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The University of Southampton

Southampton in the News now available online

Published: 21 May 2009

A sample of the University of Southampton stories making headlines in the media. If you see coverage of the University that you think should be included here, please contact the media relations team in Communications and Marketing 023 8059 3212, email

Politics matters
The MPs’ allowances debate has dominated the headlines recently and University academics were asked to give an objective opinion about how it might affect the public's view of politics and Westminster. Professor of Politics and Governance Gerry Stoker was interviewed for BBC Radio 4’s World Tonight programme (20 May) and also appeared on BBC TV’s South Today. Meanwhile, British politics expert Dr Alexandra Kelso (also School of Social Sciences) spoke on the subject on BBC Radio Solent and Wave 105.

A spoonful of medicine
The Daily Mail (19 May) invited Dr Peter Howarth from the School of Medicine to comment on the effectiveness of different healthcare products and whether price determines quality, in this case antihistamines.

Accupuncture to relive pain of oseteoarthritis
The London Paper (19 May) reported on research from the University of Southampton, by Dr George Lewith and Dr Peter White, into how accupuncture could relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.

Longest finger first
Professor John Manning’s research into finger length, which found that the longer the ring finger, the quicker the human, was referenced in a feature in The Sunday Times (17 May) about Usain Bolt and the Manchester 150m street sprint.

Read the article here:

Hypertension study
A study by Professor David Phillips and Dr Elaine Dennison from the School of Medicine, which found that high blood pressure in later life may be influenced during development in the womb, was reported in The Daily Mail and The Times.

DNA testing kit for swine flu
As swine flu emerged as a major threat to human health, scientists across the world raced against the clock and one another to produce the first DNA testing kit. The race was won by University of Southampton researchers Jim Wicks and Rob Powell, working from their company, PrimerDesign. The story gained coverage both nationally and all over the world including: BBC National News, BBC South, BBC online, Sky News, ITV National News, Agence France Presse, Getty images, Reuters, Scottish Daily Record, The Southern Daily Echo and Science Business.

The Sun 'goes quiet'
Mike Lockwood, Professor of Physics, appeared on BBC Radio 4's ‘Today’ programme to discuss why the sun is the quietest it has been for nearly a hundred years.

Click here to listen to Mike: (07:44)

Making History
The University of Southampton dominated the airwaves in an edition of Radio 4's 'Making History' (28 April). Archaeologist Dr Yannis Hamilakis took part in a discussion asking if the economic slowdown has led to a 'crisis' in funding for archaeological digs. On the same programme civil war historian Professor Mark Stoyle explored the story of the Siege of Lyme Regis.

Click here to listen again:

Making a splash
A team of postgraduate students, led by Dr Peter Wilson from the School of Electronics and Computer Science, made a big splash in the headlines with their solar-powered boat at the end of April. A test run on the River Itchen drew quite a media crowd with the Southern Daily Echo, ITV Meridian Television, Radio Solent and Wave 105 all eager to find out just how fast it would go. British Satellite News filmed the event, ready to beam the images round the world.

You can view the team in action at:

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