Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tales from Topographic Oceans

I don't know, you wait ages for a senior appointment at the Research Councils, and then two come along at the same time.

After all the excitement over the AHRC's New Director of Research, news has just come in of the appointment of the new head of the NERC. It took them nearly five months to find someone: that's almost as long as Mark Llewellyn's total academic career.

So who has NERC gone for? Prof Duncan Wingham is Professor of Climate Physics at UCL. The golden-locked prof is a specialist in measuring ice sheet movements. So whereas the AHRC has gone for youth and speed, the NERC seem to have taken a 'steady as she goes' approach. Prof Wingham has been at UCL since 1986, and was already Chair of NERC's Science and Innovation Strategy Board. So very much a known quantity. Oh, and he studies glaciers.

We wish him all the best. But now down to the serious business of trying to match him up to a look-a-like musician. We've got Derek Smalls in David Delpy, Donny Osmond in Mark Llewellyn, and even Andrew Lloyd-Webber in his predecessor, Alan Thorpe. Is there a touch of the keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakeman in Duncan Wingham?

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