University of Stirling

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News Archive

March 2007

Is Human Culture Special? - Public Lecture on Wednesday 14 March

Experience Past Landscapes Like Never Before

Nurse Overcomes the Odds to Graduate and Win University Award

Former Bishop of Oxford to Speak at Stirling

Inside the Imaginary Museum: Public Lecture Wednesday 28 March 2007

Stirling and Dundee Universities Celebrate 40th Through Art

Nutritional Link Up Brings Fish Oil Finance to University of Stirling

Stirling Student Richie Ramsay Heads to Augusta for US Masters

Is Human Culture Special? - Public Lecture on Wednesday 14 March

Date released: Wednesday 7 March 2007

The University of Stirling’s Department of Psychology is hosting a free public talk on Wednesday 14 March entitled Is Human Culture Special? The lecture, which is being held to mark National Science and Engineering Week and the ESRC Festival of Social Science (9-18 March), will take place 7.00 – 8.30pm in Room 2A73, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling.

Members of the public are invited to come and participate in a demonstration of human social learning. Some fun interactive tasks will be used to illustrate what is different and unique about how humans learn from one another, compared with other animals. The session will also include discussion of cultural behaviour in monkeys and apes, highlighting contrasts with human culture.

Psychology lecturer Dr Christine Caldwell said: “This talk will explore some of our recent research findings regarding human social learning and will explain the special talents we humans have for imitation and teaching which set us apart from other animals, even our closest evolutionary relatives, the great apes. Humans not only learn from each other but build on that knowledge, so behaviours increase in complexity over time. That’s why we can use things like cars and mobile phones that we could never have invented by ourselves. Chimpanzees, in contrast, can learn to use certain tools by observing each other, but these are the kinds of behaviours that they could also learn by themselves through trial and error.”

This talk is suitable for a general audience and there is no need to book a place.

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

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Dr Christine Caldwell

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 467677


Experience Past Landscapes Like Never Before

Date released: Wednesday 7 March 2007

Visitors to Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland during National and Science and Engineering week (9-14 March 2007) will be the first to experience a unique installation which combines microscopic images of ancient soil samples with sounds to bring past landscapes to life.

In the installation, a computer explores and represents on screen nearly 10,000 years of soil records, revealing them in different colours and perspectives. The images are explored by both real-world and newly synthesized sounds shaped by the computer in real-time using scientific information taken from the soil itself: www.sbes.stir.ac.uk/groundbreaking

Ground-breaking: Experience Past Landscapes in Grains and Pixels is a collaboration between geoarchaeologist Dr Paul Adderley from the University of Stirling and composer Dr Michael Young of Goldsmiths, University of London.

Dr Adderley said: “Soils can store information recording the way people have affected the land over thousands of years. Microscopic fragments of different objects found in the soil can tell us about past landscapes. Rather than a static display, we have used the latest advances in visual and sonic technologies to illuminate and make audible these ancient landscapes for visitors. The sounds generated reflect changing environmental conditions over time, for example whether a landscape was flooded or became arid. It is a completely new way of representing soils and landscapes.”

Dr Young, commented: “Likewise, the information stored in the soils provides a new and fertile source of data for sound manipulation.”

The exhibit was made possible by an award from Research Councils UK. The installation will also be on display at the Orkney International Science Festival and at the new Highland Science Festival later this year.

 

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

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Dr Paul Adderley

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 467861


Nurse Overcomes the Odds to Graduate and Win University Award

Date released: Monday 12 March 2007

A local nurse has scooped a prestigious award from the University of Stirling, in recognition of excellence in student performance, specifically in clinical practice. This year’s recipient of the R G Bomont Award for Recognition of Clinical Excellence is Rachel Kennedy (23) from Barvas, who became even more determined to dedicate her life to nursing after her fiancé was paralysed in a car accident.

Rachel, a student in the 2003 Adult Nursing Programme based on the University of Stirling Western Isles Campus, will receive her award on Monday 12 March at the Western Isles campus of the University of Stirling. She is the first nurse based in the Western Isles to receive the award. She completed her training in September, and now works as a staff nurse in Medical Ward 2 in Western Isles Hospital.

