This week's UK news: 22 June 2015
21 June 2015

Big Ben needs rebuilding work

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London need repair work which could cost more than GBP 7 billion. A new report says that the famous Palace of Westminster buildings have not had any major work done since 1834, when they were rebuilt after a fire. The stonework is damaged, the roofs are leaking, plumbing often fails and there is lots of damage inside the buildings. There is a risk of fire, and the buildings include lots of a material which is very dangerous if it damaged.

The Palace of Westminster is well known as a London landmark, and is a Unesco World Heritage site. 

A report on how to repair the building says there are two options. If it was closed and Parliament moved somewhere else for six years, it would cost GBP 3.9 bn. If the work was done in stages, with Parliament staying in the building, costs would rise to around GBP 7bn, and it would take up to 40 years. 

No decision has been taken yet on how the work would be done. 


Cambridge University gets a Professor of Lego

Lego bricks are one of the world's most popular children's toys. Now Lego is paying for a research centre and a professor in Cambridge University's Education department to research how children learn through play.

The Lego Foundation, which owns part of the toy company, is giving GBP 4 million to the university.



Prince George seen in public

The baby prince who will be King one day has been out and about in public this week. Prince George, who is nearly two, came out on a balcony at Buckingham Palace with his father to watch birthday celebrations for the Queen. Newspapers noticed that the Prince was wearing an outfit almost the same as his father wore at the same event in 1984. 

The Prince was also taken to see his father playing polo, a game played by riders on horses. The Prince spent a lot of time playing with his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, and a small toy car. Lots of photographs of this appeared in the newspapers. 


Science in the news

A scientist got into the news for all the wrong reasons. Professor Tim Hunt told a conference that where men and women worked together in labs they fell in love and this caused problems for science. He said women cried when their work was criticised. He suggested that labs be for men or  women only. 

What he said was reported on Twitter and caused a storm. He had to resign from his university and another job. Since then women in science have posted pictures of themselves at work referring to what Professor Hunt said. One woman tweeted a photo of herself in surgical clothes with the words: "I did an entire liver transplant without crying or falling in love".

previous entry << >> next entry