusiasm for their subject – and where the only deadlines that she has to adhere to are self imposed. “Right from the start at UCL, it has been such a joy to be with people who are so passionate about what they do – something that you don’t get much in law any more.” Talking of deadlines (and with an impending one hanging over my own head), I was intrigued to know if Margaret kept to a strict routine in order to get everything done. However she readily admits that she’s “not one of those mature students who keeps to her old office routine.” In fact, she’s never been a keen early riser, and does not subscribe to the notion that mature students are more organised than the rest of us: “Personally, I have too many things on to have much of a routine. This is the first time in five years that I haven’t done The Apprentice, which wrote off the whole autumn term with filming for me. As well as that, I’m Chair of Governors of an inner London secondary school, and I’m on the board of one company and of two charities.” For someone who has captivated the nation with her personal opinions of The Apprentice contestants, it turns out that Margaret has a surprising fear of public speaking. Perfectly comfortable with delivering

a withering report on a failed task on the TV show or conducting a legal transaction in her capacity as a lawyer, she consistently declines requests to be an after dinner speaker because she wonders “why people would want to listen to me, and what I would have to say!” Some aspects of the celebrity lifestyle clearly suit Margaret better than others. She is acutely aware of the photographer as we conduct our interview, and her consciousness of good camera angles and good lighting marks her out immediately as somebody who has spent many hours in the public eye. However, other aspects of fame sit more uneasily with Margaret, and she tells me that as someone who doesn’t own a television, she struggled initially to cope with the realities of becoming famous later in life. To start off with, she concedes, she was “probably quite mean” when people approached her in public, although these days she’s much more accommodating – “except when I’m struggling back on the bus from university with a heavy bag of books!” “I can always hear people whispering about me” she laughs. On one occasion, she heard a group of people on the tube decide that she couldn’t be ‘Maggie from

the Apprentice’ because she looked too young – an experience of fame that she definitely didn’t mind. Fortunately, people at UCL seem to be a well-mannered bunch when it comes to celebrity-watching: “I do get recognised around campus, but people tend to be more polite in that setting. A surprising number of people say ‘good luck with your studies’ which actually makes me feel guilty if I haven’t been working hard enough.” Margaret first met Sir Alan during her years working as a lawyer, throughout which she often helped him as an independent adviser for corporate transactions, notably when his biggest company, Amstrad, was floated on the stock exchange in 1980. The pair got on well, so when she decided to give up law in 1999, around the same time that Sir Alan was planning the first series of the show, he asked her to be one of the advisers. After watching a few minutes of the US show of the same series with Donald Trump and not being entirely impressed, Margaret was sure that she would say no to Sir Alan’s offer. But after some persuasion from her friends, she relented, deciding that since she knew nothing about the world of television, it would be an opportunity to learn about something entirely new. 18|19


after the apprentice

“A surprising number of people say ‘good luck with your studies’ which actually makes me feel guilty if I haven’t been working hard enough.”

And so the series’ most infamous judge was coerced into participating. Although she thoroughly enjoyed the five years she spent on The Apprentice, Margaret believes it was the right time to leave when she did, and now enjoys being able to devote more time to her studies: “I really, really liked the first series, but like anything else, once you’ve done it five times, it becomes monotonous. I wanted the massive chunk of time I spent on the series back to spend on my PhD, so it wasn’t a difficult decision.”

Although she initially chose to study at UCL almost purely “because I wanted to live at home”, she has since been hugely impressed with the university as a whole. Whilst she assures me that we won’t be bumping into each other over coffee in the Union or at the Student Club Night, she has certainly felt welcomed by the student population and feels a sympathy for the students of today, since she feels it is much tougher to be a student than when she went to Cambridge as an undergraduate. “The financial demands of university life for students are much greater. I feel sorry for students who have to work part-time during their studies because they have so much to juggle and it is sleep that suffers.” However, she still believes that “a good degree from a good university” is something that will stand any graduate in good stead. Despite being nothing but friendly and chatty, Margaret’s more scathing side comes out as she talks about “those ridiculous courses” that are available at some universities today, leaving some students with “considerable debts and few employable skills”. “There are a whole lot of rubbish courses that shouldn’t be degrees out there. The whole thing needs to be overhauled, and we need to get back to people having proper technical training for jobs that require technical qualifications.”

UCL apprentices Two UCL alumnae appeared on series three of The Apprentice

Dr Sophie Kain (MSci Physics 1997; PhD Theoretical Physics 2001) On completion of her PhD, Sophie worked at Thales Research and Technology where she led projects on adaptive learning systems and information management. Since leaving The Apprentice – where she made it to episode four of 12 – Sophie has launched her own company, Prior Kain Ltd, which provides information management and exploitation technologies to help companies manage information effectively.

For someone so successful, Margaret is noticeably down to earth and fame certainly hasn’t gone to her head – if anything she is absolutely bemused by the whole concept. By the end of the interview I had almost entirely forgotten that I was talking to a TV dragon and felt as if I was being treated to those little pearls of wisdom that every hopeful graduate seeking employment craves. She warned me against that tired (and frankly inaccurate) cliché of saying “I always give 110%” in interviews and steered me away from mindless work experience, instead encouraging a breadth of interests and experiences as well as those all important ‘people skills’ (at this point I was hoping I had so impressed her with my own incredible people skills that she would immediately ring up Sir Alan and convince him to hire me). I walked back out of the beautiful house in the leafy suburb of West London having been thoroughly entertained, and feeling pretty chuffed that this wise lady had chosen to study at my university.

Naomi Lay (UCL BA European Studies 2003) Naomi was a sales team manager prior to her appearance on The Apprentice, where she made it to episode 10 of 12. She is now Head of Display Advertising at Auto Trader and is a regular on the motivational speaking circuit.

HANNAH RUSSELL

20|21


after the apprentice

“A surprising number of people say ‘good luck with your studies’ which actually makes me feel guilty if I haven’t been working hard enough.”

And so the series’ most infamous judge was coerced into participating. Although she thoroughly enjoyed the five years she spent on The Apprentice, Margaret believes it was the right time to leave when she did, and now enjoys being able to devote more time to her studies: “I really, really liked the first series, but like anything else, once you’ve done it five times, it becomes monotonous. I wanted the massive chunk of time I spent on the series back to spend on my PhD, so it wasn’t a difficult decision.”

Although she initially chose to study at UCL almost purely “because I wanted to live at home”, she has since been hugely impressed with the university as a whole. Whilst she assures me that we won’t be bumping into each other over coffee in the Union or at the Student Club Night, she has certainly felt welcomed by the student population and feels a sympathy for the students of today, since she feels it is much tougher to be a student than when she went to Cambridge as an undergraduate. “The financial demands of university life for students are much greater. I feel sorry for students who have to work part-time during their studies because they have so much to juggle and it is sleep that suffers.” However, she still believes that “a good degree from a good university” is something that will stand any graduate in good stead. Despite being nothing but friendly and chatty, Margaret’s more scathing side comes out as she talks about “those ridiculous courses” that are available at some universities today, leaving some students with “considerable debts and few employable skills”. “There are a whole lot of rubbish courses that shouldn’t be degrees out there. The whole thing needs to be overhauled, and we need to get back to people having proper technical training for jobs that require technical qualifications.”

UCL apprentices Two UCL alumnae appeared on series three of The Apprentice

Dr Sophie Kain (MSci Physics 1997; PhD Theoretical Physics 2001) On completion of her PhD, Sophie worked at Thales Research and Technology where she led projects on adaptive learning systems and information management. Since leaving The Apprentice – where she made it to episode four of 12 – Sophie has launched her own company, Prior Kain Ltd, which provides information management and exploitation technologies to help companies manage information effectively.

For someone so successful, Margaret is noticeably down to earth and fame certainly hasn’t gone to her head – if anything she is absolutely bemused by the whole concept. By the end of the interview I had almost entirely forgotten that I was talking to a TV dragon and felt as if I was being treated to those little pearls of wisdom that every hopeful graduate seeking employment craves. She warned me against that tired (and frankly inaccurate) cliché of saying “I always give 110%” in interviews and steered me away from mindless work experience, instead encouraging a breadth of interests and experiences as well as those all important ‘people skills’ (at this point I was hoping I had so impressed her with my own incredible people skills that she would immediately ring up Sir Alan and convince him to hire me). I walked back out of the beautiful house in the leafy suburb of West London having been thoroughly entertained, and feeling pretty chuffed that this wise lady had chosen to study at my university.

Naomi Lay (UCL BA European Studies 2003) Naomi was a sales team manager prior to her appearance on The Apprentice, where she made it to episode 10 of 12. She is now Head of Display Advertising at Auto Trader and is a regular on the motivational speaking circuit.

HANNAH RUSSELL

20|21


The buildings and spaces that make up UCL’s campus are central to student life.

A history in the making There is no academic heritage more resonant than the campus setting itself, in the heart of Bloomsbury, a landscape so rich in reputation that it seems to hold the voices of history within its walls. But in a 21st-century world, the future fabric of the university is an ever-pressing need. Without further investment, the UCL landscape as it stands today is one we fear could fall out of view tomorrow. As much as we need to evolve and look forwards through the design of new buildings, the mission for UCL Estates & Facilities is one of preservation and renovation as much as innovation. Many of UCL’s buildings date back to the early post-war years and echo the re-building of a campus rising from the rubble of the Blitz. Today these older buildings stand side by side with visionary new sites made possible through the generosity of our supporters, including the UCL Front Engineering building and the Cancer Institute.

place within a vibration-proof environment where the science can flourish. Then, there are the everyday spaces that students use to socialise and exchange ideas. The Print Room Café at the South Junction is just one, a sophisticated new spot for meetings of minds, much needed cups of coffee and lunches between lectures. But for many students, finding quiet spaces within the city is difficult. London is one of the busiest cities in the world and whilst UCL’s central location is something that defines us as an institution, it’s also the source of increasing financial pressure. Where space and silence is hard to come by, it’s crucial that the university offers havens for hungry minds, but our provision for such spaces has not kept pace with other institutions in more

spacious environments. We now need to improve and modernise the physical fabric of dedicated student facilities, to support and enhance today’s dynamic range of teaching and learning styles. We know our buildings must continue to reflect our status as a top-five university and embody our activities as a world-class hub of excellence. We know our buildings should speak for themselves, make a statement about who we are and how we value our heritage whilst embracing the possibilities that lie beyond. But we also know we need to look further for the investment that will make such a campus possible in increasingly challenging times. It’s a history in the making.

In recent years the refurbishment of UCL’s Flaxman Gallery has breathed new life into our artistic legacy, showcasing the stunning exhibition of Flaxman’s sculptures and bas-reliefs left to UCL in 1847. In science, a bespoke building for the London Centre of Nanotechnology (LCN) on Gordon Street now enables cutting-edge scientific experiments to take 22|23


The buildings and spaces that make up UCL’s campus are central to student life.

A history in the making There is no academic heritage more resonant than the campus setting itself, in the heart of Bloomsbury, a landscape so rich in reputation that it seems to hold the voices of history within its walls. But in a 21st-century world, the future fabric of the university is an ever-pressing need. Without further investment, the UCL landscape as it stands today is one we fear could fall out of view tomorrow. As much as we need to evolve and look forwards through the design of new buildings, the mission for UCL Estates & Facilities is one of preservation and renovation as much as innovation. Many of UCL’s buildings date back to the early post-war years and echo the re-building of a campus rising from the rubble of the Blitz. Today these older buildings stand side by side with visionary new sites made possible through the generosity of our supporters, including the UCL Front Engineering building and the Cancer Institute.

place within a vibration-proof environment where the science can flourish. Then, there are the everyday spaces that students use to socialise and exchange ideas. The Print Room Café at the South Junction is just one, a sophisticated new spot for meetings of minds, much needed cups of coffee and lunches between lectures. But for many students, finding quiet spaces within the city is difficult. London is one of the busiest cities in the world and whilst UCL’s central location is something that defines us as an institution, it’s also the source of increasing financial pressure. Where space and silence is hard to come by, it’s crucial that the university offers havens for hungry minds, but our provision for such spaces has not kept pace with other institutions in more

spacious environments. We now need to improve and modernise the physical fabric of dedicated student facilities, to support and enhance today’s dynamic range of teaching and learning styles. We know our buildings must continue to reflect our status as a top-five university and embody our activities as a world-class hub of excellence. We know our buildings should speak for themselves, make a statement about who we are and how we value our heritage whilst embracing the possibilities that lie beyond. But we also know we need to look further for the investment that will make such a campus possible in increasingly challenging times. It’s a history in the making.

In recent years the refurbishment of UCL’s Flaxman Gallery has breathed new life into our artistic legacy, showcasing the stunning exhibition of Flaxman’s sculptures and bas-reliefs left to UCL in 1847. In science, a bespoke building for the London Centre of Nanotechnology (LCN) on Gordon Street now enables cutting-edge scientific experiments to take 22|23


Cory’s story: A typical day on campus To see the campus in context we took a tour with Cory Stade (MSc Palaeoanthopology and Palaeolithic Archaeology 2009), a recent UCL archaeology graduate to see how important UCL spaces are for today’s students.

09.15 > The new Science Library is quite impressive; it’s got a really modern interior and great lighting. Even though I was studying palaeoanthropology, I often spent time here – it’s such a fresh and vibrant space, and popular too. The library was great because it was so quiet whereas working from halls always had its distractions.

08.55 > I usually started out from my halls on Gower Street a bit early so I could visit the library before lectures.

12.45 > For lunch, I had a bit of a tradition of getting soup from the refectory and eating it in Gordon Square if it was warm enough. It’s such a beautiful space, surrounded by a mix of different architecture from the old church to the more modern Institute of Archaeology. If it was too cold, the new Print Room Café was also a relaxing place to be, especially if I could grab a seat on one of the couches! 14.30 > I’d always pass through UCL’s famous quad and sometimes if I had a bit of time between lectures I’d sit above the steps on the portico to catch up on notes.

16.28 > The Bloomsbury Café became a popular place for me and my friends to meet. It was right by the Institute of Archaeology, and I often got a cup of tea before heading to my next lecture. I’m addicted to tea, and I almost always had some sort of food or drink to keep me focused in class.

18.23 > At the end of the day, my classmates and I often met at the third floor bar of the union. We tried to meet up at least once a week. We were a really tight group of just 13, and all got along really well. We would often go to guest lectures together in the evening – we all loved the wine reception afterwards!

24|25


Cory’s story: A typical day on campus To see the campus in context we took a tour with Cory Stade (MSc Palaeoanthopology and Palaeolithic Archaeology 2009), a recent UCL archaeology graduate to see how important UCL spaces are for today’s students.

09.15 > The new Science Library is quite impressive; it’s got a really modern interior and great lighting. Even though I was studying palaeoanthropology, I often spent time here – it’s such a fresh and vibrant space, and popular too. The library was great because it was so quiet whereas working from halls always had its distractions.

08.55 > I usually started out from my halls on Gower Street a bit early so I could visit the library before lectures.

12.45 > For lunch, I had a bit of a tradition of getting soup from the refectory and eating it in Gordon Square if it was warm enough. It’s such a beautiful space, surrounded by a mix of different architecture from the old church to the more modern Institute of Archaeology. If it was too cold, the new Print Room Café was also a relaxing place to be, especially if I could grab a seat on one of the couches! 14.30 > I’d always pass through UCL’s famous quad and sometimes if I had a bit of time between lectures I’d sit above the steps on the portico to catch up on notes.

16.28 > The Bloomsbury Café became a popular place for me and my friends to meet. It was right by the Institute of Archaeology, and I often got a cup of tea before heading to my next lecture. I’m addicted to tea, and I almost always had some sort of food or drink to keep me focused in class.

18.23 > At the end of the day, my classmates and I often met at the third floor bar of the union. We tried to meet up at least once a week. We were a really tight group of just 13, and all got along really well. We would often go to guest lectures together in the evening – we all loved the wine reception afterwards!

24|25


UCL News oNLiNe News from ucL

For the start of the 2009–10 academic year, UCL launched a new homepage to reflect and cater for its different audiences. Here’s a brief guided tour of the new site.

The improved search facility makes it much easier to access what you’re looking for – people can be found by

simply clicking the ‘directory’ button. Clicking on the UCL logo on any page in the website takes you back to the homepage.

Discover UCL

Studying at UCL

Working at UCL

Research at UCL

This is the main homepage for general audiences. It provides an introduction to UCL, its public events and our main news portal.

This section contains content and news relevant to our current and prospective students, including timetables, finance, accommodation and applications information.

Here staff can find all the staff resources, including staff events, key policy documents, IT services and job vacancies.

This page contains key information about current research at UCL, featuring UCL’s major research initiatives, news, information for business, and our research strategies.