Rachel Kennedy, said: “Prior to commencing my final year of the course my fiancé Sandy was involved in a serious car accident. Unfortunately he sustained traumatic injuries to his back. It was a difficult and trying time for the family. I took time away from the course in order to be with Sandy, as he required specialist care and rehabilitation in a mainland hospital in Glasgow. He spent 9 months in the spinal unit and I remained with him in Glasgow until we came home together. My personal tutor Gill kept in touch regularly and encouraged and supported my return to do my final year in 2005. I had a renewed determination and motivation to complete the course. I looked back on the year that I spent with Sandy in hospital as a life changing experience but also positively as a learning curve in my life. This encouraged me to carry on and give it my all to the nursing profession.”

The University of Stirling’s Department of Nursing and Midwifery was created in 1996 and Dr Robert Bomont, the then University Secretary, was an influential part of positioning the University to take on this subject area. The RG Bomont Award is presented annually to the student who has demonstrated a high level of commitment and achievement during their clinical placements as a student. The fact that Rachel has won the award is not only a boost for her, but also for the Western Isles campus and her fellow students.

Head of the Department of Nursing Midwifery, Professor Tommy Starrs said: “We are delighted that this year’s recipient is Rachel Kennedy who was recently a student in our Western Isles campus. She shows all of the attributes that one would expect of an excellent nurse: she is caring, empathetic, and knowledgeable and has the ability to instil confidence and security in the patients she cares for.  Rachel has been chosen from some 300 graduates in year group which completed in September of 2006. The judges of the competition had an incredibly difficult task as fortunately we have a wealth of excellent graduates and highly skilled nurses completing our programme. In the end however Rachel’s consistency and dedication led to the decision that she should be the recipient of this award.”

Chief Executive of NHS Western Isles Laurence Irvine added: “Rachel’s success is testimony to the sustained effort she has made throughout her nursing studies and represents an outstanding achievement.”

The University of Stirling’s Department of Nursing and Midwifery is proud of its long association with Western Isles Health Board. The range of provision now available starts with pre-registration nursing to first Degree, through Honours, Master’s and PhD studies as well as a unique Professional Doctorate programme. The University is enrolling now. For further detail contact: 01851 704704.

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

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Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

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Tel: +44 (0)1786 467058


Former Bishop of Oxford to Speak at Stirling

Date released: Monday 12 March 2007


Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford and now Lord Harries of Pentregarth, will give two lectures at the University of Stirling this week exploring the complexity of modern decision making.

The subject of the lectures on 14 and 15 March will be Making Decisions – Where Shall Wisdom be Found? The Wednesday lecture will address the inadequacy of traditional approaches – both Christian and secular – to complex decisions. The Thursday lecture will explore the concept of Holy Wisdom.

The lectures are supported by the Drummond Trust and the University of Stirling. Both will take place in the Logie Lecture Theatre at 7pm.

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)
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Suzie Huggins

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 466054


Inside the Imaginary Museum: Public Lecture Wednesday 28 March 2007

Date released: Wednesday 21 March 2007

Professor David Richards of the University of Stirling’s Department of English Studies will give a free public lecture on Wednesday 28 March, 4-5pm in Logie Lecture Theatre. The title of the lecture will be “Inside the Imaginary Museum": the archaic, the primitive and the postcolonial'.

This lecture concerns a central but neglected element in the discourses of European Imperialism - how the emerging study of prehistory in the late Nineteenth Century, complemented and sustained by evolutionary theories, contributed to political, aesthetic, and disciplinary debates and controversies.

Professor Richards will explore how theories of origins were reinvented in the modern period, transforming the perception of the ancient, the archaic and the ‘primitive’, and producing radical effects upon artistic production. He will also discuss how this invention of the ancient past was precipitated by the documentation of contemporary colonial cultures, and how these discourses came to determine and shape postcolonial responses to the ancient past, cultural origins, and authenticity.

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Suzie Huggins

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 466054


Stirling and Dundee Universities Celebrate 40th Through Art

Date released: Wednesday 21 March 2007

The fortieth anniversaries of the Universities of Stirling and Dundee are being celebrated in 2007 with a joint exhibition of their art collections.

Stirling opened as a brand new university in 1967, the same year that Queen’s College Dundee (founded as University College Dundee in 1881) achieved independent status as the University of Dundee.

