Wiki Actu en

February 16, 2015

Welsh historian John Davies dies aged 76

Welsh historian John Davies dies aged 76

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cymru / Wales
Other Welsh stories
Location of Wales

A map showing the location of Wales

To write, edit, start or view other Welsh articles, see the Cymru / Wales Portal
Flag of Wales.svg

Davies in 2013.
Image: Fæ.

John Davies, highly regarded Welsh historian, has died at the age of 76. Davies worked closely with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during his career, often as a commentator on BBC Wales. As well as his work as a broadcaster he was also an author and a teacher at several universities across Wales.

As an author he won the Glyndwr Award, an award that recognizes an outstanding contribution to the arts in Wales, and the Wales Book of the Year in 2010. He won the later award for his work Cymru: Y 100 Lle I’w Gweld Cyn Marw (Wales: 100 Places to See Before Dying). He also wrote A History of Wales, a book regarded, according to the BBC, by many as definitive on Welsh history.

Tributes have been paid to Davies from many people including politicians and broadcasters. Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said “He’ll be remembered as one of our great historians […] of Wales’ past which he gladly and passionately shared through his teaching, writing and broadcasting.”

Current BBC presenter Huw Edwards said “He had an extraordinary way of sharing his message in an engaging and lively way — in both languages — and that was incontrovertibly proved in his excellent and comprehensive work A History of Wales[…] He was a colourful character and great company.” Another BBC tribute came from Rhodri Talfan Davies, the director of BBC Cymru Wales. He said “He didn’t just bring the story of Wales and its people to life — he did so in technicolor.”

Davies, who lived in Grangetown, Cardiff, would go on to share his knowledge of Welsh history by teaching at both Swansea and Aberystwyth universities. He also held the position of warden at Aberystwyth, monitoring a student residence hall.

He is survived by his wife Janet and four children.


Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 10, 2011

Wikinews interviews evicted London Metropolitan University occupier

Wikinews interviews evicted London Metropolitan University occupier

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Orion Building, hosting London Metropolitan University’s Graduate Centre.
Image: Alan Stanton.

A group of students at London Metropolitan University (LMU) who had been occupying the graduate centre at their university since the afternoon of Wednesday May 4 were evicted just before midnight on Monday by police, university security and private bailiffs.

Wikinews, in contact with the occupiers, obtained a first-hand interview with one of the occupiers less than two hours after the occupation ended. The students staged the occupation in protest against cutbacks to courses at the university which, if enacted, would close 70% of the courses the university offers.

John Hughes, 35, a mature student born in the North London borough of Hackney and living in Brixton, was one of over twenty students who were sleeping overnight in the university building. A second-year student in sociology and international development, one of the courses at risk, Hughes described the police intervention at around 11:40pm:

As I came in the area we were occupying they came straight in the door…There was no warning. […] We were served the injunction on the spot by two county court sheriffs, four police officers, ten bailiffs and one member of London Met security. We said, ‘we need time to read this’. We were given ten minutes to read it and take our stuff.

London Met logo.

The occupiers have not had access to legal advice, although they have had “a bit of advice from some people who are not actually lawyers”. The occupiers complain they were given no notice of the injunction and that it is inaccurate, naming at least one person “who hadn’t committed trespass at all”.

The eviction also pre-empts an agreement, negotiated by London Metropolitan University Students’ Union president Claire Locke, for LMU vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies to meet with the occupation on Tuesday morning. The occupiers feel certain now that Gillies’ office made this agreement with the Students’ Union and occupiers in bad faith, knowing that an injunction evicting the occupation would be served before then.

The injunction follows a night after the occupation was itself invaded by members of a private security firm hired by the university management. In the early hours of Monday morning, occupiers say security staff kicked open the doors and entered an area where people were sleeping. Security personnel say an alarm was going off in the area; occupiers say there was no such alarm. Private security have also been sexually harassing and verbally intimidating the occupiers, Hughes alleges. “One of the members of the security team said through the doors to a young lady, ‘you should put up a picture of yourself, something that’s more sexy’ and ‘I’m quite a big bloke, and if I wanted to come into the occupation I would. Two young ladies are not going to stop me.'” Occupiers have also heard some racist comments from private security; the occupiers themselves are “a very mixed group” of all ages and ethnicities, “some from London, some from outside London, working class and some middle class.”

