In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority’s lack of focus on science “is a major gap”, says Sari Nusseibeh, a philosopher at Al-Quds University and a leading academic in the region. Nusseibeh was president of his university in the optimistic 1990s, when he strongly encouraged the development of research — as well as academic cooperation with Israel, a powerhouse for world-class research. Back then he reasoned that if the Palestinian territories were to become an independent state, they would need a strong base in research — not least because they have few natural resources. “As Palestinians, our only resource for self-improvement is ourselves as human beings, and the more initiative we have, the better.”
The leading neuroscientist, writer and broadcaster heads up a multi-disciplinary research group exploring brain mechanisms linked to neurodegeneration.
She is also the founding director of a company developing a novel approach to both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and has written a book exploring how young people’s brains are affected by modern digital technologies.
Baroness Greenfield is a big supporter of the role of science in education. She holds an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and is a member of the House of Lords, having been granted a non-political life peerage.
Awarded a CBE in 2000 for her contributions to the public understanding of science, Baroness Greenfield has received both L’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur from the French Government, and the American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate award.
As well as campaigning to encourage more women to become scientists, Baroness Greenfield’s priority is to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and she is currently working hard in her Oxford lab to develop an anti-Alzheimer’s drug.
Baroness Greenfield firmly believes that just 20 years from now, drugs could be readily available that will significantly slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, or perhaps even eradicate it entirely.
At school, the Baroness did the entrance exam in Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Maths; going on to read Classics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She soon, however, switched to philosophy and psychology, and finally to neuroscience.
Whilst at Northumbria, the Baroness was given a tour of the University’s Health and Life Science facilities, including a visit to the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre. She was awarded her honorary degree with students from the University’s Engineering and Environment courses, cementing her views on the importance of education in science subjects.