100 Hundred World Changing Achievements in 100 Years

Professor Steve Beaumont, Vice-Principal for Research & Enterprise, launched the University of Glasgow World Changing website at 2pm on Thursday 10 March 2011. The University World Changing website celebrates the staff and alumni of the University of Glasgow whose innovations, discoveries or developments in the 20th century have changed the world.

The World Changing concept originated with Vice-Principal Professor Peter Holmes who recognised that the Twentieth Century achievements of Glasgow’s staff and alumni should be more widely acknowledged.

Professor Holmes, assisted by University Archivist Lesley Richmond, formed a group consisting of senior professors from each of the Colleges. Sir Laurie Hunter compiled information for Social Sciences, Jan MacDonald for the Arts, Margaret Reid and Peter Holmes for Veterinary, Medical and Life Sciences and David Saxon for Science and Engineering. The Group undertook extensive consultation among current and retired staff to draw up a list of names and achievements for further research. This site is the culmination of 2 years work to assign world changing status to the first 102 achievements and 118 people appearing on the site.

The website, database and content management system was designed and developed by Brian Aitken of the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII). Supporting research and data editing was undertaken by University Archive staff. The Chancellor’s Fund supported the creation of the site.

There are also videos about 5 of the worldchangers chosen by each member of the project team – Edwin Morgan; Monteath Robertson; Ian Donald; Donald Robertson; and the members of the Dictol group who solved the problem of coughing cattle.

For this initial phase of research it was decided to limit to the Twentieth Century only. This was to allow the passage of time for more recent achievements to be suitably assessed and to ease the historical research workload from pervious centuries. It is planned to add the achievements from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth centuries in the next stage.

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