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Institute of Advanced Study

Durham University's Annual Research Dinner

(9 May 2006)

Durham University celebrated its new Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) at its Annual Research Dinner on 27 April 2006. The University was honoured to have Dame Gillian Beer as the guest speaker at the Dinner and also as a representative of the Institute's Advisory Council. Professor Beer's talk focussed on the challenges that face academics wishing to pursue multi-disciplinarity in their research but, at the same time, Professor Beer was keen to highlight the rewards of moving between disciplines.

Guests at the dinner included distinguished regional representatives, senior officers of the University, and key academics. The Vice-Chancellor, Sir Kenneth Calman, welcomed Sir Michael and Lady Wheeler-Booth, benefactors of the Addison Wheeler fellowships, Mr Peter Watson, journalist and member of the IAS Advisory Council, Professor Bob Jessop, Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Lancaster University, Professor Mike Summerfield from Edinburgh University and one of the IAS's inaugural fellows, Ms. Pat Ritchie Director of Strategy and Development at One North East, and Mr Michael Stephenson, a member of Durham University's Council.

Professor Ash Amin, the Executive Director of the IAS, concentrated in his after-dinner talk on the Institute's achievements to date: the establishment of a distinguished Advisory Council; the announcement of the 2006/07 theme, The Legacy of Charles Darwin; and the excellent response to its advertisement for inaugural fellows. He paid tribute to the support given to the IAS by UEC, Departments, and Colleges. He also took the opportunity to outline the possible future IAS themes that are currently being considered by the IAS Advisory Council and will be sent shortly to Durham Departments and Faculty Deans for their views.