Jane Cameron, curator of the University of Stirling’s art collection, said: "When we realised that the anniversaries would coincide, it seemed appropriate to exchange some of our valuable art works for temporary exhibition, open to the public in both cities."

The Tower Foyer Gallery in Dundee is the venue for Stirling's work, while Dundee’s works will be on display in the Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling until Monday 23 April. Among the artists on display in Dundee will be Scottish luminaries such as J.D. Fergusson, Jack Knox and David McClure as well as familiar English names such as Bridget Riley and Patrick Heron. Dundee's contribution to the exhibition in Stirling is no less prestigious, including works by McIntosh Patrick, Robert Colquhoun and John Byrne, as well as successful Duncan of Jordanstone graduates like Ian Scott and Lisa Murphy.

Matthew Jarron, curator at Dundee, said: "It’s great to find connections with each other’s collections – for example one of the most striking paintings we have on show from Stirling is Polyphony by Diane Tulloch, a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone."

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)
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Jane Cameron

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
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UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 466050


Nutritional Link Up Brings Fish Oil Finance to University of Stirling

Date released: Monday 26 March 2007

A new business link created between the University of Stirling and Scotland’s first nutritional health clinic could see up to £50,000 poured into the Scottish economy.

Dr Gordon Bell - a biochemist based within the Institute of Aquaculture in Stirling - has teamed up with Dr Tom Gilhooly - a GP from Glasgow - to offer patients an innovative new service testing the Omega -3 levels in their blood.

The Essential Health Clinic is the only facility in Scotland to offer conclusive tests to examine the nutritional status of patients’ blood and then recommend appropriate guidance through supplementation and dietary change. Dr Gilhooly has found that working with patients to increase their Omega-3 levels can help to treat conditions as varied as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to depression, drug addiction to Crohn’s Disease.

Balances of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in the body are important as they have an extremely strong influence on levels of inflammation. This is not only important for conditions where swelling of the skin is obvious, such as arthritis or MS, but can also prove of even greater significance when dealing with “silent inflammation”. This type of problem takes place in the arteries, and can lead to heart disease or strokes. A recent study in Italy* found that the incidence of sudden death by heart attack was reduced by 45% in those taking Omega-3 supplements.

Until now, the Omega-3 tests performed by Dr Gilhooly were sent away to a lab in the United States for analysis, since no other European facilities had passed random sample testing performed by the Essential Health Clinic. However, Dr Bell, a member of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids, got in touch with Dr Gilhooly to offer the University of Stirling’s services and as a result an exciting connection has been made.

Dr Gilhooly said: “The clinic only launched in February 2007 and we have already begun testing on over 100 samples. This means enormous potential income for the Nutrition Analytical Service Laboratories in Stirling. Because the scientists there use innovative red blood cell fatty acid analysis this means that we have removed the need for patient fasting prior to testing from the process, which some people can find difficult.

“The lab is also performing an oxidative stress test for us, which measures the levels of local hormones produced by fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6. This allows us to check whether balances are correct after administering Omega-3. Ideally we look for a ratio of 1:3 Omega-3 to Omega-6.”

Dr Bell, who has himself been involved with cutting edge research into essential fatty acid deficiencies in patients with autism and those with dyslexia, Aperger’s syndrome and bipolar disorder. He said:

“This opportunity with the Essential Health Clinic is not only beneficial for the University of Stirling from a business perspective, but also presents opportunities to boost biomedical research within Scotland and worldwide due to potential research collaborations and investment.”

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)
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Gordon Bell

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

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Tel: +44 (0)1786 467997


Stirling Student Richie Ramsay Heads to Augusta for US Masters

Date released: Friday 30 March 2007

Richie RamsayUniversity of Stirling student, Richie Ramsay, geared up for his US Masters appearance next week by capturing the Georgia Cup on Wednesday, defeating British Amateur champion, Julien Guerrier by 2&1. It was a perfect tonic for the reigning US Amateur champion as he prepares to compete alongside the likes of Tiger Woods and Ernie Els over the famous Augusta course in Atlanta next week.

"I was lucky because I didn't putt that great," commented Ramsay. "I just managed to hit fairways and greens like I usually do. Julien's a great champion and I feel fortunate to get a win over him. At the end of the day a win is a win. I'm just happy to put my name on that trophy."