FIND OUT MORE

NEWS CAROUSEL

IN FOCUS

This area contains links for the essential information relating to each section. The alumni portal can be found via the Discover UCL page.

This window is the portal to the news and media sections of the UCL website. Here you can find the latest news and multimedia content from UCL as well as our press releases.

This section is to highlight an item of interest, often related to an upcoming event or a key issue in the news.

Useful links

The new homepage has been designed so that the information on the entire UCL website is much easier to find and access, and also features much more of the multimedia content UCL is now producing.

The content of each page changes depending on the section you’re viewing. The main image on each page links to a short film, podcast or a highlighted news item. The news window at the bottom of each page features news relevant to the audience on a carousel. UCL has also launched a new events calendar, which makes it much easier to find the type of events you are interested in attending. You can also subscribe to our new events e-newsletter.

www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni Your portal for all things alumni

www.ucl.ac.uk/news Keep up to date with the latest news from your university

http://events.ucl.ac.uk The new UCL events calendar

www.youtube.com/ucltv UCL’s TV channel on YouTube Mini-lectures and short films on activities at UCL and by the UCL community

http://itunes.ucl.ac.uk Watch lectures and listen to podcasts via itunes 26|27


UCL News oNLiNe News from ucL

For the start of the 2009–10 academic year, UCL launched a new homepage to reflect and cater for its different audiences. Here’s a brief guided tour of the new site.

The improved search facility makes it much easier to access what you’re looking for – people can be found by

simply clicking the ‘directory’ button. Clicking on the UCL logo on any page in the website takes you back to the homepage.

Discover UCL

Studying at UCL

Working at UCL

Research at UCL

This is the main homepage for general audiences. It provides an introduction to UCL, its public events and our main news portal.

This section contains content and news relevant to our current and prospective students, including timetables, finance, accommodation and applications information.

Here staff can find all the staff resources, including staff events, key policy documents, IT services and job vacancies.

This page contains key information about current research at UCL, featuring UCL’s major research initiatives, news, information for business, and our research strategies.

FIND OUT MORE

NEWS CAROUSEL

IN FOCUS

This area contains links for the essential information relating to each section. The alumni portal can be found via the Discover UCL page.

This window is the portal to the news and media sections of the UCL website. Here you can find the latest news and multimedia content from UCL as well as our press releases.

This section is to highlight an item of interest, often related to an upcoming event or a key issue in the news.

Useful links

The new homepage has been designed so that the information on the entire UCL website is much easier to find and access, and also features much more of the multimedia content UCL is now producing.

The content of each page changes depending on the section you’re viewing. The main image on each page links to a short film, podcast or a highlighted news item. The news window at the bottom of each page features news relevant to the audience on a carousel. UCL has also launched a new events calendar, which makes it much easier to find the type of events you are interested in attending. You can also subscribe to our new events e-newsletter.

www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni Your portal for all things alumni

www.ucl.ac.uk/news Keep up to date with the latest news from your university

http://events.ucl.ac.uk The new UCL events calendar

www.youtube.com/ucltv UCL’s TV channel on YouTube Mini-lectures and short films on activities at UCL and by the UCL community

http://itunes.ucl.ac.uk Watch lectures and listen to podcasts via itunes 26|27


Sequel ryan riddington

Campus Q&A Professor Alywn Davies UCL Chemistry

A response to UCL’s old masters collection by Slade School of Fine Art students. View the whole project at: www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/sequel

What should UCL’s motto be? The same as the Royal Society’s: Nullius in Verba – Not by Word Alone. Don’t just believe what you are told, whatever the authority. Work it out for yourself.

My other vices do not leave room for that one.

The Bellman who was the guide in Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark. Apart from his Rule of Three, it is a good description of our research group. The work progressed, like the poem, in Fits, and sometimes we found not the Snark which we were looking for, but the Boojam.

What is the trait you most deplore about yourself?

What is the biggest threat facing humanity?

What is your greatest extravagance?

Professor Davies first came to the university in 1944, when the Second World War was still raging in Europe.

With which historical figure do you most identify?

The tendency to move something that I do not want to do to the end of the queue, and then forget about it.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? To lie on my back on a sunny day in the sand dunes on the North Norfolk coast, miles from anywhere, listening to the sound of the surf and the wind in the pines, and watching the clouds sail in from the North Sea.

Over-population.

What is your favourite building and why? Wilkin’s frontage of the college. Going home late on a winter’s evening, the sight of it, floodlit, is breathtaking.

How would you like to be remembered? As someone who helped many generations of students to enjoy and benefit from their time here.

What has been your most memorable experience at UCL?

What’s changed the most during your time at UCL?

One of my research students having an explosion which blew out all the windows in the lab.

Ever-increasing bureaucracy.

What is your greatest fear?

Listen to both sides of the argument before you make up your mind.

Heights.

Who at UCL (past or present) has most influenced you? Three successive heads of the Chemistry Department, Christopher Ingold, Ted Hughes, and Ron Nyholm – and my wife who was in the first class that I taught at UCL.

What makes you laugh? Cartoons: Matt in the Daily Telegraph, Ronald Searle, Garfield.

What is the most important lesson life had taught you?

What has been your most embarrassing moment at UCL? The college’s formidable Assistant Secretary was Winifred Radley. She caught me trying to persuade her secretary to type for me some of a book which I had written. In the end, Lady Ingold typed it, bless her.

28|29


Sequel ryan riddington

Campus Q&A Professor Alywn Davies UCL Chemistry

A response to UCL’s old masters collection by Slade School of Fine Art students. View the whole project at: www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/sequel

What should UCL’s motto be? The same as the Royal Society’s: Nullius in Verba – Not by Word Alone. Don’t just believe what you are told, whatever the authority. Work it out for yourself.

My other vices do not leave room for that one.

The Bellman who was the guide in Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark. Apart from his Rule of Three, it is a good description of our research group. The work progressed, like the poem, in Fits, and sometimes we found not the Snark which we were looking for, but the Boojam.

What is the trait you most deplore about yourself?

What is the biggest threat facing humanity?

What is your greatest extravagance?

Professor Davies first came to the university in 1944, when the Second World War was still raging in Europe.

With which historical figure do you most identify?

The tendency to move something that I do not want to do to the end of the queue, and then forget about it.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? To lie on my back on a sunny day in the sand dunes on the North Norfolk coast, miles from anywhere, listening to the sound of the surf and the wind in the pines, and watching the clouds sail in from the North Sea.

Over-population.

What is your favourite building and why? Wilkin’s frontage of the college. Going home late on a winter’s evening, the sight of it, floodlit, is breathtaking.

How would you like to be remembered? As someone who helped many generations of students to enjoy and benefit from their time here.

What has been your most memorable experience at UCL?

What’s changed the most during your time at UCL?

One of my research students having an explosion which blew out all the windows in the lab.

Ever-increasing bureaucracy.

What is your greatest fear?

Listen to both sides of the argument before you make up your mind.

Heights.

Who at UCL (past or present) has most influenced you? Three successive heads of the Chemistry Department, Christopher Ingold, Ted Hughes, and Ron Nyholm – and my wife who was in the first class that I taught at UCL.

What makes you laugh? Cartoons: Matt in the Daily Telegraph, Ronald Searle, Garfield.

What is the most important lesson life had taught you?

What has been your most embarrassing moment at UCL? The college’s formidable Assistant Secretary was Winifred Radley. She caught me trying to persuade her secretary to type for me some of a book which I had written. In the end, Lady Ingold typed it, bless her.

28|29


UCL News recent news from UCL

UCL climbed to 4th place in the annual Times Higher EducationQS World University Rankings, its highest ever position, placing it second among UK universities behind the University of Cambridge.

UCL 4th in the world

Welcoming the news, UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, said: “League tables can never measure all a university’s qualities. They capture a few key aspects of a complex organism. Yet we are pleased by UCL’s spectacular progression up the tables in recent years, because it does reflect the truly outstanding quality of UCL’s community of academics, and of our students from around the world. UCL is a remarkable place. It has an edginess to it, a spirit of restless energy, and its traditions are of radical change and innovation.” Phil Baty, Deputy Editor of Times Higher Education magazine and Editor of the World University

A converted Routemaster bus parked in the quad was the unusual location for the ultimate interdisciplinary research project.

Object Retrieval: You are the Routemaster

Object Retrieval was realised by internationally renowned artist Joshua Sofaer and UCL Curator Simon Gould. A rolling team of researchers from the arts and sciences joined the public to investigate one object for seven days, 24 hours a day. A toy car that once belonged to a four year-old boy, from the UCL Pathology Collection, was the focus, explored by thousands of people from their own personal or professional

Rankings, said: “UCL’s rise up the world rankings can truly be described as meteoric – year after year we have watched it climb up the top 30, and it has now earned its place as number four in the world, above global super-brands like the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and Princeton University in the US. UCL’s achievements are stunning. Academics in other universities will be jealous, in particular, of UCL’s moves to give its researchers the freedom to think, by hiring special research coordinators who can relieve academics from some of the more stifling bureaucratic burdens of modern academic life.”

UCL researchers have analysed millions of Oyster Card journeys to understand how, why and where we travel in London.

UCL researchers reveal ‘polycentric’ London

Find out more www.ucl.ac.uk/news/newsarticles/0910/09100803

perspective. The toy’s paint was believed to have given the child lead poisoning. The response was extraordinary and an enormous amount of information has been uploaded on the project website.

Find out more www.objectretrieval.com

UCL to accelerate bringing stem cell therapies to clinic

Professor Michael Batty (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) and Dr Soong Kang (UCL Management Science & Innovation) applied statistical physics techniques to their mountain of raw data. The pair joined forces with a computational social scientist and a physicist, both based in Paris, to explore patterns of commuting by tube into central London.

Professor Batty said: “Using techniques of statistical physics, we can extract the patterns of how we travel and explore the regularities in these, linking these movements to the polycentric nature of the centres that compose the core of large world cities such as London.” The patterns revealed by the study show how complex city centres actually are – London contains no single centre, but instead has around 10 ‘polycentres’ that interlink in complex patterns.

They used Transport for London’s database of 11 million records taken over one week from the Oyster Card electronic ticketing system.

Find out more

UCL’s Professor Pete Coffey is the joint leader of a major project to bring stem cell treatment to the point of clinical trial.

mechanism for preserving an individual’s eyesight.”

Professor Coffey (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and the UCL Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine) will be the UK leader of a £2.4 million study addressing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a leading cause of blindness among elderly people. Professor Coffey said: “Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of irreversible vision-loss, and it is estimated that more than 710,000 people in the UK will suffer from AMD with severe vision impairment by 2020. The stem cell route we have proposed offers an opportunity for more successful results based on a single surgical treatment and hopefully a

www.ucl.ac.uk/news/newsarticles/1002/10021201

The project has been funded as part of an international collaboration between the Medical Research Council and the Californian Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Professor Mark Humayun at the University of Southern California will lead the research in the United States. The first programme to emerge from this enterprise will be expected to begin Phase I clinical trials within four years.

Find out more www.ucl.ac.uk/news/newsarticles/0910/09102803 30|31


UCL News recent news from UCL

UCL climbed to 4th place in the annual Times Higher EducationQS World University Rankings, its highest ever position, placing it second among UK universities behind the University of Cambridge.

UCL 4th in the world

Welcoming the news, UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, said: “League tables can never measure all a university’s qualities. They capture a few key aspects of a complex organism. Yet we are pleased by UCL’s spectacular progression up the tables in recent years, because it does reflect the truly outstanding quality of UCL’s community of academics, and of our students from around the world. UCL is a remarkable place. It has an edginess to it, a spirit of restless energy, and its traditions are of radical change and innovation.” Phil Baty, Deputy Editor of Times Higher Education magazine and Editor of the World University

A converted Routemaster bus parked in the quad was the unusual location for the ultimate interdisciplinary research project.

Object Retrieval: You are the Routemaster

Object Retrieval was realised by internationally renowned artist Joshua Sofaer and UCL Curator Simon Gould. A rolling team of researchers from the arts and sciences joined the public to investigate one object for seven days, 24 hours a day. A toy car that once belonged to a four year-old boy, from the UCL Pathology Collection, was the focus, explored by thousands of people from their own personal or professional

Rankings, said: “UCL’s rise up the world rankings can truly be described as meteoric – year after year we have watched it climb up the top 30, and it has now earned its place as number four in the world, above global super-brands like the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and Princeton University in the US. UCL’s achievements are stunning. Academics in other universities will be jealous, in particular, of UCL’s moves to give its researchers the freedom to think, by hiring special research coordinators who can relieve academics from some of the more stifling bureaucratic burdens of modern academic life.”

UCL researchers have analysed millions of Oyster Card journeys to understand how, why and where we travel in London.

UCL researchers reveal ‘polycentric’ London

Find out more www.ucl.ac.uk/news/newsarticles/0910/09100803

perspective. The toy’s paint was believed to have given the child lead poisoning. The response was extraordinary and an enormous amount of information has been uploaded on the project website.

Find out more www.objectretrieval.com

UCL to accelerate bringing stem cell therapies to clinic

Professor Michael Batty (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) and Dr Soong Kang (UCL Management Science & Innovation) applied statistical physics techniques to their mountain of raw data. The pair joined forces with a computational social scientist and a physicist, both based in Paris, to explore patterns of commuting by tube into central London.

Professor Batty said: “Using techniques of statistical physics, we can extract the patterns of how we travel and explore the regularities in these, linking these movements to the polycentric nature of the centres that compose the core of large world cities such as London.” The patterns revealed by the study show how complex city centres actually are – London contains no single centre, but instead has around 10 ‘polycentres’ that interlink in complex patterns.

They used Transport for London’s database of 11 million records taken over one week from the Oyster Card electronic ticketing system.

Find out more

UCL’s Professor Pete Coffey is the joint leader of a major project to bring stem cell treatment to the point of clinical trial.

mechanism for preserving an individual’s eyesight.”

Professor Coffey (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and the UCL Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine) will be the UK leader of a £2.4 million study addressing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a leading cause of blindness among elderly people. Professor Coffey said: “Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of irreversible vision-loss, and it is estimated that more than 710,000 people in the UK will suffer from AMD with severe vision impairment by 2020. The stem cell route we have proposed offers an opportunity for more successful results based on a single surgical treatment and hopefully a

www.ucl.ac.uk/news/newsarticles/1002/10021201

The project has been funded as part of an international collaboration between the Medical Research Council and the Californian Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Professor Mark Humayun at the University of Southern California will lead the research in the United States. The first programme to emerge from this enterprise will be expected to begin Phase I clinical trials within four years.

Find out more www.ucl.ac.uk/news/newsarticles/0910/09102803 30|31


UCL alumnus Gerald Seymour (UCL History 1963) has earned a place among thriller writer royalty.

Gerald’s game We are following a muddy track through the beech wood near Gerald Seymour’s home. He stops at the sound of a helicopter on its way to the nearby RAF base. The aircraft is little more than a grey blur glimpsed through the bare branches, but the author instantly identifies it as a Merlin – a remark that betrays acute powers of observation and hints at the specialist knowledge informing his work. Back at his home the 68-year-old leads me to the study, a modest room overlooking a back garden where the family cat stalks birds through the flower beds. A necklace of foreign press cards dangles from the wall in one corner of the room, testifying to their owner’s presence at many of the 20th century’s epochal events. A snapshot of England’s 1970 World Cup squad adorns the other corner. Gerald, who played for the media against the pros in the then traditional pre-tournament grudge match, is standing near Sir Alf Ramsey and wearing Norman Hunter’s shirt. The writing desk is framed by shelves bearing a lifetime’s work in hard and soft covers. The blurbs confirm this son of UCL has earned a place among British thriller writing royalty such as John le Carré, Robert Ludlum and Frederick Forsyth. Gerald Seymour was the child of two writers. His father was an East End boy made good – a ‘grafter’ who took the opportunity to escape his humble origins. William Kean Seymour forged out a successful career in banking, but gave it up to become a respected poet and novelist. In contrast, Gerald’s mother, Rosalind Wade, came from an established military family whose roots stretch back to William Herschel, the 18th-century Astronomer Royal. She, too, was a prolific novelist and short story writer. Despite this literary lineage, Gerald wasn’t brought up in a rarefied atmosphere – a strong work ethic, not to 32|33


UCL alumnus Gerald Seymour (UCL History 1963) has earned a place among thriller writer royalty.

