Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Cardiff University in the News - June & July 2011

A selection of news highlights from the media in June and July 2011. The Public Relations office prepares and distributes media releases on behalf of the University and each year responds to more than 600 calls from the media (ranging from expert comment to filming location requests).

New Vice-Chancellor announced

Prof Colin RiordanProfessor Colin Riordan is to be the next Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University. Professor Riordan, who will take up the post on 1 September 2012 when Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant retires from office, is currently Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex. He moved to Essex in 2007 from Newcastle University, where he had been Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences since August 2005. Times Higher Education, Wales Online, The Western Mail and South Wales Echo featured this story.

Graduation 2011

Fiona PhillipsOur annual graduation ceremonies often reveal some interesting student stories and this year was no exception. There was a lot of media interest in the story of 85 year old Harold Jones who collected his degree 66 years after World War II forced him to miss his graduation, including The Independent, BBC Online, BBC Wales Today, ITV Wales Tonight, and the Western Mail.

Television presenter Fiona Phillips was made an Honorary Fellow in recognition of her tireless campaigning to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. During her visit to Cardiff for her graduation ceremony, she also visited the University’s MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics this week to investigate leading Alzheimer’s research. ITV Wales sent their news cameras to follow her on her visit to the Centre: ITV Online.

British Academy

A Cardiff academic has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to social psychology, joining a list of eminent individuals who are Fellows of the British Academy.

Professor Antony Manstead of the University’s School of Psychology, is one of only 38 academics to be elected a Fellow of the Academy at its Annual General Meeting on 21 July 2011. Election is a mark of distinction with only a very small number of scholars in any field elected. Coverage of this honour was featured in Times Higher Education and the Western Mail.

Revealing the past

Cardiff archaeologists teamed up with English Heritage to create a historical chronology for the fist 700 years of settled life in Britain. Professor Alistair Whittle from the School of History, Archaeology and Religion discusses this first ever detailed picture of life in Stone Age Britain in a number of national publications, including The Independent, The Guardian and BBC News Online.

University archaeologists also discovered a pottery vessel dating back to the 13th Century at Cosmeston. The find has helped shed new light on medieval life in the area.

Sticky end for superbugs

Researchers at the Welsh School of Pharmacy and the National Botanic Garden of Wales have appealed for help in building up a DNA profile of the nation’s honey, in the hope of identifying plants which could fight anti-biotic resistant superbugs. Their appeal was covered on ITV Wales, BBC Wales, BBC Radio Wales, BBC News Online, The Guardian, the Western Mail, and the South Wales Echo.

Violence prevention

PoliceA Cardiff study which found that combining information from hospitals and police can make communities safer made national headlines in June. Targeted police work prevents violence, but depends on knowledge of when and precisely where violence occurs. So a team led by Professor Jonathan Shepherd, School of Dentistry, set out to investigate whether using information about the precise location and times of injury, derived from injured patients, can prevent more violence than police effort alone. Their results featured on Sky News and ITV Wales News, and in The Independent, The Telegraph, and the Western Mail.

Malaysian conservation

Bornean SlowResearchers from the University’s Danau Girang Field Centre in Malaysia have been having a busy summer. They have been working alongside the Sabah Wildlife Department to tackle the rising number of crocodile attacks on humans in Borneo. Striking photographs of the team capturing and tagging a 4m long, man-eating crocodile appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Borneo Post, New Sabah Times, and the Western Mail. In July, researchers from the Centre began work on new conservation initiatives aimed at protecting two endangered primate species: the Bornean slow loris and the proboscis monkey.

A brighter industrial future

Research by Dr Ben Ward, School of Chemistry, was named by Universities UK as one of the most important research projects currently taking place in the UK. Dr Ward featured in the Western Mail and discussed his work on BBC Radio Wales.

Academic expertise

Cardiff academics provided expert comment to a range of news publications throughout June and July. These included:

  • Professor Joe Cartwright, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, commented on the potential of gas reserves underneath Wales (Western Mail)
  • Dr Dylan Foster Evans, School of Welsh, commented on the NASA Voyager spacecraft carrying messages in Welsh 10 billion miles from earth (Western Mail)
  • Professor Richard Moorhead, Cardiff Law School, comments on the need for legal practice courses to find ways of reducing intake (The Guardian)
  • Dr Peter Wells, Cardiff Business School, was interviewed about the closure of the Bosch car parts factory in south Wales (BBC Wales Today)
  • Professor Richard Tait, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. was interviewed about the hacking crisis at News International (Good Morning Wales)
  • Professor Matt Griffin, School of Physics and Astronomy, talked about the discovery of a ribbon of gas and dust more than 600 light years across(BBC Radio 4 Today Programme)
  • Professor Bob Franklin, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural studies commented on the decline of the newspaper industry (BBC On-line)

Media services

University staff can sign up for the Daily Media summary, prepared by the Communications and International Relations Division, by emailing: . The media summary is prepared from web news sources, local news media and national newspaper education supplements.

Staff can also view copies of articles in full via the comprehensive news database Lexis Nexis. Copies of coverage from the last month can also be requested from the Public Relations Office. Please contact Jessica Kelly ( or 70298).

If you have a potential news story, please contact the Public Relations Team.