Manchester: Britain's greatest university?

October 13, 2010

This question was posed by the UK newspaper The Independent in early October as Manchester University, the distinguished MESPOM partner, now has more working Nobel Laureates than any British university. Two Russian-born professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov have won this year’s Nobel Prize for physics. They join Manchester alumni Joseph Stiglitz, who won the economics prize in 2001 and who chairs the university's Brooks World Poverty Institute, and Sir John Sulston. Professor Sulston won the medicine prize in 2002 in recognition of his work sequencing the DNA of a nematode used in understanding the workings of genes. He now heads Manchester University’s Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation.

Manchester also has three people in the top 10 of the UK newspaper The Times ‘Eureka 100 list of the most important people in British Science’. The top alumni include the highest placed women – at number 10 – Professor Nancy Rothwell of the Faculty of Life Science and recently appointed Vice Chancellor/President of the university. She leads the field in understanding how brain cells are damaged by stroke and conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease. At number 24 is Professor Brian Cox - another physicist who also is a superb publicist for science. His recent BBC TV series Wonders of the Solar System drew audiences of three million in the UK. He is credited for making physics cool.