Gerald’s game We are following a muddy track through the beech wood near Gerald Seymour’s home. He stops at the sound of a helicopter on its way to the nearby RAF base. The aircraft is little more than a grey blur glimpsed through the bare branches, but the author instantly identifies it as a Merlin – a remark that betrays acute powers of observation and hints at the specialist knowledge informing his work. Back at his home the 68-year-old leads me to the study, a modest room overlooking a back garden where the family cat stalks birds through the flower beds. A necklace of foreign press cards dangles from the wall in one corner of the room, testifying to their owner’s presence at many of the 20th century’s epochal events. A snapshot of England’s 1970 World Cup squad adorns the other corner. Gerald, who played for the media against the pros in the then traditional pre-tournament grudge match, is standing near Sir Alf Ramsey and wearing Norman Hunter’s shirt. The writing desk is framed by shelves bearing a lifetime’s work in hard and soft covers. The blurbs confirm this son of UCL has earned a place among British thriller writing royalty such as John le Carré, Robert Ludlum and Frederick Forsyth. Gerald Seymour was the child of two writers. His father was an East End boy made good – a ‘grafter’ who took the opportunity to escape his humble origins. William Kean Seymour forged out a successful career in banking, but gave it up to become a respected poet and novelist. In contrast, Gerald’s mother, Rosalind Wade, came from an established military family whose roots stretch back to William Herschel, the 18th-century Astronomer Royal. She, too, was a prolific novelist and short story writer. Despite this literary lineage, Gerald wasn’t brought up in a rarefied atmosphere – a strong work ethic, not to 32|33


gerald seymour

“I learned that writing was not something to be taken lightly. You sit down in the morning and you hack it. You don’t stop just because you can’t think of something. If you can’t think of something, write about the weather”

Top: a collection of press accreditation cards Main picture: top middle, Gerald performing in Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths ; bottom middle, Gerald reading the news for ITN; photographs from his time as a foreign correspondent

“We were plastered. There we were in front of Buckingham Palace, going the wrong way! A policeman stopped us and said ‘do you know you’re going the wrong way, sir?’. He even held up the traffic while we did a u-turn. It was just extraordinary. But people rather liked students. We didn’t have scaly tails or horns. UCL represented my first taste of freedom. To breathe in that city, to know Bloomsbury; to strut around as if we owned it, and meet people who would become friends...it was a liberating experience. I also remember the sense of affection from members of staff in the history department who probably realised I wasn’t going to get a first, but encouraged me to do what I wanted to do.” Life in London exposed him to the intertwined worlds of politics and journalism – he saw Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell speak at UCL, and Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists. In his second year he wrote for UCL’s Pi magazine. During the Cuban missile crisis, he phoned in the story from behind the police lines in Grosvenor Square, a foretaste of his future. mention an economic imperative, underpinned his parents’ creative output. He was sent to a boarding school at the age of 13. He remembers returning from exile to find his father, dressed in a shirt, tie and waistcoast, working hard at the typewriter upstairs while his mother sat downstairs on the sofa, fiercely focused on her lined notebooks as Fluffkins, the family’s Persian cat, sprawled across her lap. “They both loved words, of course, but they were committed writers, not dilettantes. They wrote to pay the electricity bill. From them I learned that writing was not something to be taken lightly. You sit down in the morning and you hack it. You don’t stop just because you can’t think of something. If you can’t think of something, write about the weather. The creative juices usually start to flow.”

Gerald arrived at UCL at the age of 18 to study modern history, moved into digs in Cartwright Gardens and threw himself into university life. On his first weekend he auditioned for the UCL Dramatic Society and won the leading male role in a production of Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths, in which he starred opposite Ros Wright, a future director of the Serious Fraud Office. He also joined the university men’s 2nd XI hockey team with the approval of his mother, who believed it ‘guaranteed a shower twice a week’. You could live on £10 a week back then, he says, and the world had a more forgiving attitude to the excesses of youth. He remembers driving back from a match in South London in a car full of friends. Rather the worse for wear after a few pints, the driver contrived to steer the car around the Victoria Monument – in the wrong direction.

“As a generation, we were interested in what was going on around us. The sense of freedom was fantastic. A lot of people made a niche for themselves through DramSoc, which was full of talented people. There was this feeling that if you wanted to do it badly enough, you’d get to do it. I was extraordinarily lucky to be there.” As the end of his final year approached, Gerald applied for a post as a trainee radio producer at the BBC. His father had helped him secure heavyweight references – one from cricket broadcaster John Arlott, another from the poet Geoffrey Dearmer, and a third from the writer Vera Brittain – but he was ‘turned down out of hand’. The corporation’s loss was to be ITN’s gain, although his big break arrived in extraordinary circumstances.

Having cancelled his first interview with Sir Geoffrey Cox, the formidable first editor of ITN, Gerald arrived at the company’s offices with some trepidation. “I remember waiting in the outer room and his secretary saying ‘the editor reads the Guardian’ and pushing a copy under my arm before I went in. Long room, huge desk. I called him sir. He said ‘you couldn’t come yesterday because you were studying for your finals, I expect?’ I said, no sir, I was playing cricket. ‘For whom?’ he said. The university. ‘Against?’ Northamptonshire. ‘What do you do?’ he said. I bowl leg breaks and googlies. Then he screwed up a large piece of blotting paper from the pad on his desk, tossed it across the desk and said ‘how do you do a googly?’ I flicked my wrist and bounced the thing back to him. We talked about cricket for the next quarter of an hour.” Unbeknown to Gerald, Sir Geoffrey saw him as the answer to the BBC’s dominance in the annual match between the two broadcasters. He was offered a trainee post for the princely sum of £875 per annum. Nine days later the ITN hierarchy decided he would make a reporter on account of his height and speaking voice – and a few hours after that, on 8 August 1963, he was covering the Great Train Robbery. “The only proper reporter in the newsroom was sent down to Cheddington where the train was marooned on the track. I was sent to the City, absolutely petrified. An interview had been arranged with a loss adjuster. The sound recordist drove and the cameraman wrote down the questions I should ask on the back of his little brown payslip envelope. On such, a career was launched.” The following year Gerald found himself brought on to bowl against the BBC’s star player – newscaster Corbet Woodall – in the all-important cricket match.

34|35


gerald seymour

“I learned that writing was not something to be taken lightly. You sit down in the morning and you hack it. You don’t stop just because you can’t think of something. If you can’t think of something, write about the weather”

Top: a collection of press accreditation cards Main picture: top middle, Gerald performing in Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths ; bottom middle, Gerald reading the news for ITN; photographs from his time as a foreign correspondent

“We were plastered. There we were in front of Buckingham Palace, going the wrong way! A policeman stopped us and said ‘do you know you’re going the wrong way, sir?’. He even held up the traffic while we did a u-turn. It was just extraordinary. But people rather liked students. We didn’t have scaly tails or horns. UCL represented my first taste of freedom. To breathe in that city, to know Bloomsbury; to strut around as if we owned it, and meet people who would become friends...it was a liberating experience. I also remember the sense of affection from members of staff in the history department who probably realised I wasn’t going to get a first, but encouraged me to do what I wanted to do.” Life in London exposed him to the intertwined worlds of politics and journalism – he saw Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell speak at UCL, and Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists. In his second year he wrote for UCL’s Pi magazine. During the Cuban missile crisis, he phoned in the story from behind the police lines in Grosvenor Square, a foretaste of his future. mention an economic imperative, underpinned his parents’ creative output. He was sent to a boarding school at the age of 13. He remembers returning from exile to find his father, dressed in a shirt, tie and waistcoast, working hard at the typewriter upstairs while his mother sat downstairs on the sofa, fiercely focused on her lined notebooks as Fluffkins, the family’s Persian cat, sprawled across her lap. “They both loved words, of course, but they were committed writers, not dilettantes. They wrote to pay the electricity bill. From them I learned that writing was not something to be taken lightly. You sit down in the morning and you hack it. You don’t stop just because you can’t think of something. If you can’t think of something, write about the weather. The creative juices usually start to flow.”

Gerald arrived at UCL at the age of 18 to study modern history, moved into digs in Cartwright Gardens and threw himself into university life. On his first weekend he auditioned for the UCL Dramatic Society and won the leading male role in a production of Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths, in which he starred opposite Ros Wright, a future director of the Serious Fraud Office. He also joined the university men’s 2nd XI hockey team with the approval of his mother, who believed it ‘guaranteed a shower twice a week’. You could live on £10 a week back then, he says, and the world had a more forgiving attitude to the excesses of youth. He remembers driving back from a match in South London in a car full of friends. Rather the worse for wear after a few pints, the driver contrived to steer the car around the Victoria Monument – in the wrong direction.

“As a generation, we were interested in what was going on around us. The sense of freedom was fantastic. A lot of people made a niche for themselves through DramSoc, which was full of talented people. There was this feeling that if you wanted to do it badly enough, you’d get to do it. I was extraordinarily lucky to be there.” As the end of his final year approached, Gerald applied for a post as a trainee radio producer at the BBC. His father had helped him secure heavyweight references – one from cricket broadcaster John Arlott, another from the poet Geoffrey Dearmer, and a third from the writer Vera Brittain – but he was ‘turned down out of hand’. The corporation’s loss was to be ITN’s gain, although his big break arrived in extraordinary circumstances.

Having cancelled his first interview with Sir Geoffrey Cox, the formidable first editor of ITN, Gerald arrived at the company’s offices with some trepidation. “I remember waiting in the outer room and his secretary saying ‘the editor reads the Guardian’ and pushing a copy under my arm before I went in. Long room, huge desk. I called him sir. He said ‘you couldn’t come yesterday because you were studying for your finals, I expect?’ I said, no sir, I was playing cricket. ‘For whom?’ he said. The university. ‘Against?’ Northamptonshire. ‘What do you do?’ he said. I bowl leg breaks and googlies. Then he screwed up a large piece of blotting paper from the pad on his desk, tossed it across the desk and said ‘how do you do a googly?’ I flicked my wrist and bounced the thing back to him. We talked about cricket for the next quarter of an hour.” Unbeknown to Gerald, Sir Geoffrey saw him as the answer to the BBC’s dominance in the annual match between the two broadcasters. He was offered a trainee post for the princely sum of £875 per annum. Nine days later the ITN hierarchy decided he would make a reporter on account of his height and speaking voice – and a few hours after that, on 8 August 1963, he was covering the Great Train Robbery. “The only proper reporter in the newsroom was sent down to Cheddington where the train was marooned on the track. I was sent to the City, absolutely petrified. An interview had been arranged with a loss adjuster. The sound recordist drove and the cameraman wrote down the questions I should ask on the back of his little brown payslip envelope. On such, a career was launched.” The following year Gerald found himself brought on to bowl against the BBC’s star player – newscaster Corbet Woodall – in the all-important cricket match.

34|35


gerald seymour

“The foreign press culture was extraordinarily exciting – a privileged world that I clung on to by my fingertips and just about managed to survive.”

He bowled a googly first ball, which flew over the middle stump, then tried the leg break. Woodall nicked it to ITN’s foreign editor, who fumbled the catch. Two of the following four balls disappeared into the long grass. “In all, I bowled four overs, no maiden, none for 45, I was taken off and never played cricket for ITN again.” Gerald might not have been the solution Sir Geoffrey was seeking on the cricket pitch, but he proved an astute acquisition nonetheless. The exquisite timing of his entry to the profession became a recurrent theme of his career – he had a rare gift that marks out the great from the good: being in the right place at the right time. Shortly after covering his first military conflict in Cyprus, he was posted to Singapore to cover the build-up to the Vietnam War. “I was scared out of my wits. Not by the whizz bangs, but scared of missing the story. Being abroad and being alone was pretty horrendous and there was only one way to beat that feeling – a lot of glugging. But there were happy times, too. Even at that young age, once you were accepted into that caravan of foreign press, there were some incredibly loyal and decent people. Terrible egos, terrible arrogance, terrible tempers – and far too much drinking. But still some terrific people; wild people. The foreign press culture was extraordinarily exciting – a privileged world that I clung on to by my fingertips and just about managed to survive.” Gerald spent the first few years of the 1970s reporting on the Troubles in Northern Ireland, including the Bloody Sunday massacre in which 27 civil rights protesters were shot and 14 died. The experience led him to specialise in covering sieges, hijackings and other acts of terrorism. Over the years he reported on the Basque separatist campaign in northern Spain, the Red Army faction in West Germany, the Red Brigades in Italy, the Angry Brigade in Britain and the worldwide attacks by Palestinian groups.

He was sent to the 1972 Munich Olympics as an ‘auxiliary sports/news reporter’, but ended up at the heart of the action. He remembers that knock on the door at 6am on 5 September. There were vague reports of ‘trouble and shooting’ in the Olympic Village. Suffering from the effects of a late finish at the bar, he roused the crew and marched them unsteadily through the fleeing crowds. Somehow they gained access to the top floor of the Puerto Rican rifle team’s quarters and camped there as the hostage drama played out below them. Their frontline footage was so good it ended up in Kevin Macdonald’s Oscar-winning documentary of the massacre, One Day In September. But Gerald always felt he was a better writer than reporter and a moment of epiphany duly arrived. He had just returned from reporting on the Yom Kippur War in 1973. ITN was convulsed by industrial action, which gave him the time to read Forsyth’s thriller The Day Of The Jackal. He loved the tale of an assassin contracted to murder French President Charles de Gaulle, and it inspired him to follow in the footsteps of other ITN journalists who had turned their hand to fiction. His wife Gillian bought him a pine table for £5 and told him to ‘get on with it’. He finished two drafts of a first novel, then left it mouldering in a drawer for six months. Eventually it found its way on to an agent’s desk. Harry’s Game – the story of an undercover agent on the trail of an IRA killer – was published in 1975 and became a runaway success: a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic, it was translated into over a dozen languages and optioned for a film. “When that happens it screws you up a bit,” he says. “You think as a journalist: I’ll just try and hang in there until I become a PR for the coal board. That was the only life I knew. The success of Harry’s Game was overwhelming.”

ITN sent him and his young family to Rome. In the following two and a half years, Gerald juggled journalism with writing in his spare time, penning two more well-received books – The Glory Boys and Kingfisher – before deciding to go for broke. The family moved to Dublin and “things went quiet” until he received a phone call in 1979 to say that Yorkshire Television had bought the rights to Harry’s Game. The result was a critically acclaimed mini-series that helped drive his career forward at a crucial time. Since then he has been riding a wave of critical and commercial success, producing more than 20 novels and extending his imaginative territory from Northern Ireland to Afghanistan, Iraq and Guatemala, to name but a few of the backdrops in his fiction. His cast of characters is no less exotic – an ever-changing gallery of nuclear scientists, Sicilian mafiosi and Marsh Arabs enmeshed in a web of intrigue that spans the globe. He shows me three folders full of research for his next novel, as yet untitled. One traces the criss-crossing paths of his characters as they progress through the intricately plotted story. Another contains potted biographies of that cast, the tangled back stories that bring them to life on the page. The third, he says, is full of photos taken during trips to distant lands. “I’m not complacent. I don’t know how much longer it will last and I feel very blessed. I’d hate not to have this room, this little world. People who deal with me – editors and agents – have been surprised and perhaps a little disbelieving at my professions of nervousness when I put in a manuscript, but I’m convinced that one day, on the law of averages, it’ll go pear-shaped.” For this observer, there is no sign of that.

Biography Born in Surrey in 1941 Educated at Kelly College, Devon Started a BA Hons degree in Modern History at UCL in 1960 Joined ITN in 1963 Covered the Great Train Robbery, the Vietnam War, the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the Troubles in Northern Ireland Debut novel Harry’s Game published in 1975 Has written more than 20 books, seven of which have been adapted for television Appeared in the Oscar-winning 1999 documentary film One Day In September

JAMES KAY

36|37


gerald seymour

“The foreign press culture was extraordinarily exciting – a privileged world that I clung on to by my fingertips and just about managed to survive.”

He bowled a googly first ball, which flew over the middle stump, then tried the leg break. Woodall nicked it to ITN’s foreign editor, who fumbled the catch. Two of the following four balls disappeared into the long grass. “In all, I bowled four overs, no maiden, none for 45, I was taken off and never played cricket for ITN again.” Gerald might not have been the solution Sir Geoffrey was seeking on the cricket pitch, but he proved an astute acquisition nonetheless. The exquisite timing of his entry to the profession became a recurrent theme of his career – he had a rare gift that marks out the great from the good: being in the right place at the right time. Shortly after covering his first military conflict in Cyprus, he was posted to Singapore to cover the build-up to the Vietnam War. “I was scared out of my wits. Not by the whizz bangs, but scared of missing the story. Being abroad and being alone was pretty horrendous and there was only one way to beat that feeling – a lot of glugging. But there were happy times, too. Even at that young age, once you were accepted into that caravan of foreign press, there were some incredibly loyal and decent people. Terrible egos, terrible arrogance, terrible tempers – and far too much drinking. But still some terrific people; wild people. The foreign press culture was extraordinarily exciting – a privileged world that I clung on to by my fingertips and just about managed to survive.” Gerald spent the first few years of the 1970s reporting on the Troubles in Northern Ireland, including the Bloody Sunday massacre in which 27 civil rights protesters were shot and 14 died. The experience led him to specialise in covering sieges, hijackings and other acts of terrorism. Over the years he reported on the Basque separatist campaign in northern Spain, the Red Army faction in West Germany, the Red Brigades in Italy, the Angry Brigade in Britain and the worldwide attacks by Palestinian groups.

