The two new research centres receiving funding are:
The Centre for Population Change will be directed by Professor Jane Falkingham and based at the Universities of Southampton and St Andrews thus facilitating a strong UK wide focus to its work. The centre will receive in the region of £5million over five years, in the first instance. It will explore the issues surrounding migration, fertility and ageing including the implications for society of migration both within and beyond national borders
Directed by Professor Judith Rees, at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy will receive in the region £4.5million over five years in the first instance. This funding follows last year’s announcement that the ESRC would urgently increase its support for work in this area. At the core of the centre’s work is to provide both government and business with evidence that will support their decision-making processes and improve policy-making on one of the most critical issues facing the world today.
Funding in the region of £3.5million over the next five years has also been agreed for the Research Centre on Micro Social Change (MiSoC), directed by Professor Stephen Pudney, at the University of Essex. This research focuses on developing an understanding of people’s everyday lives and social change, including family and social ties; working lives inequalities and opportunities as well as advances in research methods
Funding for new work within the RCUK research priority areas of energy, living with environmental change and security and global uncertainties has also been agreed. In addition, £2.5 million is being committed to increase international collaboration with India, China, Brazil and the United States of America and to participate in a pan-European research programme on migration involving 13 different countries.
The Council has also agreed to a modest increase in resources to extend its programme of work focused on evaluating the economic impact of social science research. This is central to the commitment shared by all of the Research Councils to ensure that maximum benefit and impact is achieved from the public's investment in the science and research base.
The 2008-09 competition for new research centres will focus on the Key Challenge of “Succeeding in the Global Economy”. The formal call for proposals will be issued in late March 2008.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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