Newsletter No. 200

Wei Lun Professor Speaks on Curriculum Reforms in HK and UK P rof. John White, emeritu s professor o f philosoph y of education at the Institute o f Education, Un i v e r s i t y o f London, delivere d a Wei Lu n Public Lectur e entitled 'Wha t Is Education for? The Schoo l Curriculum an d It s Aims i n Hong Kon g an d Britain ' o n 22nd Marc h i n th e H o T i m Building. Bo th Hon g Kon g an d E n g l a nd hav e r e c e n t l y embarked o n a reform o f th e schoo l cu r r i cu l um. I n bot h commun i t i es , attention ha s bee n pai d t o th e overal l aims o f schoo l education , bu t th e reforms r e f l ec t a genera l tensio n between two broad aims: the promotio n of economi c growth , an d equippin g students t o lea d a flourishing life . I n the lecture , Prof . Wh i t e discusse d w h e t h e r n e w e l eme n t s i n t h e curriculum trul y reflec t th e aims i t set s out to achieve . He believes tha t i n bot h communities, muc h work i s to be don e to shap e a more coheren t curriculu m i n wh i c h th e genera l aim s an d th e curriculum detail s ar e closely matched . Prof. Whit e ha s worked as lecturer , reader, and then professor at the Institute of Education since 1965 . Before that, he taught in secondary schools and colleges in Britai n an d France . H e hold s a B A f r om Ox f o r d Universit y i n moder n history, a BA fro m Londo n Universit y in philosoph y an d psychology , an d a diploma i n educatio n f r o m B r i s t o l University. EBV Expert on Boosting Immunity Against the Virus P rof. Alan B. Rickinson, professor o f cancer studie s a t the Universit y o f Birmingham, delivere d a lecture entitle d 'Epstein-Barr Viru s and Human Cancer : Prospects fo r Immun e Intervention ' o n 14th Ma r c h i n th e Postgraduat e Education Centr e o f th e Facult y o f Medicine. Th e lecture is a Royal Societ y Kan Ton g P o Visitin g Professorshi p Public Lecture . The Epstein-Bar r viru s (EBV ) i s w i d e l y d i s t r i b u t e d i n a l l huma n populations an d i s carrie d by th e grea t ma j o r i ty o f peopl e a s a l i f e - l o n g asymptomatic infection . Ye t thi s sam e virus i s capable of driving infected cell s into permanen t growt h an d is involve d in th e developmen t o f a n increasingl y wide rang e o f huma n tumours . Th e lecture considered how an active immune system helps most people to live with this potentially dangerou s virus , t o wha t extent failure s o f th e immun e syste m predispose th e i nd i v i dua l t o EBV - associated malignancies, and how people mi ght develo p immunotherapeuti c vaccines tha t boost anti-vira l immunity , thereby helpin g t o treat , o r eve n t o prevent, important EBV-positive tumours such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma . Prof. Rickinso n onc e worked unde r the mentorship of Prof. Tony Epstein, the d i s c o v e r er o f E B V , a t th e University o f Bristol , UK . Hi s own researc h encompasse s a variety of aspects of EBV biology , i n c l u d i ng th e hos t c e l l u l a r i mmu ne respons e t o v i r u s infection, th e virus's mechanis m o f p e r s i s t e n c e w i t h i n th e l y m p h o i d s y s t e m o f t h e immunocompetent host , an d the nature o f th e virus' s associatio n w i th severa l differen t type s o f human cancer . Prof. Philip Johnson, director of the Hong Kong Cancer Institute, presenting a souvenir to Prof. Rickinson (left) Two Exemplary Teachers from the Faculty of Social Science Honoured P r o f. Go r do n Ma t t hew s o f th e Department o f Anthropology an d Prof. Winto n Au o f th e Departmen t o f Psychology wer e selecte d recipients o f the Fa c u l t y o f Soc i a l Sc i ence ' s Exemplary Teachin g Award 2001 . Each year , th e Facult y o f Socia l Science appoint s a selection committe e for the award, which comprises internal , external, and student members. This year, Dr. Kennet h Leun g o f th e Schoo l o f Journalism an d Commun i ca t i o n i s chairperson o f the committee , an d Ms . L i n a Ya n H a u - y e e , U n i v e r s i t y C o u n c i l member an d chairperso n of the Convocation, i s the external member . A t t h e a w a r d presentation ceremon y held at the United College Staff Commo n Roo m o n 7th Ma r c h 2002 , Prof . Mattews share d wit h th e audience hi s belie f tha t teaching student s to thin k c r i t i c a l l y i s th e mos t i m p o r t a n t t h i n g i n education, an d his persona l experienc e that the students of the University ar e the best students he has ever taught. Prof. Au told the audience that his enthusiasm i n and devotion to teaching have been most crucial i n his ability t o arouse interest i n class and to establish close relationship s with hi s student s outside the classroom . The awards were presented by Prof . Ambrose King, pro-vice-chancellor, wh o also gav e a speec h o n th e occasion , reiterating th e University' s missio n o f pursuing excellenc e i n teaching . (From left) Prof. Ambrose King, Prof. Gordon Matthews, Prof. Winton Au, and Prof. Kenneth Chau, dean of social science Using IT toProvide BetterAir Cargo Services T he widesprea d us e o f I T an d th e worldwide tren d o f e-commerc e have enable d smal l an d medium-size d companies i n th e ai r carg o industr y t o p r o v i de c u s t om i z e d service s t o individual shipper s a t the cos t o f mas s production. Th e ke y component s o f ai r cargo logistic s ar e a f ou r t h - pa r t y e-community platform and a fourth-party logistics centre . Thi s platform provide s an integrated web-based environment fo r third-party logistic s servic e providers t o trade an d manage thei r logistics processes . The Ce n t r e o f Cyber Logistic s o f th e University hel d an open forum entitled 'Towards e-Community fo r Hon g K o n g ' s A i r Ca r g o Logistics' o n 8th March to discuss the setting up o f a f o u r t h - p a r t y e-community platfor m i n Hon g Kong . Th e forum highlighted the centre's effort s a t p r o v i d i n g c o n s t r u c t i v e p o l i c y recommendations t o the government an d the air cargo industr y alike . The function, which took place at the Sheraton Hotel i n Tsimshatsui, include d an introductio n t o th e e-communit y platform and its functions — informatio n exchange, logistic s service s trading, and business managemen t facilitation . A demonstration wa s also staged .