He was sent to the 1972 Munich Olympics as an ‘auxiliary sports/news reporter’, but ended up at the heart of the action. He remembers that knock on the door at 6am on 5 September. There were vague reports of ‘trouble and shooting’ in the Olympic Village. Suffering from the effects of a late finish at the bar, he roused the crew and marched them unsteadily through the fleeing crowds. Somehow they gained access to the top floor of the Puerto Rican rifle team’s quarters and camped there as the hostage drama played out below them. Their frontline footage was so good it ended up in Kevin Macdonald’s Oscar-winning documentary of the massacre, One Day In September. But Gerald always felt he was a better writer than reporter and a moment of epiphany duly arrived. He had just returned from reporting on the Yom Kippur War in 1973. ITN was convulsed by industrial action, which gave him the time to read Forsyth’s thriller The Day Of The Jackal. He loved the tale of an assassin contracted to murder French President Charles de Gaulle, and it inspired him to follow in the footsteps of other ITN journalists who had turned their hand to fiction. His wife Gillian bought him a pine table for £5 and told him to ‘get on with it’. He finished two drafts of a first novel, then left it mouldering in a drawer for six months. Eventually it found its way on to an agent’s desk. Harry’s Game – the story of an undercover agent on the trail of an IRA killer – was published in 1975 and became a runaway success: a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic, it was translated into over a dozen languages and optioned for a film. “When that happens it screws you up a bit,” he says. “You think as a journalist: I’ll just try and hang in there until I become a PR for the coal board. That was the only life I knew. The success of Harry’s Game was overwhelming.”

ITN sent him and his young family to Rome. In the following two and a half years, Gerald juggled journalism with writing in his spare time, penning two more well-received books – The Glory Boys and Kingfisher – before deciding to go for broke. The family moved to Dublin and “things went quiet” until he received a phone call in 1979 to say that Yorkshire Television had bought the rights to Harry’s Game. The result was a critically acclaimed mini-series that helped drive his career forward at a crucial time. Since then he has been riding a wave of critical and commercial success, producing more than 20 novels and extending his imaginative territory from Northern Ireland to Afghanistan, Iraq and Guatemala, to name but a few of the backdrops in his fiction. His cast of characters is no less exotic – an ever-changing gallery of nuclear scientists, Sicilian mafiosi and Marsh Arabs enmeshed in a web of intrigue that spans the globe. He shows me three folders full of research for his next novel, as yet untitled. One traces the criss-crossing paths of his characters as they progress through the intricately plotted story. Another contains potted biographies of that cast, the tangled back stories that bring them to life on the page. The third, he says, is full of photos taken during trips to distant lands. “I’m not complacent. I don’t know how much longer it will last and I feel very blessed. I’d hate not to have this room, this little world. People who deal with me – editors and agents – have been surprised and perhaps a little disbelieving at my professions of nervousness when I put in a manuscript, but I’m convinced that one day, on the law of averages, it’ll go pear-shaped.” For this observer, there is no sign of that.

Biography Born in Surrey in 1941 Educated at Kelly College, Devon Started a BA Hons degree in Modern History at UCL in 1960 Joined ITN in 1963 Covered the Great Train Robbery, the Vietnam War, the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the Troubles in Northern Ireland Debut novel Harry’s Game published in 1975 Has written more than 20 books, seven of which have been adapted for television Appeared in the Oscar-winning 1999 documentary film One Day In September

JAMES KAY

36|37


With scientific advances from diagnostics and genetics, to improved surgical techniques, UCL is launching a many-pronged attack on cancer.

Cancer research at UCL Most of us know somebody among our family and friends who has been diagnosed with cancer. With one in three people in the UK now developing the disease in their lifetime, cancer is more common than ever before. Changes in our lifestyles, and above all our ageing population, have driven the rise in cases. Fewer people, however, are clear on what such a diagnosis is likely to mean when it arrives – and what treatments modern medical care can offer. This is partly because cancers are so diverse and their outlook so varied. While there has been a great improvement in the survival rate for breast cancer during the last 30 years, the prognosis for other cancers has remained poor. Results are uneven, and there is much work to be done. UCL is a leader in many areas of cancer research, with great strengths across the different areas that are related to the disease, ranging from cell biology through to hospital medicine. New ways of working together between these different disciplines are translating into a fresh understanding of how cancer develops – and new avenues for treatment. The central organising body for cancer research is the UCL Cancer Institute, which exists to bring together UCL’s expertise in this area in fields as diverse as nanotechnology, engineering, developmental biology and stem cell research. The institute’s mission is to carry out internationally recognised cancer research and to train a new generation of cancer researchers and scientists. With strengths in childhood and adolescent cancers and cancers of the head and neck, the institute is tackling some of the areas of cancer that have been most resistant to treatment so far. The work of the UCL Cancer Institute overlaps with other major UCL research areas, too. One of these is the UCL Institute for Women’s Health (IfWH), which conducts world-leading research into many aspects of women’s cancer in the UK and overseas. A pioneer

cervical cancer screening programme in Uganda, and the first ever baby born to have been tested preconceptially for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene, are two widely reported innovations to have come out of the IfWH in recent years. At a broader institutional level, UCL cemented a partnership in 2009 with its four leading teaching hospitals known as UCL Partners. The logic of UCL Partners is simple; breakthroughs in university research are smoothly brought into the hospital environment and used for better treatments, while hospital experience feeds back to UCL and helps to direct future biomedical research. The fast and efficient access to resources and expertise of UCL Partners will feed cancer research in the years to come. In addition, UCL is working with Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust to build the UK Centre for Medical Research & Innovation (UKCMRI) at St Pancras. This major collaboration will undertake cutting-edge research using the latest technology to advance our understanding of diseases, including cancer. Tackling cancer is also down to the brilliance of individual researchers – and with the breakthroughs of UCL cancer specialists reported in the press on a near weekly basis, it is impossible to summarise the work of the experts at work at UCL. To give a taste of the work that goes on, two cancer experts here talk about their research focused on ovarian cancer, a cancer that is currently often picked up too late for effective treatment.

Image: Cancer stem cells isolated from a brain tumour. Finding how these stem cells (green) can be converted to mature non-cancerous cells (red), might identify new drug targets. Individual cell nuclei are blue. Dr Steven Pollard (UCL Cancer Institute) 38|39


With scientific advances from diagnostics and genetics, to improved surgical techniques, UCL is launching a many-pronged attack on cancer.

Cancer research at UCL Most of us know somebody among our family and friends who has been diagnosed with cancer. With one in three people in the UK now developing the disease in their lifetime, cancer is more common than ever before. Changes in our lifestyles, and above all our ageing population, have driven the rise in cases. Fewer people, however, are clear on what such a diagnosis is likely to mean when it arrives – and what treatments modern medical care can offer. This is partly because cancers are so diverse and their outlook so varied. While there has been a great improvement in the survival rate for breast cancer during the last 30 years, the prognosis for other cancers has remained poor. Results are uneven, and there is much work to be done. UCL is a leader in many areas of cancer research, with great strengths across the different areas that are related to the disease, ranging from cell biology through to hospital medicine. New ways of working together between these different disciplines are translating into a fresh understanding of how cancer develops – and new avenues for treatment. The central organising body for cancer research is the UCL Cancer Institute, which exists to bring together UCL’s expertise in this area in fields as diverse as nanotechnology, engineering, developmental biology and stem cell research. The institute’s mission is to carry out internationally recognised cancer research and to train a new generation of cancer researchers and scientists. With strengths in childhood and adolescent cancers and cancers of the head and neck, the institute is tackling some of the areas of cancer that have been most resistant to treatment so far. The work of the UCL Cancer Institute overlaps with other major UCL research areas, too. One of these is the UCL Institute for Women’s Health (IfWH), which conducts world-leading research into many aspects of women’s cancer in the UK and overseas. A pioneer

cervical cancer screening programme in Uganda, and the first ever baby born to have been tested preconceptially for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene, are two widely reported innovations to have come out of the IfWH in recent years. At a broader institutional level, UCL cemented a partnership in 2009 with its four leading teaching hospitals known as UCL Partners. The logic of UCL Partners is simple; breakthroughs in university research are smoothly brought into the hospital environment and used for better treatments, while hospital experience feeds back to UCL and helps to direct future biomedical research. The fast and efficient access to resources and expertise of UCL Partners will feed cancer research in the years to come. In addition, UCL is working with Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust to build the UK Centre for Medical Research & Innovation (UKCMRI) at St Pancras. This major collaboration will undertake cutting-edge research using the latest technology to advance our understanding of diseases, including cancer. Tackling cancer is also down to the brilliance of individual researchers – and with the breakthroughs of UCL cancer specialists reported in the press on a near weekly basis, it is impossible to summarise the work of the experts at work at UCL. To give a taste of the work that goes on, two cancer experts here talk about their research focused on ovarian cancer, a cancer that is currently often picked up too late for effective treatment.

Image: Cancer stem cells isolated from a brain tumour. Finding how these stem cells (green) can be converted to mature non-cancerous cells (red), might identify new drug targets. Individual cell nuclei are blue. Dr Steven Pollard (UCL Cancer Institute) 38|39


cancer research at ucl

“Another very important benefit of UK CTOCS is that during the course of the trial, women have given blood, and we now have over 450,000 samples. This includes samples from some women many years before they got their ovarian cancer. This makes it possible to use new diagnostic tests on these early samples, to see whether they might have picked up the cancer earlier. We are also using these samples to discover new marker proteins and to see if changes over time might help earlier diagnosis. We are bidding for funding to develop effective ways of combining the new test results and the emerging findings about changes in DNA that can affect a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer.

In the clinic professor usha menon

National health services in countries across the world have their eyes on the research of consultant gynaecologist Professor Usha Menon. As Head of the Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre at UCL, she is co-leading with Professor Ian Jacobs (UCL Dean of Biomedicine) the largest ever trial to find out whether a national ovarian cancer screening programme is effective. Due to be completed in 2014, the outcomes of the trial will determine best practice in screening worldwide. “We are a multidisciplinary clinical trials team consisting of postdoctoral and clinical fellows, clinical trial managers, data managers, systems analysts, psychologists, statisticians, genetics counsellors, research nurses, lab technicians and administrative staff. Many of us have been working together for over ten years and came over from Bart’s to UCL in 2004. At the moment, our focus is on ovarian cancer. We’re running two major screening trials, in distinct high risk groups – younger women with a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer and women over 50 who have none or one relation with ovarian cancer. “The high risk trial we are running is called the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study. We will complete recruitment this month through 38 NHS Trusts all over the UK, of just over 5,000 women aged 35 and older. These women are referred to the study from genetic clinics around the country, and have opted not to have surgery to remove their tubes and ovaries to prevent cancer – which is currently the only proven option. Instead they have chosen to take part in the screening trial, which includes having a blood test every four months and a internal scan once a year. Women send blood by post to our lab at UCL where we measure a protein called CA125 in the woman’s blood and combine this with other factors to compute risk of ovarian cancer. By 2013, we’ll be able to say how well this screening trial has worked and how many cancers have been picked up.

“The second trial is our most ambitious – it is the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UK CTOCS) – currently the largest ever randomised screening trial of women for ovarian cancer in the general population. Between 2001 and 2005, we recruited 202,638 post-menopausal women aged between 50 and 74 through 27 regional Primary Care Trusts across the UK. These women have been randomly assigned either to no treatment (control), or to a programme of either annual screening with CA125 followed by a scan if risk is elevated (multimodal screening – MMS) or annual screening with vaginal ultrasound (USS). Any woman with persistent abnormal screens is brought in for clinical assessment and surgery. If one of these strategies were to work, then MMS would be similar to cervical cancer screening with women having a blood test at their GP practice, whereas USS would be more like the breast screening programme in that a woman would need to go into a hospital for ultrasound. “The aim of UK CTOCS is to see whether the UK should have an ovarian cancer screening programme in the same way that it has breast and cervical cancer screening. We will be in position to make our recommendations to the Department of Health based on the findings by June 2015. Many people around the world, both women and doctors, are awaiting the results of this trial, as currently ovarian cancer is a disease with such high mortality. “We were able to publish an initial set of results from the trial last year, in 2009. They showed that the screening programmes using MMS and USS were able to detect symptoms in 89% and 85% respectively of those women who developed ovarian cancer. Of the detected cancers, half were at an early stage, which was very encouraging ­since outside of the programme, only about 28% of invasive cancers are currently detected at this early stage.

“Another area of great interest to us is the whole issue that ovarian cancer has subtle and non-specific symptoms ­– such as abdominal discomfort, increase in girth, loss of appetite, feeling full – that are being missed. Around one in five women with ovarian cancer go to their GP for more than six months before they are diagnosed. But it is very tough for GPs; they see a large number of women with these symptoms, while they see a woman who has ovarian cancer only once every five years. As part of a PhD project, we have been able to undertake a ‘symptom survey’ in half (100,000) of the women taking part in UKCTOCS. That way, we can get a more objective idea of which symptoms correlate strongly with future ovarian cancer. We would like to use the most significant symptoms along with factors like age, family history and perhaps some of the new tests to create a pathway for GPs, and help them to triage their patients more effectively, working out at every stage who is at increased risk. “I believe that future improvements in how many people survive ovarian cancer will be due to gradual improvements in a number of areas. Cancer research means that chemotherapy for the disease is improving, and so is maintenance therapy. Surgery to remove the primary tumour is already improving, because these days, only a surgeon specialising in gynaecological oncology is allowed to operate.

“Finding ways of making an earlier diagnosis is absolutely crucial.”

“Finding ways of making earlier diagnosis is absolutely crucial. Put simply, in 70% of women, ovarian cancer is currently picked up at stage 3 or 4, and at this stage these women only have a three in 10 chance of surviving the disease. For women whose cancer is picked up at stage 1, ­eight or nine in 10 will survive. “I am always humbled by the many women all over the United Kingdom who are willing to support these trials and to come for screening year after year. The team are deeply indebted to them and to the MRC, Cancer Research UK, Department of Health and Eve Appeal that have supported us in all our efforts.” 40|41


cancer research at ucl

“Another very important benefit of UK CTOCS is that during the course of the trial, women have given blood, and we now have over 450,000 samples. This includes samples from some women many years before they got their ovarian cancer. This makes it possible to use new diagnostic tests on these early samples, to see whether they might have picked up the cancer earlier. We are also using these samples to discover new marker proteins and to see if changes over time might help earlier diagnosis. We are bidding for funding to develop effective ways of combining the new test results and the emerging findings about changes in DNA that can affect a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer.

In the clinic professor usha menon

National health services in countries across the world have their eyes on the research of consultant gynaecologist Professor Usha Menon. As Head of the Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre at UCL, she is co-leading with Professor Ian Jacobs (UCL Dean of Biomedicine) the largest ever trial to find out whether a national ovarian cancer screening programme is effective. Due to be completed in 2014, the outcomes of the trial will determine best practice in screening worldwide. “We are a multidisciplinary clinical trials team consisting of postdoctoral and clinical fellows, clinical trial managers, data managers, systems analysts, psychologists, statisticians, genetics counsellors, research nurses, lab technicians and administrative staff. Many of us have been working together for over ten years and came over from Bart’s to UCL in 2004. At the moment, our focus is on ovarian cancer. We’re running two major screening trials, in distinct high risk groups – younger women with a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer and women over 50 who have none or one relation with ovarian cancer. “The high risk trial we are running is called the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study. We will complete recruitment this month through 38 NHS Trusts all over the UK, of just over 5,000 women aged 35 and older. These women are referred to the study from genetic clinics around the country, and have opted not to have surgery to remove their tubes and ovaries to prevent cancer – which is currently the only proven option. Instead they have chosen to take part in the screening trial, which includes having a blood test every four months and a internal scan once a year. Women send blood by post to our lab at UCL where we measure a protein called CA125 in the woman’s blood and combine this with other factors to compute risk of ovarian cancer. By 2013, we’ll be able to say how well this screening trial has worked and how many cancers have been picked up.

