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UCL Guest Book 2011

February 2011





Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Union Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science made an official visit to UCL on 7 February 2011.

After being welcomed by UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant, the Commissioner was briefed on UCL strategies in relation to her portfolio. She was then given a tour of the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage.

This was the Commissioner's first official visit to the UK and was her only visit to a UK university as part of it. At other points during the day, she met with the Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities & Science, and Sir John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government.

The Supreme Court's Lord Phillips (President of the Court) gave a lecture at UCL on February 8 launching the Constitution Unit's project on the politics of judicial independence.

As part of the lecture, Lord Phillips explained that funding arrangements do not "satisfactorily guarantee" the Supreme Court's institutional independence. The incident was reported in the UK media - appearing, amongst others, on BBC Online, The Guardian and Radio 4's Today Programme.

Also on February 8 Duncan Clark, Strategy Director of the 10:10 campaign and consultant Editor on the Guardian Environment Desk, was at UCL's Energy Institute to give a talk on 'Increasing the Impact of Energy Research Through Effective Communication.'

On 15 February, The Princess Royal opened a new Graduate Wing in UCL Laws.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell, Britain's most senior civil servant, delivered a presentation on the proposed Cabinet Manual on Thursday 24 February. This was part of the Constitution Unit's Public Seminar Series and was held at the Institute for Government.

Images from top: Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Union Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science; The Supreme Court's Lord Phillips   

January 2011



Following an official visit to 10 Downing Street, Monsieur François Fillon, Prime Minister of France, visited the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at UCL's Bloomsbury campus on January 13.



He said: "This is a good symbol of what we need to be doing to stimulate growth. The tough struggle for growth has to be fought with the weapons of innovation and research."

Monsieur Fillon was accompanied on his visit by Monsieur Laurent Wauquiez, Minister for Europe.

Polly Higgins, the prominent international environmental lawyer and activist, was one of the speakers on 19 January at the UCL Institute for Global Health symposium: Ecocide:The 5th crime against peace?

Sarah Ball, Research & Programme Development Manager at the UCL Institute for Global Health explained: "Audience members included staff and students from across UCL, funders and members of the general public. They raised questions around how to reconcile long-term and short-term wellbeing for communities living in developing countries who rely on extraction of natural resources and whether 'intent' causes a barrier for ecocide as the fifth crime against peace."


Dr Robert Hentschel, Director of Lotus Engineering, was at UCL on 27 January. He awarded the UCL Colin Chapman Lotus Engineering Masters scholarship to Nicholas Mak, a Singaporean UCL MSc Mechanical Engineering student. The scholarship, inspired by UCL alumnus Colin Chapman (founder of Lotus) and sponsored by car manufacturer Group Lotus and the Chapman family, is awarded for engineering excellence and lasts for one year.

Speaking about his scholarship, Nicholas said: "Lotus was inspiring to me because it was one of those organisations that had a soul to it, which was shown in most of its cars. In fact, one of the reasons I chose to come to UCL to do engineering was because of the founder Colin Chapman, who is an alumnus of the university."

On January 28, UCL welcomed the Chinese Ambassador, HE Liu Xiaoming and his wife, Madam Hu Ping-Hua.

The Ambassador gave an address to UCL staff and students and stated: "It is my great pleasure to speak at University College London. Founded 185 years ago and being the third oldest university in England, the UCL was the first British university to enrol students regardless of race, religion or political belief. This makes UCL a pioneer of equal rights in the UK education system, and reminds me of a saying by Confucius: 'Education is for all, without discrimination'."

The Ambassador's full address can be found on the Chinese Embassy website and images from the event can be seen in the slideshow below.

Images from top: Polly Higgins speaks at the UCL Institute for Global Health Symposium; Monsieur François Fillon, Prime Minister of France, visits the London Centre for Nanotechnology; UCL student Nicholas Mak receives his scholarship from Clive Chapman and Robert Hentschel of Lotus.

To notify UCL Guest Book of an event, please contact Neil Rodger, in UCL Communications.

UCL guests in 2010