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Innovative Research - Research News Round Up

Originally published 4 August 2003

Warwick’s success in attracting funding for innovative research has continued with the announcement of three awards for new programmes.

Life-Sciences Doctoral Training Centre

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded Warwick £5 Million for a new Life-Sciences Doctoral Training Centre, which will educate a new breed of scientists.

The funding will provide for 50 student doctoral projects on a new multidisciplinary programme that will produce a new generation of life science researchers armed with an in depth understanding of how mathematics and computer technology can advance their research.

The centre is a collaboration of the Chemistry, Mathematics and Biological Sciences departments. It will provide an opportunity to develop the interface between mathematics and biology and take advantage of new approaches to statistical modelling and the interpretation of complex biological data.

Scientists at the centre will be able to use the latest technology to investigate data about molecules and cells in order to answer difficult questions about biological function. The highly specific skills required to carry out such investigations are in short supply, and the new centre will enable these scientists to make sense of complex computer data sets tied to gene mapping.

Dr Alison Rodger, from the Department of Chemistry, said: "Research in Life Sciences is an area of scientific research that has changed radically in recent years following the sequencing of the human and other important genomes. This multi-disciplinary project is set to break new ground in the analysis of biological or molecular data. UK industry needs a strong research and technical base. Students who complete this new PhD, with their developed computer literacy, numeric and technical skills, will be extremely attractive employees."

History of Medicine

The Centre for the History of Medicine, based within Warwick’s History Department, has won a £600,000 funding award from the Wellcome Trust for a five-year programme on the 'Cultures and Practices of Health.'
The Award will enable the Centre to develop new projects and expand its existing activities.

One major research programme will highlight ‘The Health of Workers in the Twentieth Century’ and will draw on the resources of the Modern Records Centre at Warwick. Another on ‘The Practice of Medicine in Early Modern Europe’ will focus on the relationship between medical personnel and illicit or informal medicine from 1500 to 1800. Other research initiatives will focus on the history of psychiatry, medicine and multiculturalism, mass observation and health, and spa treatment.

The projects will provide opportunities to develop inter-disciplinary links and form research associations with other centres for the history of medicine in Britain and overseas.

Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies

The Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) has awarded over £300,000 to the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies to study news media translation, and reveal how it impacts on global relations.

One of the areas the research will examine is how the translation practices of international news organisations such as Reuters influence people’s knowledge all over the globe. Language translation, rather than being a mere technical instrument, is helping shape today’s societies.

Bassnett, Susan Prof.
Professor Susan Bassnett.

Professor Susan Bassnett, from the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies, said: "Translators and the readers of translated articles do not necessarily understand differences in language and culture, and the filtering of news by translators impacts on the way it is communicated. The research will have far-reaching implications for international relations. The cultural context of language is often a missing dimension when we receive information from print and broadcast media. What is said is often taken at "face value" and this results in the misrepresentation of other cultures."

"This is particularly important for translation between divergent cultures, for example, from Arabic to English. By resisting the dominant cultural values and social conventions, the actual meaning of the original text or media can be lost or distorted."