“The second trial is our most ambitious – it is the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UK CTOCS) – currently the largest ever randomised screening trial of women for ovarian cancer in the general population. Between 2001 and 2005, we recruited 202,638 post-menopausal women aged between 50 and 74 through 27 regional Primary Care Trusts across the UK. These women have been randomly assigned either to no treatment (control), or to a programme of either annual screening with CA125 followed by a scan if risk is elevated (multimodal screening – MMS) or annual screening with vaginal ultrasound (USS). Any woman with persistent abnormal screens is brought in for clinical assessment and surgery. If one of these strategies were to work, then MMS would be similar to cervical cancer screening with women having a blood test at their GP practice, whereas USS would be more like the breast screening programme in that a woman would need to go into a hospital for ultrasound. “The aim of UK CTOCS is to see whether the UK should have an ovarian cancer screening programme in the same way that it has breast and cervical cancer screening. We will be in position to make our recommendations to the Department of Health based on the findings by June 2015. Many people around the world, both women and doctors, are awaiting the results of this trial, as currently ovarian cancer is a disease with such high mortality. “We were able to publish an initial set of results from the trial last year, in 2009. They showed that the screening programmes using MMS and USS were able to detect symptoms in 89% and 85% respectively of those women who developed ovarian cancer. Of the detected cancers, half were at an early stage, which was very encouraging ­since outside of the programme, only about 28% of invasive cancers are currently detected at this early stage.

“Another area of great interest to us is the whole issue that ovarian cancer has subtle and non-specific symptoms ­– such as abdominal discomfort, increase in girth, loss of appetite, feeling full – that are being missed. Around one in five women with ovarian cancer go to their GP for more than six months before they are diagnosed. But it is very tough for GPs; they see a large number of women with these symptoms, while they see a woman who has ovarian cancer only once every five years. As part of a PhD project, we have been able to undertake a ‘symptom survey’ in half (100,000) of the women taking part in UKCTOCS. That way, we can get a more objective idea of which symptoms correlate strongly with future ovarian cancer. We would like to use the most significant symptoms along with factors like age, family history and perhaps some of the new tests to create a pathway for GPs, and help them to triage their patients more effectively, working out at every stage who is at increased risk. “I believe that future improvements in how many people survive ovarian cancer will be due to gradual improvements in a number of areas. Cancer research means that chemotherapy for the disease is improving, and so is maintenance therapy. Surgery to remove the primary tumour is already improving, because these days, only a surgeon specialising in gynaecological oncology is allowed to operate.

“Finding ways of making an earlier diagnosis is absolutely crucial.”

“Finding ways of making earlier diagnosis is absolutely crucial. Put simply, in 70% of women, ovarian cancer is currently picked up at stage 3 or 4, and at this stage these women only have a three in 10 chance of surviving the disease. For women whose cancer is picked up at stage 1, ­eight or nine in 10 will survive. “I am always humbled by the many women all over the United Kingdom who are willing to support these trials and to come for screening year after year. The team are deeply indebted to them and to the MRC, Cancer Research UK, Department of Health and Eve Appeal that have supported us in all our efforts.” 40|41


cancer research

“UCL is an exciting place to work due to wide-ranging expertise and scientific excellence”

DNA methylation – for instance, if you smoke that this can cause abnormal methylation which could be passed down to your children and predispose them to disease development in their lifetime.

In the laboratory professor martin Widschwendter

Professor Martin Widschwendter is a surgeon specialising in women-specific cancers and epigenetics – the study of heritable changes in gene function that are not the consequence of changes in gene sequence. A relatively new research avenue for cancer scientists, the science of epigenetics gets to the heart of some of the early changes that cause cancer, and is set to pave the way for earlier diagnosis and optimised cancer treatment. “I specialise in DNA methylation – the process by which a chemical group called a methyl group adds itself to a stretch of DNA, locking and silencing genes. “Suppression of specific genes is a key step in the normal development of stem cells as this allows the stem cells to maintain a state of ‘pre-commitment’. As soon as specific genes are switched back on, the stem cells can differentiate and develop into mature cell types including breast, ovarian or bowel cells. In cancer, however, the ability to switch the genes back on is lost through acquisition of abnormal methylation. Consequently, the stem cell is predisposed to malignant change as it can no longer differentiate: one of the hallmarks of cancer.”

In 2007, Professor Widschwendter made headlines with his publication in Nature Genetics that highlighted genes methylated in cancer are also required for differentiation in stem cells. This research re-established the integral role of DNA methylation in early cancer development. “Our findings in the Nature Genetics paper confirmed the existence of this abnormal feature for the first time, and we are now about to publish additional findings in Genome Research detailing a causal factor. We have seen that methylation of genes increases during the aging process and, more specifically, contributes to cancer through increased methylation at genes required for stem cell differentiation. “We also plan to test whether identified DNA methylation patterns are influenced by diet, as well as to study the possibility that these patterns can be passed on to your children (a process known as ‘transgenerational epigenetic inheritance’) and predispose to cancer in way similar to that seen in women inheriting the BRCA1 gene, who experience a 50 per cent increased likelihood for breast and ovarian cancer development. Furthermore, we are investigating lifestyle factors that could cause heritable changes in

“Ascertaining the exact factors that contribute to abnormal cellular DNA methylation has great potential in facilitating early diagnosis of cancer. We could tell from a simple blood serum test whether a high amount of DNA methylation is occurring in a person’s cells and use this information to predict those people at high risk of developing cancer, or who have early stage cancer. Ovarian cancer, for example, is frequently picked up too late for effective treatment because the ovaries are tucked away under the abdomen and there are no obvious early symptoms. A serum DNA methylation test would be a non-invasive way of detecting this disease, and likewise breast and cervical cancer, at an earlier stage.

to treatment. For instance, one of the main treatments for ovarian cancer is platinum, but the cancer becomes resistant to it. We believe that by reprogramming the cells they would become susceptible once more to platinum treatment and so improve chances of survival. “UCL is an exciting place to work due to wide-ranging expertise and scientific excellence. We are extremely fortuitous to have world-leading experts in the science of ageing, which will allow us to extrapolate upon our latest findings. It is wonderful to have access to the knowledge and research of these individuals. I come from Innsbruck in Austria and though I miss the ski-slopes, UCL is what keeps me here in London.” CLARE BOWERMAN

“In terms of treatment, analysis of DNA methylation is a way of monitoring how effectively cancer treatment is working, and whether further treatment is needed. For example, women who have had breast cancer usually have surgery to remove the tumour, and are given extra treatment to stop the cancer returning in the form of chemotherapy or anti-hormonal therapy. However, with the visible cancer cells removed by surgery, there has not been a way to see whether these treatments are actually working. By testing the woman’s DNA methylation levels, if the levels are low we can see that the chances of the cancer clearing are good, but if the levels are high, then she may need further treatment. “Finally, we are performing a pilot project to see if we can actually strip away the problematic methylation signature by reprogramming cancer cells through a process called induced pluripotent stem cell technology. We think this should make cancer cells more receptive 42|43


cancer research

“UCL is an exciting place to work due to wide-ranging expertise and scientific excellence”

DNA methylation – for instance, if you smoke that this can cause abnormal methylation which could be passed down to your children and predispose them to disease development in their lifetime.

In the laboratory professor martin Widschwendter

Professor Martin Widschwendter is a surgeon specialising in women-specific cancers and epigenetics – the study of heritable changes in gene function that are not the consequence of changes in gene sequence. A relatively new research avenue for cancer scientists, the science of epigenetics gets to the heart of some of the early changes that cause cancer, and is set to pave the way for earlier diagnosis and optimised cancer treatment. “I specialise in DNA methylation – the process by which a chemical group called a methyl group adds itself to a stretch of DNA, locking and silencing genes. “Suppression of specific genes is a key step in the normal development of stem cells as this allows the stem cells to maintain a state of ‘pre-commitment’. As soon as specific genes are switched back on, the stem cells can differentiate and develop into mature cell types including breast, ovarian or bowel cells. In cancer, however, the ability to switch the genes back on is lost through acquisition of abnormal methylation. Consequently, the stem cell is predisposed to malignant change as it can no longer differentiate: one of the hallmarks of cancer.”

In 2007, Professor Widschwendter made headlines with his publication in Nature Genetics that highlighted genes methylated in cancer are also required for differentiation in stem cells. This research re-established the integral role of DNA methylation in early cancer development. “Our findings in the Nature Genetics paper confirmed the existence of this abnormal feature for the first time, and we are now about to publish additional findings in Genome Research detailing a causal factor. We have seen that methylation of genes increases during the aging process and, more specifically, contributes to cancer through increased methylation at genes required for stem cell differentiation. “We also plan to test whether identified DNA methylation patterns are influenced by diet, as well as to study the possibility that these patterns can be passed on to your children (a process known as ‘transgenerational epigenetic inheritance’) and predispose to cancer in way similar to that seen in women inheriting the BRCA1 gene, who experience a 50 per cent increased likelihood for breast and ovarian cancer development. Furthermore, we are investigating lifestyle factors that could cause heritable changes in

“Ascertaining the exact factors that contribute to abnormal cellular DNA methylation has great potential in facilitating early diagnosis of cancer. We could tell from a simple blood serum test whether a high amount of DNA methylation is occurring in a person’s cells and use this information to predict those people at high risk of developing cancer, or who have early stage cancer. Ovarian cancer, for example, is frequently picked up too late for effective treatment because the ovaries are tucked away under the abdomen and there are no obvious early symptoms. A serum DNA methylation test would be a non-invasive way of detecting this disease, and likewise breast and cervical cancer, at an earlier stage.

to treatment. For instance, one of the main treatments for ovarian cancer is platinum, but the cancer becomes resistant to it. We believe that by reprogramming the cells they would become susceptible once more to platinum treatment and so improve chances of survival. “UCL is an exciting place to work due to wide-ranging expertise and scientific excellence. We are extremely fortuitous to have world-leading experts in the science of ageing, which will allow us to extrapolate upon our latest findings. It is wonderful to have access to the knowledge and research of these individuals. I come from Innsbruck in Austria and though I miss the ski-slopes, UCL is what keeps me here in London.” CLARE BOWERMAN

“In terms of treatment, analysis of DNA methylation is a way of monitoring how effectively cancer treatment is working, and whether further treatment is needed. For example, women who have had breast cancer usually have surgery to remove the tumour, and are given extra treatment to stop the cancer returning in the form of chemotherapy or anti-hormonal therapy. However, with the visible cancer cells removed by surgery, there has not been a way to see whether these treatments are actually working. By testing the woman’s DNA methylation levels, if the levels are low we can see that the chances of the cancer clearing are good, but if the levels are high, then she may need further treatment. “Finally, we are performing a pilot project to see if we can actually strip away the problematic methylation signature by reprogramming cancer cells through a process called induced pluripotent stem cell technology. We think this should make cancer cells more receptive 42|43


Cover Stories RECENT BOOKS FROM THE UCL COMMUNITY

Your Alumni Relations Team welcomes your books. Here is a small selection of those received recently.

A book about books

Francis Crick: Hunter of Life’s Secrets Robert Olby

Professor Henry Woudhuysen Dean of UCL Arts & Humanities

400 global contributors, 30 editors and in production for over seven years, The Oxford Companion to the Book is the ultimate book of books. It covers the broad concept of the book throughout the world from ancient to modern times and is a unique work relevant to an international audience across a range of disciplines.

Surprisingly, this is the first full-length biography of Francis Crick (UCL Physics 1937), one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. In 1962, he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with James Watson for their elucidation of the structure of DNA. By all accounts, he was an imposing man who spoke and thought quickly, had a loud laugh, and a mischievous sense of humour. Crick made an indelible impression on all who met him.

The Companion includes traditional subjects such as bibliography, the history of printing, editorial theory and practice, and textual criticism. It also engages with newer disciplines such as the history of the book and the electronic book and pays particular attention to how different societies shape books and vice versa. Professor Woudhuysen, Co-Editor, explains more about this special book: “What’s innovative about the book is that it doesn’t just look at the history of the book as we understand it, looking at medieval manuscripts in the West and then the history and the invention of printing, but it looks at the book as a transmitter of information, not

just in book form, but in scrolls from the beginning of the invention of languages to the electronic book in all countries of the world.” “The Companion offers a new perspective on the book, not just as the product of a national culture or as a technology, but throughout the whole of the world. I don’t think that has been attempted before in the same way.” The two-volume work contains more than 40 introductory essays and over 5,000 A–Z entries. Richly and imaginatively illustrated, it has been written by over 400 of the world’s most eminent scholars in bibliography and book history.

A Fortunate Age Joanna Smith Rakoff (MA English 1995) Joanna’s debut novel chronicles the lives of a group of friends who have recently graduated. The group settle in Brooklyn with big ambitions, but their friendships threaten to unravel as they chase their dreams, make compromises, and start to grow up. The friends find themselves making concessions to their bourgeois backgrounds and to the vast economic and political changes of their time – from the exuberance of the late nineties to the sobering reality of post- 9/11 New York.

Margaret Lovell Sculptor Peter Davies Margaret Lovell (UCL Slade School of Fine Art 1962) is an award-winning sculptor and a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. This monograph includes stunning photographs of Margaret’s work and an essay by the artist. Peter Davies has written an informative insight into the life and work of a woman devoted to creating pure sculpture for more than 50 years. Margaret’s work can be seen at the Porthminster Gallery, St Ives during April and May 2010.

Among the Iranians: A Guide to Iran’s Culture and Customs Sofia A Koutlaki (MA Greek & Latin 1988) Conveying the life of everyday Iran, Sofia shares the lessons she’s learnt firsthand both as the wife of an Iranian man and as a Tehran resident. Through memorable anecdotes and in-depth explanations of the country’s customs, Among the Iranians offers access to a private, culturally unexplored Iran – warm, inviting and rich with tradition – to understand close-up the common life of ordinary Iranians

44|45


Cover Stories RECENT BOOKS FROM THE UCL COMMUNITY

Your Alumni Relations Team welcomes your books. Here is a small selection of those received recently.

A book about books

Francis Crick: Hunter of Life’s Secrets Robert Olby

Professor Henry Woudhuysen Dean of UCL Arts & Humanities

400 global contributors, 30 editors and in production for over seven years, The Oxford Companion to the Book is the ultimate book of books. It covers the broad concept of the book throughout the world from ancient to modern times and is a unique work relevant to an international audience across a range of disciplines.

Surprisingly, this is the first full-length biography of Francis Crick (UCL Physics 1937), one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. In 1962, he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with James Watson for their elucidation of the structure of DNA. By all accounts, he was an imposing man who spoke and thought quickly, had a loud laugh, and a mischievous sense of humour. Crick made an indelible impression on all who met him.

The Companion includes traditional subjects such as bibliography, the history of printing, editorial theory and practice, and textual criticism. It also engages with newer disciplines such as the history of the book and the electronic book and pays particular attention to how different societies shape books and vice versa. Professor Woudhuysen, Co-Editor, explains more about this special book: “What’s innovative about the book is that it doesn’t just look at the history of the book as we understand it, looking at medieval manuscripts in the West and then the history and the invention of printing, but it looks at the book as a transmitter of information, not

just in book form, but in scrolls from the beginning of the invention of languages to the electronic book in all countries of the world.” “The Companion offers a new perspective on the book, not just as the product of a national culture or as a technology, but throughout the whole of the world. I don’t think that has been attempted before in the same way.” The two-volume work contains more than 40 introductory essays and over 5,000 A–Z entries. Richly and imaginatively illustrated, it has been written by over 400 of the world’s most eminent scholars in bibliography and book history.

A Fortunate Age Joanna Smith Rakoff (MA English 1995) Joanna’s debut novel chronicles the lives of a group of friends who have recently graduated. The group settle in Brooklyn with big ambitions, but their friendships threaten to unravel as they chase their dreams, make compromises, and start to grow up. The friends find themselves making concessions to their bourgeois backgrounds and to the vast economic and political changes of their time – from the exuberance of the late nineties to the sobering reality of post- 9/11 New York.

Margaret Lovell Sculptor Peter Davies Margaret Lovell (UCL Slade School of Fine Art 1962) is an award-winning sculptor and a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. This monograph includes stunning photographs of Margaret’s work and an essay by the artist. Peter Davies has written an informative insight into the life and work of a woman devoted to creating pure sculpture for more than 50 years. Margaret’s work can be seen at the Porthminster Gallery, St Ives during April and May 2010.

Among the Iranians: A Guide to Iran’s Culture and Customs Sofia A Koutlaki (MA Greek & Latin 1988) Conveying the life of everyday Iran, Sofia shares the lessons she’s learnt firsthand both as the wife of an Iranian man and as a Tehran resident. Through memorable anecdotes and in-depth explanations of the country’s customs, Among the Iranians offers access to a private, culturally unexplored Iran – warm, inviting and rich with tradition – to understand close-up the common life of ordinary Iranians

44|45


There’s a certain spirit that embodies Pi, the publication that‘s captured the concerns of a campus for 64 years. But as UCL People discovers, it’s the history of the people behind it that proves to be the real page turner.

Pi covers left to right: First edition February 1946; March 1948; February 1960; March 1963; October 1969; November 1969

The Life of Pi

From its first appearance on 21 February 1946, Pi has provided the channel for students to find their own voice and write about the issues that matter to them. But Pi has not just documented UCL life; it has also charted the turbulent nature of a very student enterprise: the student paper. Introduced against the backdrop of UCL’s war-bombed campus, it seems strange that today it’s the virtual landscape of social media that makes up Pi’s most popular pages.