If the occupation had not been evicted, Hughes says they could have held out. “We had water, food and drinks for a while. I’m not sure for how long.” Students at Aberystwyth University in Wales occupied two rooms at their university for over a month earlier this year.



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 5, 2009

Welsh University announces intelligent robot conducting biology experiments

Welsh University announces intelligent robot conducting biology experiments

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Adam is a robot developed by Welsh Aberystwyth University researchers which combines artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and automation to independently conduct and analyse biological laboratory research.

“What’s new and exciting about Adam is [it is] the first time we’ve managed to show that a computer can not only think up new scientific ideas, but experimentally test them and decide whether they’re true,” said Ross King, a computer science professor and lead researcher at Aberystwyth University, “Adam makes up its own mind what to do. It decides what experiments to do, what to test.” He says that for other lab experiments the hardware is already in place, the only step needed is to change the software.

The artificial intelligence alone spans three computers which holds the databases and analytical software to enable Adam to think. For the yeast experiment, Adam was loaded with databases which hold known information relating to yeasts and organisms. Adam compared all fields in the database to find the areas of missing information from which he devised 20 hypotheses.

Adam’s AI is connected to robotic arms, sensors, incubators and cameras which enable Adam to start over 1,000 individual experiments every day and follow their progress over a week.

A part of the process is that Adam’s AI can cycle and analyze the results of the experiments as well doing routine repetitious lab work. Following Adam’s testing, King’s team manually tested three of Adam’s hypotheses and found that the robot’s conclusions were correct, and each was a breakthrough to the scientific community.

Adam has spawned discussion amongst researchers. William Melek, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Ontario’s University of Waterloo, has noted that to set up the AI needed for subsequent experiments involving new biological variables and criteria, the human expertise would be time consuming to customize it. The usefulness would be limited therefore to the allotment of human input needed to set up Adam.

David Waltz of Columbia University and Bruce Buchanan of the University of Pittsburgh say that “For the foreseeable future, the prospect of using automated systems as assistants holds vast promise as these assistants are becoming not only faster but much broader in their capabilities — more knowledgeable, more creative, and more self-reflective,” They note the potential of such lab assistants which may more efficiently process the research data.

It was reported that Adam cost about $1million in production costs and this was weighed against the costs of hiring lab techs. King said, We made many mistakes and learned from Adam. Eve is a much cleaner design.”

Eve is the second AI computer under development by Professor King’s research team. Eve’s artificial intelligence will be enhanced to analyze compounds needed for medicinal drugs which may treat killer diseases such as malaria.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 19, 2005

Europe marks second Iraq invasion anniversary

Europe marks second Iraq invasion anniversary

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Today, Saturday the 19th of March, thousands across Europe marked the second anniversary of the US-led war on Iraq with protest marches and rallies for peace.

Anti-war march in London: In London, UK, police said 45,000 people took part in a march following the traditional route; a Hyde Park start, past the US Embassy and finishing in Trafalgar Square. According to organisers, almost 100,000 people took part. There were no reports of violence or unrest at the rally.

In Istanbul, Turkey, about 15,000 people marched to protest against the continued US presence in Iraq.

Athens, Greece, was brought to a standstill by more than 5000 trade unionists who marched to the US Embassy.

Meanwhile, more than 400 miles away from London, in the Welsh coastal town of Aberystwyth, about two hundred people also took part in a peace rally. The first annual All Wales Peace Festival (Gwl heddwch a chyfianwnder Cymru gyfan) took place on an unseasonably warm and sunny day for mid-March in the coastal town.

Lasting about an hour, the rally made its way around the streets of the town, making its way to the ruined castle that overlooks the town, where the crowd heard speeches by a number of individuals, including Ken Booth, the head of Aberystwyth University’s renowned International Politics department. There was no suggestion of violence at the rally, with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds making up the march.

Police presence at the march was moderately heavy yet restrained, with the police evidently not wishing for a repeat of the scenes two years ago when authorities were taken completely by surprise as protesters brought much of the town to a halt and occupied the council tax offices for two hours.

Attendance at all protests was a mere shadow of that just before the start of the 2003 war, when London saw over a million take to the streets to protest the imminent invasion.

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Powered by WordPress