The 23-year-old Marketing & Sports Studies student has endured mixed fortunes in the build up to the prestigious US Masters event. A pelvic injury forced his withdrawal from the Jones Cup in January and a miss-communication with tournament organisers resulted in him not playing in the Bay Hill Invitational US Tour event two weeks ago. However, the Georgia Cup victory has helped Ramsay gain confidence in the build up to golf’s first major of the season.


Ramsay gained his place in the US Masters after capturing the 2006 US Amateur Championship. The last Scot to lift the Havemeyer Cup was Findlay Douglas in 1898. Ramsay is the first British winner of the event since Harold Hilton in 1911.

An obvious incentive to perform well at Augusta is for Ramsay to become the first amateur in eight years to make the half-way cut. Spain’s Sergio Garcia was the last European amateur golfer to achieve this feat back in 1999. Peter McEvoy was the last British amateur to complete all 4 rounds of the event, way back in 1978. Ramsay cannot be accused of ill-preparation. He has already completed two weeks of practice at the venue and spoken to numerous players who have had the privilege of playing the course.

“I’ve picked the brains of quite a few people who have played there” said Ramsay. “I’m extremely driven. I’m not the greatest loser – and I’m a perfectionist all of the time. I don’t like have anything go wrong.”

Ramsay is keen to use his success to turn the spotlight on a new generation of Scottish golfers supported by the Scottish Golf Union and the University of Stirling. In addition, he is keen to help arrest the trend of European players heading over to the American college system to make the grade. Ramsay is fully aware of what America has to offer, after withdrawing after one year from a scholarship at McLennan College, Waco, Texas before accepting a place at Stirling.

“It wasn’t for me because it didn’t suit my lifestyle with regards to the support and the academics,” he said. “I came home, got a scholarship at Stirling and, now, as well as studying for my degree I have a support system continually. Stirling is already a great place for sport, but it just keeps getting better. There is a really vibrant atmosphere around the sports facilities and the quality of the environment is second-to-none. There’s a fantastic collection of sports facilities on campus, not least a nine-hole golf course and a practice centre.”

Raleigh Gowrie, the University of Stirling’s Sports Performance Manager, is quick to pick up on this point: “Stirling has a strong track-record of supporting talented student-athletes to reach their academic and sporting goals. Richie has been successful because of his strong work ethic and his commitment and dedication to fulfilling his studies; practising and competing at the same time. Stirling has adopted a successful performance culture that young athletes can benefit from. Hopefully more people can be inspired by Richie’s achievements”.

Profile:
• Richard Ramsay is 23-years-old and comes from Aberdeen, Scotland.
• He is completing his 4th year of a Marketing and Sports Studies course at the University of Stirling, Scotland and hopes to graduate in June 2007.
• He is a member of the University of Stirling’s highly acclaimed International Sports Scholarship Programme that helps support talented athletes combine academic study with high performance sport.
• He joins a group of Stirling alumni who have achieved significant accolades in the golf world. This includes Solheim Cup players Catriona Matthew and Maria Hjorth, former British Amateur champion and European Tour player Gordon Sherry, Ladies European Tour player Lynn Kenny and the current GB&I Walker Cup captain, Colin Dalgleish. European Seniors Tour player and Uber Cup player, John Chillas, acted as Stirling’s golf coach for over 20-years before committing to the senior professional game.
• Stirling’s golf programme is supported by the R&A and caters for male and female golfers from across the world.
• Stirling offers sports scholarships in swimming, tennis and triathlon, as well as golf and has more than 50 world-ranked athletes on its programme currently.
• Stirling celebrates 25-years of its International Sports Scholarships Programme in May 2007.
• Stirling has helped produce more than 100 senior international athletes. 10 former golf scholarship recipients play on professional golf tours currently.
• Richard has helped Stirling win the British Universities’ Team Strokeplay and Matchplay Championships in 3 of the past 4 years.
• Richard Ramsay’s accolades include:
-Winning the 2004 Scottish Open Strokeplay Championship.
-Winning the 2005 Irish Amateur Strokeplay Championship.
-Representing Great Britain in the 2005 Walker Cup and the 2006 Palmer Cup.
-Winning the 2006 US Amateur Championship.

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)
Media Relations Manager
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Raleigh Gowrie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)7740500140