What’s in a name? In 1946 Pi was launched in response to a need for students to regain their voice and to provide an alternative to Phineas, the magazine that had gone before. Sir David Pye, Provost from 1943 to 1951, inspired the paper’s name and defined its ethos in his supporting message: “There are passengers in every community who contribute little and look to others to provide for them, but often they are passengers because nothing has yet awakened an interest in their surroundings which is latent nevertheless; and so it must be in the college. A newspaper specially adapted

to the needs and interest of students, can be an ideal medium through which to promote a sense of corporate interest which embraces all the varied activities of the college. For this reason I welcome most warmly the appearance of my namesake.” Pi was an immediate hit; perhaps because it was the thread to weave a college returning from evacuation back together. In the wake of its launch, Pye was presiding over a deserted and ruinous campus of blitzed apartments and planning the post-war rebuilding. But the physical landscape did not deter students from realising the

possibilities Pi could offer in terms of airing grievances and exchanging witty repartee. The first editorial asked students to contribute criticisms, complaints or comments and outlined its purpose: ‘One of the things we are proud of is that Pi is to be the voice of UCL. We are going to campaign for the things YOU need and we will always keep in mind that YOU are our reader, However, we will never be able to know what you are thinking unless you write to us. So if ever something around college makes you angry, curious or simply argumentative, drop us a line.”

Rumblings about whether women should wear ‘slacks’ saw Pi’s roving reporters at their most investigative. It seems they were deemed ‘an excellent idea for keeping the draught out’ and had the added advantage of ‘hiding what women considered their worst feature – their legs.’ But beards weren’t going down as well. An increase in the numbers of unshaven men led Pi to report that: ‘We see hairy growths sprouting, almost visibly lengthening all around us, this may well have a far reaching and catastrophic effect on the social life of the college.’

46|47


There’s a certain spirit that embodies Pi, the publication that‘s captured the concerns of a campus for 64 years. But as UCL People discovers, it’s the history of the people behind it that proves to be the real page turner.

Pi covers left to right: First edition February 1946; March 1948; February 1960; March 1963; October 1969; November 1969

The Life of Pi

From its first appearance on 21 February 1946, Pi has provided the channel for students to find their own voice and write about the issues that matter to them. But Pi has not just documented UCL life; it has also charted the turbulent nature of a very student enterprise: the student paper. Introduced against the backdrop of UCL’s war-bombed campus, it seems strange that today it’s the virtual landscape of social media that makes up Pi’s most popular pages.

What’s in a name? In 1946 Pi was launched in response to a need for students to regain their voice and to provide an alternative to Phineas, the magazine that had gone before. Sir David Pye, Provost from 1943 to 1951, inspired the paper’s name and defined its ethos in his supporting message: “There are passengers in every community who contribute little and look to others to provide for them, but often they are passengers because nothing has yet awakened an interest in their surroundings which is latent nevertheless; and so it must be in the college. A newspaper specially adapted

to the needs and interest of students, can be an ideal medium through which to promote a sense of corporate interest which embraces all the varied activities of the college. For this reason I welcome most warmly the appearance of my namesake.” Pi was an immediate hit; perhaps because it was the thread to weave a college returning from evacuation back together. In the wake of its launch, Pye was presiding over a deserted and ruinous campus of blitzed apartments and planning the post-war rebuilding. But the physical landscape did not deter students from realising the

possibilities Pi could offer in terms of airing grievances and exchanging witty repartee. The first editorial asked students to contribute criticisms, complaints or comments and outlined its purpose: ‘One of the things we are proud of is that Pi is to be the voice of UCL. We are going to campaign for the things YOU need and we will always keep in mind that YOU are our reader, However, we will never be able to know what you are thinking unless you write to us. So if ever something around college makes you angry, curious or simply argumentative, drop us a line.”

Rumblings about whether women should wear ‘slacks’ saw Pi’s roving reporters at their most investigative. It seems they were deemed ‘an excellent idea for keeping the draught out’ and had the added advantage of ‘hiding what women considered their worst feature – their legs.’ But beards weren’t going down as well. An increase in the numbers of unshaven men led Pi to report that: ‘We see hairy growths sprouting, almost visibly lengthening all around us, this may well have a far reaching and catastrophic effect on the social life of the college.’

46|47


the life of pi Left to right: March 1975; issue 374; issue 383

But there was a serious side to Pi running parallel to social frivolities – the ‘60s marked an era of unrest as Pi writers began to look beyond the confines of the campus to a newspaper that reflected the socio-political landscape outside. This change in style began in ‘67 coinciding with the Vietnam War, the student revolt on Paris streets and the student rebellion at LSE. During this time there was also a major increase in arts coverage and DramSoc regularly garnered Pi’s attention – albeit not always of the kindest sort. But Pi writers had now begun to grasp the reigns of the revolution that was taking place

Left to right: February 1979; May 1985; June 1987 Below: the Pi office in the 1980s

in the London theatre world and by the ‘70s, music had moved to the foreground of fashionable London life. Pi mirrored this with a dedicated arts page edited by Richard Williams. Notable names made Pi synonymous with pedigree during these decades. Figures included Jonathan Dimbleby who came into the ranks at issue 250, signing himself off as Jonathan Bumblebee and introducing Bel Mooney as a cartoonist. But history is testament to the impact that Pi has had on prestigious careers. A return to a Pi reunion in 1987 saw four of the Dimbleby fold reunited.

While Mooney et al recalled nights when Jonathan would fall asleep at the wheel of an old mini collecting Pi from the printer, it was Nicholas de Jongh (who went on to become arts correspondent for the Guardian) who said it was Pi that “changed his life”.

Pi then Jim, FORMER member of the pi collective

By 1979 Pi had ‘gone glossy’ taking on a magazine format with lavish photos and artwork and, as the Thatcher years rolled in, the Pi ‘collective’ made the content more diverse and the publication started to reflect the character of individual editors. Over the next two decades Pi shifted between a magazine and a newspaper to compete, in part, with London Student, the ULU publication with a full time sabbatical editor and often the paper to which many Pi writers were lost. But the 500th anniversary issue was special for Jim, part of the ’85 collective. “It was one of the nicest things we had the privilege of doing, the anniversary issue. We conjured up memories and sold a lot of advertising on that basis.” Endorsement from the wider world wasn’t far behind. A congratulatory letter came in from Labour leader Neil Kinnock together with Bruce 48|49


the life of pi Left to right: March 1975; issue 374; issue 383

But there was a serious side to Pi running parallel to social frivolities – the ‘60s marked an era of unrest as Pi writers began to look beyond the confines of the campus to a newspaper that reflected the socio-political landscape outside. This change in style began in ‘67 coinciding with the Vietnam War, the student revolt on Paris streets and the student rebellion at LSE. During this time there was also a major increase in arts coverage and DramSoc regularly garnered Pi’s attention – albeit not always of the kindest sort. But Pi writers had now begun to grasp the reigns of the revolution that was taking place

Left to right: February 1979; May 1985; June 1987 Below: the Pi office in the 1980s

in the London theatre world and by the ‘70s, music had moved to the foreground of fashionable London life. Pi mirrored this with a dedicated arts page edited by Richard Williams. Notable names made Pi synonymous with pedigree during these decades. Figures included Jonathan Dimbleby who came into the ranks at issue 250, signing himself off as Jonathan Bumblebee and introducing Bel Mooney as a cartoonist. But history is testament to the impact that Pi has had on prestigious careers. A return to a Pi reunion in 1987 saw four of the Dimbleby fold reunited.

While Mooney et al recalled nights when Jonathan would fall asleep at the wheel of an old mini collecting Pi from the printer, it was Nicholas de Jongh (who went on to become arts correspondent for the Guardian) who said it was Pi that “changed his life”.

Pi then Jim, FORMER member of the pi collective

By 1979 Pi had ‘gone glossy’ taking on a magazine format with lavish photos and artwork and, as the Thatcher years rolled in, the Pi ‘collective’ made the content more diverse and the publication started to reflect the character of individual editors. Over the next two decades Pi shifted between a magazine and a newspaper to compete, in part, with London Student, the ULU publication with a full time sabbatical editor and often the paper to which many Pi writers were lost. But the 500th anniversary issue was special for Jim, part of the ’85 collective. “It was one of the nicest things we had the privilege of doing, the anniversary issue. We conjured up memories and sold a lot of advertising on that basis.” Endorsement from the wider world wasn’t far behind. A congratulatory letter came in from Labour leader Neil Kinnock together with Bruce 48|49


the life of pi Left to right: December 1990; January 1992; November 1993

Dickinson, Iron Maiden’s legendary front man who sent a rallying message: ‘To all the readers of Pi – Good luck. Never let the bastards grind you down!’ Jim said: “Working on Pi meant you could do things you wouldn’t have imagined. Because of the Pi connection, one guy was able to sit in on a John Peel show. It was quite simply that people were prepared to open doors for our writers. I think it was really about initiative and tenacity. I think that’s really what Pi brought out in many people.”

Left to right: October 2008; November 2008, December 2008 Below: the Pi office 2010

Pi now editor, Peter Stuart (Ucl history 2009; ma film studies year 1)

It seems not much has changed in today’s Pi office – it still looks like a bomb site – but some things are very different; we’re in a digital age for one. Peter Stuart, current Pi editor, says that this alone makes news more challenging:

Once students got inside Pi’s pages, there was a dedication that took hold: “many people ended up getting chucked off their courses and after my first couple of layouts someone said to me you know ‘you’re going to fail your course.’”

“It’s difficult to keep up with news. There’s more of a reliance on investigative journalism just because there are so many other outlets. Now it’s Pi media so we’re doing a paper and a magazine together for the first time and we’re expanding our online resource.”

“We tried to look outside ourselves at the time. One of the best features was Gethin Chamberlain’s who hung out with the homeless for a week or two. He came back, did his Pi piece and all credit to him for doing that.”

But some things remain the same. Peter points out that before he did his masters he ‘pretty much lived’ in the Pi office and that Pi is still covering student issues, albeit new ones: “The main issue is that students are very pocketed and I think that for most students the sports and drama clubs are their only social communities. It’s very insular but I think equally many have it very tough. I’m sure there are students who have parents living in conflict zones while others are debating such issues in the Union.

Gethin Chamberlain is now a photo journalist for The Observer in South East Asia.

50|51


the life of pi Left to right: December 1990; January 1992; November 1993

Dickinson, Iron Maiden’s legendary front man who sent a rallying message: ‘To all the readers of Pi – Good luck. Never let the bastards grind you down!’ Jim said: “Working on Pi meant you could do things you wouldn’t have imagined. Because of the Pi connection, one guy was able to sit in on a John Peel show. It was quite simply that people were prepared to open doors for our writers. I think it was really about initiative and tenacity. I think that’s really what Pi brought out in many people.”

Left to right: October 2008; November 2008, December 2008 Below: the Pi office 2010

Pi now editor, Peter Stuart (Ucl history 2009; ma film studies year 1)

It seems not much has changed in today’s Pi office – it still looks like a bomb site – but some things are very different; we’re in a digital age for one. Peter Stuart, current Pi editor, says that this alone makes news more challenging:

Once students got inside Pi’s pages, there was a dedication that took hold: “many people ended up getting chucked off their courses and after my first couple of layouts someone said to me you know ‘you’re going to fail your course.’”

“It’s difficult to keep up with news. There’s more of a reliance on investigative journalism just because there are so many other outlets. Now it’s Pi media so we’re doing a paper and a magazine together for the first time and we’re expanding our online resource.”

“We tried to look outside ourselves at the time. One of the best features was Gethin Chamberlain’s who hung out with the homeless for a week or two. He came back, did his Pi piece and all credit to him for doing that.”

But some things remain the same. Peter points out that before he did his masters he ‘pretty much lived’ in the Pi office and that Pi is still covering student issues, albeit new ones: “The main issue is that students are very pocketed and I think that for most students the sports and drama clubs are their only social communities. It’s very insular but I think equally many have it very tough. I’m sure there are students who have parents living in conflict zones while others are debating such issues in the Union.

Gethin Chamberlain is now a photo journalist for The Observer in South East Asia.

50|51


Left to right: February 2009; February 2010

The Squatter Arthouse Juliana Borowczyk Martins

Juliana is undertaking a PhD at the UCL Bartlett School of Planning. Her research looks at cultural and creative production and its relationships with urban space. The walls of the Kunsthaus Tacheles (Tacheles Arthouse) in Berlin have become a canvas for graffiti art, created by the artists who occupy the building.

“Back in the ‘70s students had global issues at the forefront of their minds, they seemed to care a lot more; that’s what I get from reading through the old issues. The concerns of the modern student are finance, finding a job or internship and not so much wars and the opinions of people globally.” “Student apathy is awful; one student last year wanted to write a big feature about it and ended up not bothering, which was the most ironic thing. The nature of student relationships is different now; I think social media makes people less sociable and there’s often such a fascination on Facebook with the impression; it gives people the chance to retreat a lot more.” This September the Pi story pauses once again as a revised team takes up the mantle to write and produce yet another issue. Today Pi continues to gain acclaim; named runner-up in the Guardian Student Media Awards just last year, it’s a publication with a spirit that can’t be quashed. But if there’s a legacy to be spoken of it seems only right that it be the early words of David Pye himself: “If the contents of Pi have the qualities of its name, success will be assured and Pi will extend as the mathematicians would have us believe, to an infinite series of numbers.” RACHEL LISTER 52|53


Left to right: February 2009; February 2010

The Squatter Arthouse Juliana Borowczyk Martins

Juliana is undertaking a PhD at the UCL Bartlett School of Planning. Her research looks at cultural and creative production and its relationships with urban space. The walls of the Kunsthaus Tacheles (Tacheles Arthouse) in Berlin have become a canvas for graffiti art, created by the artists who occupy the building.

“Back in the ‘70s students had global issues at the forefront of their minds, they seemed to care a lot more; that’s what I get from reading through the old issues. The concerns of the modern student are finance, finding a job or internship and not so much wars and the opinions of people globally.” “Student apathy is awful; one student last year wanted to write a big feature about it and ended up not bothering, which was the most ironic thing. The nature of student relationships is different now; I think social media makes people less sociable and there’s often such a fascination on Facebook with the impression; it gives people the chance to retreat a lot more.” This September the Pi story pauses once again as a revised team takes up the mantle to write and produce yet another issue. Today Pi continues to gain acclaim; named runner-up in the Guardian Student Media Awards just last year, it’s a publication with a spirit that can’t be quashed. But if there’s a legacy to be spoken of it seems only right that it be the early words of David Pye himself: “If the contents of Pi have the qualities of its name, success will be assured and Pi will extend as the mathematicians would have us believe, to an infinite series of numbers.” RACHEL LISTER 52|53


Alumni Careers NETWORKING EVENTS AND MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES

Every year UCL’s alumni networking events connect alumni with industry helping graduates make the introductions that matter for their future careers. Pardeep Deol (UCL SSEES 2006) tells us how it worked for her…

Connections that count

“It was only when I moved to the US for a year’s placement that I realised the importance of alumni relations. Many of my American friends had got their jobs through alumni contacts at their colleges, as graduate recruitment follows a very different route in the US and students learn the value of maintaining good relationships with their seniors early on.” “Then it hit me; I remembered coming across some information on UCL’s international network in a publication when I’d first graduated. I looked this up on UCL’s website halfway through my US placement and found there was an event coming up in my city. I thought it would give me an interesting insight into what more mature UCL grads were up to now outside of the UK, as well as a chance to meet professionals in my industry – I was trying to break into asset management at the time.“

Become a careers mentor A great way to stay involved with UCL is to become an alumni careers mentor, giving informal careers guidance online to students and recent graduates about your field of work. To find out more visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/careers/ mentor_support For further information on the next Alumni Professional Networking Event visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/careers

“James Macey, a professional in asset management, who I’d already been in touch with through UCL’s online network, was also attending so that was a good opportunity to meet him in person.

I met a few more people there too, a couple of whom have gone on to become friends and, because of our mutual UCL connection and interest in meeting new people from industries around the world, it’s made it more comfortable for me to go to more of these kinds of events.”

Making Advances

UCL Advances is the centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction at UCL. It exists to stimulate collaboration among researchers, business and investors, driving innovations that benefit society and the economy, with a particular focus on new businesses and SME engagement.

“I learnt so much through the people I met, which in turn helped to shape my direction. I realised the value of alumni networks, especially being part of a network associated with such an internationally reputable institution like UCL. I’ve now spoken to the Alumni Relations Team about becoming more actively involved and about giving something back.”

UCL Advances works to support start-ups and small businesses across London by helping them to access the technical and business expertise of UCL’s staff and students through a series of programmes. UCL Alumni are welcome to engage with UCL Advances in a variety of activities:

UCL Additions – social networking site that identifies potential collaboration partners and manages the development of projects. Technology Innovation Forums – regular events for researchers, business leaders and investors. Open Coffee House – open and informal meeting place for people involved in startups. Held at UCL every Thursday morning.

Training Continuing Professional Development – training for entrepreneurs, aimed at UCL members and directors/managers of SME’s needing extra training in specific areas. Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture Series – held every Thursday evening during term time. The lectures are open to everyone, and there is no need to register.

Find out more For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/advances or contact us at: advances@ucl.ac.uk

Networking UCL Awards for Enterprise – annual event that recognises the efforts and accomplishments of UCL’s entrepreneurial and innovative academics and students.

Support Work Experience Programme – internships to help graduating students differentiate themselves in a competitive recruitment market. Microsoft BizSpark – unites startups with entrepreneurial and technology resources in a global community. Higher Education London Outreach (HELO) – links London-based SME’s with UCL and London Business School staff and students to meet business needs and overcome the problems that limit their growth. Contact helo@ucl.ac.uk Selected Mentors and Interims for London Enterprises (SMILE) – links entrepreneurs and small businesses in London with experienced managers to help overcome barriers to growth by working with founders as mentors or as part of the team in interim and part-time roles. 54|55


Alumni Careers NETWORKING EVENTS AND MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES

Every year UCL’s alumni networking events connect alumni with industry helping graduates make the introductions that matter for their future careers. Pardeep Deol (UCL SSEES 2006) tells us how it worked for her…

Connections that count

“It was only when I moved to the US for a year’s placement that I realised the importance of alumni relations. Many of my American friends had got their jobs through alumni contacts at their colleges, as graduate recruitment follows a very different route in the US and students learn the value of maintaining good relationships with their seniors early on.” “Then it hit me; I remembered coming across some information on UCL’s international network in a publication when I’d first graduated. I looked this up on UCL’s website halfway through my US placement and found there was an event coming up in my city. I thought it would give me an interesting insight into what more mature UCL grads were up to now outside of the UK, as well as a chance to meet professionals in my industry – I was trying to break into asset management at the time.“

Become a careers mentor A great way to stay involved with UCL is to become an alumni careers mentor, giving informal careers guidance online to students and recent graduates about your field of work. To find out more visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/careers/ mentor_support For further information on the next Alumni Professional Networking Event visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/careers

“James Macey, a professional in asset management, who I’d already been in touch with through UCL’s online network, was also attending so that was a good opportunity to meet him in person.

I met a few more people there too, a couple of whom have gone on to become friends and, because of our mutual UCL connection and interest in meeting new people from industries around the world, it’s made it more comfortable for me to go to more of these kinds of events.”

Making Advances

UCL Advances is the centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction at UCL. It exists to stimulate collaboration among researchers, business and investors, driving innovations that benefit society and the economy, with a particular focus on new businesses and SME engagement.

“I learnt so much through the people I met, which in turn helped to shape my direction. I realised the value of alumni networks, especially being part of a network associated with such an internationally reputable institution like UCL. I’ve now spoken to the Alumni Relations Team about becoming more actively involved and about giving something back.”

UCL Advances works to support start-ups and small businesses across London by helping them to access the technical and business expertise of UCL’s staff and students through a series of programmes. UCL Alumni are welcome to engage with UCL Advances in a variety of activities:

UCL Additions – social networking site that identifies potential collaboration partners and manages the development of projects. Technology Innovation Forums – regular events for researchers, business leaders and investors. Open Coffee House – open and informal meeting place for people involved in startups. Held at UCL every Thursday morning.

Training Continuing Professional Development – training for entrepreneurs, aimed at UCL members and directors/managers of SME’s needing extra training in specific areas. Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture Series – held every Thursday evening during term time. The lectures are open to everyone, and there is no need to register.

Find out more For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/advances or contact us at: advances@ucl.ac.uk

Networking UCL Awards for Enterprise – annual event that recognises the efforts and accomplishments of UCL’s entrepreneurial and innovative academics and students.

Support Work Experience Programme – internships to help graduating students differentiate themselves in a competitive recruitment market. Microsoft BizSpark – unites startups with entrepreneurial and technology resources in a global community. Higher Education London Outreach (HELO) – links London-based SME’s with UCL and London Business School staff and students to meet business needs and overcome the problems that limit their growth. Contact helo@ucl.ac.uk Selected Mentors and Interims for London Enterprises (SMILE) – links entrepreneurs and small businesses in London with experienced managers to help overcome barriers to growth by working with founders as mentors or as part of the team in interim and part-time roles. 54|55


Provost’s Circle A ceLeBrATioN of phiLANThropy

“As one who has benefited from being a graduate, I am happy to help, even in a small way, with that faculty’s ambitious plans for the future.”

Shaping the future

chris wilkinson (LLB Laws 1975)

At the Circle’s inaugural event in January 2010, UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant described the philanthropic foundations on which UCL was built and why philanthropy is still vital to realise UCL’s ambitions and maintain its place among the world’s leading universities. Chris Wilkinson (LLB Laws 1975) talks about being a part of this special group:

This year, UCL launched the Provost’s Circle, a way to recognise the people who are shaping our future. Members of the Circle demonstrate their commitment by making a gift of £1,000 or more in a single calendar year, facilitating a range of exciting activity across UCL and often enabling endeavours which would otherwise not be possible. The Circle ensures that those individuals who make significant investments in UCL gain an insight into the inner workings of the university and the impact of their generosity.

“There’s a lot of publicity at the moment about the financial pressures on higher education establishments and if you look at US universities, they rely heavily on the support of their alumni. As one who has benefited from being a graduate of such an excellent law faculty as UCL’s, I am happy to help, even in a small way, with that faculty’s ambitious plans for the future. I think the Circle is a good way to start reconnecting with alumni, which is important for universities to survive and prosper. Provost is an inspiring individual and I have certainly enjoyed having the opportunity to meet him and engage with other alumni. I’m sure this initiative is going to be very successful.”

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), also highlighted the importance of UCL’s Grand Challenges research strategy and the responsibility that universities such as UCL have to apply their multidisciplinary expertise to finding solutions for major global problems.

make an all-round difference

Professor Grant said: “One of the enjoyable features of the evening was the buzz of the event and the informal conversations among guests about their shared regard for UCL. I look forward to welcoming new members and seeing this group grow in coming years.”

Members are kept up-to-date about key developments within the university and the impact of their gifts. Circle members also receive special invitations to UCL events and have the opportunity to meet the Provost and hear from leading figures within the academic community.

The Provost’s Circle is made up of individuals who make gifts of £1,000 or more in a single calendar year and provides members with an invaluable opportunity to hear UCL’s inside story and to shape that story as it develops.

Join the provost’s circle If you would like to be part of a group making an all-round difference at UCL, please contact Sian Hoggett: s.hoggett@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0)20 7679 9741

Find out more www.ucl.ac.uk/makeyourmark

56|57


Provost’s Circle A ceLeBrATioN of phiLANThropy

“As one who has benefited from being a graduate, I am happy to help, even in a small way, with that faculty’s ambitious plans for the future.”

Shaping the future

chris wilkinson (LLB Laws 1975)

At the Circle’s inaugural event in January 2010, UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant described the philanthropic foundations on which UCL was built and why philanthropy is still vital to realise UCL’s ambitions and maintain its place among the world’s leading universities. Chris Wilkinson (LLB Laws 1975) talks about being a part of this special group:

This year, UCL launched the Provost’s Circle, a way to recognise the people who are shaping our future. Members of the Circle demonstrate their commitment by making a gift of £1,000 or more in a single calendar year, facilitating a range of exciting activity across UCL and often enabling endeavours which would otherwise not be possible. The Circle ensures that those individuals who make significant investments in UCL gain an insight into the inner workings of the university and the impact of their generosity.

“There’s a lot of publicity at the moment about the financial pressures on higher education establishments and if you look at US universities, they rely heavily on the support of their alumni. As one who has benefited from being a graduate of such an excellent law faculty as UCL’s, I am happy to help, even in a small way, with that faculty’s ambitious plans for the future. I think the Circle is a good way to start reconnecting with alumni, which is important for universities to survive and prosper. Provost is an inspiring individual and I have certainly enjoyed having the opportunity to meet him and engage with other alumni. I’m sure this initiative is going to be very successful.”

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), also highlighted the importance of UCL’s Grand Challenges research strategy and the responsibility that universities such as UCL have to apply their multidisciplinary expertise to finding solutions for major global problems.

make an all-round difference

Professor Grant said: “One of the enjoyable features of the evening was the buzz of the event and the informal conversations among guests about their shared regard for UCL. I look forward to welcoming new members and seeing this group grow in coming years.”

Members are kept up-to-date about key developments within the university and the impact of their gifts. Circle members also receive special invitations to UCL events and have the opportunity to meet the Provost and hear from leading figures within the academic community.

The Provost’s Circle is made up of individuals who make gifts of £1,000 or more in a single calendar year and provides members with an invaluable opportunity to hear UCL’s inside story and to shape that story as it develops.

Join the provost’s circle If you would like to be part of a group making an all-round difference at UCL, please contact Sian Hoggett: s.hoggett@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0)20 7679 9741

Find out more www.ucl.ac.uk/makeyourmark

56|57


International Alumni Groups MEETING UP ACROSS THE GLOBE

A tale of three cities

Last November, Sinead Devlin, UCL’s Alumni Relations Manager, took the East Asian alumni trail to find out how international groups in this part of the world make their clubs matter. Here she tells People what made each of them unique…

We need you… The Kuala Lumpur group is planning to get together regularly and would love to hear from anyone who’d like to help out. To find out more please email Cyril Natarajan (UCL Medical School 2005) cyril.natarajan@gmail.com or Lin Yow Chen (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering 2003) chen_lin_yow@hotmail.com

First stop: Tokyo

Next up: Hong Kong

And finally: Kuala Lumpur

The Japanese capital was the setting for the annual ‘Welcome Back’ party. There’s always a lot of enthusiasm for this one and this year was no different. With over 80 alumni travelling into Tokyo from all over Japan, those who arrived alone didn’t stay that way for long. Old friends were reunited and new friendships were forged as the evening went on. Getting everyone into the group photo was tricky but the result was well worth it.

Here I spent time with Andrew Ng (UCL Laws 1985), Chairman of the UCL Hong Kong Club, and Tony Luk (UCL Bartlett 1984) who kindly agreed to host the alumni event at his own showroom, Andante.

Arriving into the Malaysian capital I saw the formation of a fledgling alumni group underway and it was a good turn out once again. 60 people came together in the CIMB offices in Bukit Damansara to hear Toh Puan Datuk Seri Dr Aishah Ong (UCL Medical School 1969) speak of her support for the new group. Esham Salam’s (UCL Mechanical Engineering 1979) request for more volunteers also received an enthusiastic response from the crowd.

My personal highlight came at the end of the evening when I was introduced to the Japanese custom of Tejime – a single group clap and the perfect way to say goodbye.

Tony and his staff were great hosts and the luxurious surroundings really added some glamour. The peach champagne and delicious canapés seemed to go down particularly well. It was good to see alumni of all ages there too, sharing their stories and making new contacts. Particularly impressive for me were the 16 new graduates brave enough to face the crowd and tell everyone what they’d been up to since graduation.

It’s very encouraging to see the efforts our alumni community makes to stay connected and to make new acquaintances. Events such as the ones detailed on these pages are a fantastic way to meet new people with something in common and we encourage you to get in touch with your suggestions for events – or maybe you would like to organise an alumni group in your region. For more information about the activities in your area, check the UCL Alumni website:

Sinead Devlin www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni

58|59


International Alumni Groups MEETING UP ACROSS THE GLOBE

A tale of three cities

Last November, Sinead Devlin, UCL’s Alumni Relations Manager, took the East Asian alumni trail to find out how international groups in this part of the world make their clubs matter. Here she tells People what made each of them unique…

We need you… The Kuala Lumpur group is planning to get together regularly and would love to hear from anyone who’d like to help out. To find out more please email Cyril Natarajan (UCL Medical School 2005) cyril.natarajan@gmail.com or Lin Yow Chen (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering 2003) chen_lin_yow@hotmail.com

First stop: Tokyo

Next up: Hong Kong

And finally: Kuala Lumpur

The Japanese capital was the setting for the annual ‘Welcome Back’ party. There’s always a lot of enthusiasm for this one and this year was no different. With over 80 alumni travelling into Tokyo from all over Japan, those who arrived alone didn’t stay that way for long. Old friends were reunited and new friendships were forged as the evening went on. Getting everyone into the group photo was tricky but the result was well worth it.

Here I spent time with Andrew Ng (UCL Laws 1985), Chairman of the UCL Hong Kong Club, and Tony Luk (UCL Bartlett 1984) who kindly agreed to host the alumni event at his own showroom, Andante.

Arriving into the Malaysian capital I saw the formation of a fledgling alumni group underway and it was a good turn out once again. 60 people came together in the CIMB offices in Bukit Damansara to hear Toh Puan Datuk Seri Dr Aishah Ong (UCL Medical School 1969) speak of her support for the new group. Esham Salam’s (UCL Mechanical Engineering 1979) request for more volunteers also received an enthusiastic response from the crowd.

My personal highlight came at the end of the evening when I was introduced to the Japanese custom of Tejime – a single group clap and the perfect way to say goodbye.

Tony and his staff were great hosts and the luxurious surroundings really added some glamour. The peach champagne and delicious canapés seemed to go down particularly well. It was good to see alumni of all ages there too, sharing their stories and making new contacts. Particularly impressive for me were the 16 new graduates brave enough to face the crowd and tell everyone what they’d been up to since graduation.

It’s very encouraging to see the efforts our alumni community makes to stay connected and to make new acquaintances. Events such as the ones detailed on these pages are a fantastic way to meet new people with something in common and we encourage you to get in touch with your suggestions for events – or maybe you would like to organise an alumni group in your region. For more information about the activities in your area, check the UCL Alumni website:

Sinead Devlin www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni

58|59


Benefits and Services for UCL Alumni

The benefits and services listed on these pages are exclusively available to UCL alumni network card holders.

Asia House

Girls Travel Club

Royal Institution

UCL Alumni Web Community

UCL Library

UCL Careers Service/GradClub

Reduced membership Quote: UCL alumni enquiries@asiahouse.co.uk +44(0)20 7307 5454 www.asiahouse.org

Discount 10% Quote: UCL Alumni info@girlstravelclub.co.uk +44(0) 7766 016502

Reduced membership Quote: UCL1 ukeeling@ri.ac.uk www.ri.ac.uk

We can email you your personal access code for registering alumni@ucl.ac.uk +44(0)20 7679 7677 www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni-community

Reduced membership of £25 Quote: UCL alumni careers@ucl.ac.uk +44(0)20 7866 3600 www.gradclub.co.uk www.ucl.ac.uk/careers

gosimply.com

Science|Business

Free reference access UCL alumni network card required for access Payment of an annual membership fee of £50 entitles you to borrow up to five books at a time library@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0) 20 7679 7700 www.ucl.ac.uk/library

Avis Discount up to 10% Avis worldwide discount code: O788305 (starts with the letter ‘O’ not the number) +44(0)844 581 0187 www.avis.co.uk/premierpartners

Cottages 4 You 10% discount Quote: ALUM10 +44(0)870 191 7857 www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/benefits/Leisure

A range of exclusive discounts on travel services Quote: UCLALUM

Royal Commonwealth Society Significant reductions on joining fee and annual membership Quote: UCL alumni www.thercs.org

Reduced subscription rates Quote: UCL alumni subs@sciencebusiness.net www.sciencebusiness.net

STA Travel Range of discounts including flights Quote: UCL8 +44(0)8714 680 648 (ULU branch no)

Ultimate escapes 25% off membership www.ultimateescapes.com

UCL Bloomsbury Theatre Concessions available most shows Present your alumni network card at box office info@thebloomsbury.com +44(0)20 7388 8822 www.thebloomsbury.com

UCL Union Quote UCL alumni (and take your alumni network card) ucl.union@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0)20 7679 2541 www.uclu.org

UCL Union Bloomsbury Fitness Reduced membership fee Quote: UCL alumni and take your alumni network card bf.admin@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0)20 7679 7221 www.uclunion.org/leisure-fitness/ bloomsbury

UCL Language Centre & SSEES Language Unit Discount on all courses for UCL alumni. Check online for details: www.ucl.ac.uk/language-centre www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/languageunit/ evening

Opening doors for enquiring minds As members of UCL’s alumni community, we want to give you access to some of London’s most prominent organisations, including the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI).

Find out more… You can find all alumni benefits at: www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/benefits Please contact us: alumni@ucl.ac.uk, +44 (0)20 7679 7677

Many people know the RI for its renowned Christmas Lectures but it’s also centred upon discovery, inspiration and innovation. So why not consider exploring more of what the institution has to offer by taking advantage of alumni membership today. You can get involved in a wide range of events and lectures that explore the scientific issues that affect our world today and tomorrow.

If you want to be part of a dynamic international community of people interested in science and you’re interested in how the world works, or how to make it work better, then the RI is the place for you. The RI now offers a 20% discount on the cost of membership to UCL alumni making the cost of full membership £76 instead of £95 a year. Associate Membership is also reduced to just £24 instead of £30. RI members are offered reduced ticket prices (as much as 50%) to events and discounts in the stylish cafe, bar and restaurant and on venue hire.

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Benefits and Services for UCL Alumni

The benefits and services listed on these pages are exclusively available to UCL alumni network card holders.

Asia House

Girls Travel Club

Royal Institution

UCL Alumni Web Community

UCL Library

UCL Careers Service/GradClub

Reduced membership Quote: UCL alumni enquiries@asiahouse.co.uk +44(0)20 7307 5454 www.asiahouse.org

Discount 10% Quote: UCL Alumni info@girlstravelclub.co.uk +44(0) 7766 016502

Reduced membership Quote: UCL1 ukeeling@ri.ac.uk www.ri.ac.uk

We can email you your personal access code for registering alumni@ucl.ac.uk +44(0)20 7679 7677 www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni-community

Reduced membership of £25 Quote: UCL alumni careers@ucl.ac.uk +44(0)20 7866 3600 www.gradclub.co.uk www.ucl.ac.uk/careers

gosimply.com

Science|Business

Free reference access UCL alumni network card required for access Payment of an annual membership fee of £50 entitles you to borrow up to five books at a time library@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0) 20 7679 7700 www.ucl.ac.uk/library

Avis Discount up to 10% Avis worldwide discount code: O788305 (starts with the letter ‘O’ not the number) +44(0)844 581 0187 www.avis.co.uk/premierpartners

Cottages 4 You 10% discount Quote: ALUM10 +44(0)870 191 7857 www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/benefits/Leisure

A range of exclusive discounts on travel services Quote: UCLALUM

Royal Commonwealth Society Significant reductions on joining fee and annual membership Quote: UCL alumni www.thercs.org

Reduced subscription rates Quote: UCL alumni subs@sciencebusiness.net www.sciencebusiness.net

STA Travel Range of discounts including flights Quote: UCL8 +44(0)8714 680 648 (ULU branch no)

Ultimate escapes 25% off membership www.ultimateescapes.com

UCL Bloomsbury Theatre Concessions available most shows Present your alumni network card at box office info@thebloomsbury.com +44(0)20 7388 8822 www.thebloomsbury.com

UCL Union Quote UCL alumni (and take your alumni network card) ucl.union@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0)20 7679 2541 www.uclu.org

UCL Union Bloomsbury Fitness Reduced membership fee Quote: UCL alumni and take your alumni network card bf.admin@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0)20 7679 7221 www.uclunion.org/leisure-fitness/ bloomsbury

UCL Language Centre & SSEES Language Unit Discount on all courses for UCL alumni. Check online for details: www.ucl.ac.uk/language-centre www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/languageunit/ evening

Opening doors for enquiring minds As members of UCL’s alumni community, we want to give you access to some of London’s most prominent organisations, including the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI).

Find out more… You can find all alumni benefits at: www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/benefits Please contact us: alumni@ucl.ac.uk, +44 (0)20 7679 7677

Many people know the RI for its renowned Christmas Lectures but it’s also centred upon discovery, inspiration and innovation. So why not consider exploring more of what the institution has to offer by taking advantage of alumni membership today. You can get involved in a wide range of events and lectures that explore the scientific issues that affect our world today and tomorrow.

If you want to be part of a dynamic international community of people interested in science and you’re interested in how the world works, or how to make it work better, then the RI is the place for you. The RI now offers a 20% discount on the cost of membership to UCL alumni making the cost of full membership £76 instead of £95 a year. Associate Membership is also reduced to just £24 instead of £30. RI members are offered reduced ticket prices (as much as 50%) to events and discounts in the stylish cafe, bar and restaurant and on venue hire.

60|61


Public Events Forward Looking

Forthcoming events

UCL hosts public events throughout the year, from concerts and film screenings, exhibitions, family workshops and of course, lectures – the vast majority of which are free. Here’s a small selection of what’s coming up over the next year.

UCL Lunch Hour Lectures

Mummy Stories by Conan Doyle

1pm–1.55pm, Every Tuesday and Thursday during Autumn and Spring terms Darwin Lecture Theatre www.ucl.ac.uk/events dan.martin@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 7675

Friday 14 May, 6:30pm–10pm UCL Petrie Museum d.challis@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 4138

Feed your mind at lunchtime and come along to these bite-sized lectures on anything and everything including politics, medicine, the arts and sciences. Watch previous lectures online at www.ac.uk/lhl

UCL Chamber Music Club Concert Series 6 May, 1 June, 8 June; 5.30pm Haldane Room www.ucl.ac.uk/chamber-music tj.house@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 4231

End of year concert 2 June, 11am-4pm UCL North Cloisters

GCGH Symposium: The global burden of mental health disorders: taking a primary care approach

Sign up for Brain Food UCL’s public events leaflet. Event details correct at time of going to press. Check for up-to-date details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/events or the relevant contact details provided.

19 May 2010, 4.30–6pm JZ Young Lecture Theatre followed by drinks s.ball@ucl.ac.uk Why do many middle and lowincome countries devote less than 1% of their health expenditure to mental health, when mental health disorders represent a substantial proportion of the world’s disease burden? This symposium will explore why mental health legislation, policies, community care facilities, and treatment is not given the priority it requires, and what can be done to address this neglected issue.

Actor Steve Wickham will read two mummy tales from the master of suspense, Arthur Conan Doyle – The Ring of Thoth and Lot 249 – in the atmospheric surroundings of the Petrie. Beforehand and during breaks, explore the museum by torch light – if you dare!

Curious Collections 2 June, 11am–4pm North Cloisters, Wilkins Building educationofficer@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 2151

Investigate UCL’s amazing collections and handle objects from natural history, Egyptology, archaeology and art collections in a festival of fantastic activities. Suitable for children of all ages accompanied by parents/guardians.

UCL Union Christmas Concert in the Quad 7 December (tbc) 5.30pm www.uclu.org UCL Union’s annual charity concert, with switching on of UCL’s Christmas lights, Santa’s grotto and refreshments.

Exhibitions

UCL Slade School of Fine Art Degree Shows

UCL Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show 2010

BA Degree Show 22–27 May

26 June 10am–8:30pm 27 June 10am–5:30pm 28, 29 & 30 June, 10am–6pm, 1 & 2 July, 10am–8.30pm 4 July 10am–5pm n.ohare@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 4642

MA/MFA Degree Show 10–16 June Weekdays 10am–8pm Weekends 10am–5pm slade.enquiries@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 2313 The annual showcase for the graduating crop of students from the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art

Life, action and sentiment: John Flaxman on the art of modern sculpture 21 June – 17 December; 1pm–5pm UCL Strang Print Room a.fredericksen@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 2821 Celebrating the 200th anniversary of John Flaxman’s appointment as the first Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy. On display are the many preparatory sketches Flaxman drew to convey life, action and sentiment in three-dimensional form. Given to UCL by his family, these drawings are shown together for the first time. They reveal Flaxman’s almost obsessive dedication to his cause, the creation of a modern school of sculpture.

The annual celebration of work at the Bartlett. Over 450 students show innovative drawings, models, devices, texts, animations and installations. Guided exhibition tour by the Professors of the Bartlett School of Architecture, 29 June (tbc), please arrive at 6.30pm for 6.45pm start, tour approximately one hour.

Makes me think of Egypt: British Egyptian Society Exhibition 29 June – 4 September Museum opening times UCL Petrie Museum d.challis@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 4138 An exhibition of winners and finalists of a photography competition organised by the British Egyptian Society UK, the British Museum and Amateur Photographer magazine. The 18 finalists have conjured up the spirit of Egypt, through the monuments, buildings and people that bring the country’s history and culture to life.

Bloomsbury Theatre student season www.thebloomsbury.com UCL students and departments take over the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre during February and March. Regular productions include those from the ever-impressive UC Opera, UCL Greek & Latin’s performance of an ancient play, UCLU Drama Society and the UCLU Musical Society.

62|63


Public Events Forward Looking

Forthcoming events

UCL hosts public events throughout the year, from concerts and film screenings, exhibitions, family workshops and of course, lectures – the vast majority of which are free. Here’s a small selection of what’s coming up over the next year.

UCL Lunch Hour Lectures

Mummy Stories by Conan Doyle

1pm–1.55pm, Every Tuesday and Thursday during Autumn and Spring terms Darwin Lecture Theatre www.ucl.ac.uk/events dan.martin@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 7675

Friday 14 May, 6:30pm–10pm UCL Petrie Museum d.challis@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 4138

Feed your mind at lunchtime and come along to these bite-sized lectures on anything and everything including politics, medicine, the arts and sciences. Watch previous lectures online at www.ac.uk/lhl

UCL Chamber Music Club Concert Series 6 May, 1 June, 8 June; 5.30pm Haldane Room www.ucl.ac.uk/chamber-music tj.house@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 4231

End of year concert 2 June, 11am-4pm UCL North Cloisters

GCGH Symposium: The global burden of mental health disorders: taking a primary care approach

Sign up for Brain Food UCL’s public events leaflet. Event details correct at time of going to press. Check for up-to-date details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/events or the relevant contact details provided.

19 May 2010, 4.30–6pm JZ Young Lecture Theatre followed by drinks s.ball@ucl.ac.uk Why do many middle and lowincome countries devote less than 1% of their health expenditure to mental health, when mental health disorders represent a substantial proportion of the world’s disease burden? This symposium will explore why mental health legislation, policies, community care facilities, and treatment is not given the priority it requires, and what can be done to address this neglected issue.

Actor Steve Wickham will read two mummy tales from the master of suspense, Arthur Conan Doyle – The Ring of Thoth and Lot 249 – in the atmospheric surroundings of the Petrie. Beforehand and during breaks, explore the museum by torch light – if you dare!

Curious Collections 2 June, 11am–4pm North Cloisters, Wilkins Building educationofficer@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 2151

Investigate UCL’s amazing collections and handle objects from natural history, Egyptology, archaeology and art collections in a festival of fantastic activities. Suitable for children of all ages accompanied by parents/guardians.

UCL Union Christmas Concert in the Quad 7 December (tbc) 5.30pm www.uclu.org UCL Union’s annual charity concert, with switching on of UCL’s Christmas lights, Santa’s grotto and refreshments.

Exhibitions

UCL Slade School of Fine Art Degree Shows

UCL Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show 2010

BA Degree Show 22–27 May

26 June 10am–8:30pm 27 June 10am–5:30pm 28, 29 & 30 June, 10am–6pm, 1 & 2 July, 10am–8.30pm 4 July 10am–5pm n.ohare@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 4642

MA/MFA Degree Show 10–16 June Weekdays 10am–8pm Weekends 10am–5pm slade.enquiries@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 2313 The annual showcase for the graduating crop of students from the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art

Life, action and sentiment: John Flaxman on the art of modern sculpture 21 June – 17 December; 1pm–5pm UCL Strang Print Room a.fredericksen@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 2821 Celebrating the 200th anniversary of John Flaxman’s appointment as the first Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy. On display are the many preparatory sketches Flaxman drew to convey life, action and sentiment in three-dimensional form. Given to UCL by his family, these drawings are shown together for the first time. They reveal Flaxman’s almost obsessive dedication to his cause, the creation of a modern school of sculpture.

The annual celebration of work at the Bartlett. Over 450 students show innovative drawings, models, devices, texts, animations and installations. Guided exhibition tour by the Professors of the Bartlett School of Architecture, 29 June (tbc), please arrive at 6.30pm for 6.45pm start, tour approximately one hour.

Makes me think of Egypt: British Egyptian Society Exhibition 29 June – 4 September Museum opening times UCL Petrie Museum d.challis@ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 4138 An exhibition of winners and finalists of a photography competition organised by the British Egyptian Society UK, the British Museum and Amateur Photographer magazine. The 18 finalists have conjured up the spirit of Egypt, through the monuments, buildings and people that bring the country’s history and culture to life.

Bloomsbury Theatre student season www.thebloomsbury.com UCL students and departments take over the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre during February and March. Regular productions include those from the ever-impressive UC Opera, UCL Greek & Latin’s performance of an ancient play, UCLU Drama Society and the UCLU Musical Society.

62|63


Parting Shot

Parting Shot

Revisited

student loan protest

Political protests are embedded in student life. This one is from the mid-1980s, against Thatcher’s proposed introduction of student loans. Were you in this protest, or another one? Send your tales and photos to Alumni Relations: In the Spring 2009 edition of UCL People we published a couple of photos sent in by Jim Parkin (UCL Chemistry 1959) depicting the kidnapping of the King’s College mascot, Reggie. We appealed for your recollections about the abduction, and a number of you kindly responded. David Pickering (UCL Botany 1959), third from the left in the photo wearing the light sports jacket, sent in an extract from his 1957 diary:

18 February Martin Bowden (chairman of the Phineas committee, to do with the college mascot) called a meeting at the Marlborough to discuss our swiping Reggie, King’s College mascot, tomorrow, I am to lead one of the three parties of six men.

20 February At Bentham Hall in the evening someone phoned up to say that some King’s people were loose in the college. A few of us including Mike Bassey, Union President, patrolled college until 11.30pm. Caught a party of LSE people.

19 February Assembled outside King’s College at 7.30am. I led my party to the gatehouse and held the beadle at the gate to stop him either shutting the gates or phoning for help. Reggie, weight three cwt, was removed in five minutes and driven off in a truck, wonderful sight! We all ran back through the confusion of fruit and veg at Covent Garden. At lunchtime I was appointed Chief Intelligence Officer by the committee and spent time in the King’s College Union and neighbouring pubs to try and find out when they planned to retaliate. Found out after two hours of eavesdropping and phoned the information back. King’s raided us at 6.30pm and a big fight ensued in Malet Place, we won! Patrolled college all evening.

21 February Today is Phineas’ birthday and a few of us got up early and went to college to see King’s College mascot Reggie suitably painted in our colours and covered with feathers hoisted 10ft onto the top of the Union shop by a 10 ton crane. Did extra Botany practical all morning and in the afternoon I skipped Geology practical and watched King’s College collect Reggie – by invitation!”

alumni@ucl.ac.uk


Parting Shot

Parting Shot

Revisited

student loan protest

Political protests are embedded in student life. This one is from the mid-1980s, against Thatcher’s proposed introduction of student loans. Were you in this protest, or another one? Send your tales and photos to Alumni Relations: In the Spring 2009 edition of UCL People we published a couple of photos sent in by Jim Parkin (UCL Chemistry 1959) depicting the kidnapping of the King’s College mascot, Reggie. We appealed for your recollections about the abduction, and a number of you kindly responded. David Pickering (UCL Botany 1959), third from the left in the photo wearing the light sports jacket, sent in an extract from his 1957 diary:

18 February Martin Bowden (chairman of the Phineas committee, to do with the college mascot) called a meeting at the Marlborough to discuss our swiping Reggie, King’s College mascot, tomorrow, I am to lead one of the three parties of six men.

20 February At Bentham Hall in the evening someone phoned up to say that some King’s people were loose in the college. A few of us including Mike Bassey, Union President, patrolled college until 11.30pm. Caught a party of LSE people.

19 February Assembled outside King’s College at 7.30am. I led my party to the gatehouse and held the beadle at the gate to stop him either shutting the gates or phoning for help. Reggie, weight three cwt, was removed in five minutes and driven off in a truck, wonderful sight! We all ran back through the confusion of fruit and veg at Covent Garden. At lunchtime I was appointed Chief Intelligence Officer by the committee and spent time in the King’s College Union and neighbouring pubs to try and find out when they planned to retaliate. Found out after two hours of eavesdropping and phoned the information back. King’s raided us at 6.30pm and a big fight ensued in Malet Place, we won! Patrolled college all evening.

21 February Today is Phineas’ birthday and a few of us got up early and went to college to see King’s College mascot Reggie suitably painted in our colours and covered with feathers hoisted 10ft onto the top of the Union shop by a 10 ton crane. Did extra Botany practical all morning and in the afternoon I skipped Geology practical and watched King’s College collect Reggie – by invitation!”

alumni@ucl.ac.uk


UCL People Spring 2010  

UCL People magazine is designed to bring you news from UCL and its alumni community.

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