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  LSE Staff News  
Simon Hix with son Ben
  Christopher Pissarides      
  News   Notices   Notices  

• Congratulations to Christopher Pissarides

LSE professor Christopher Pissarides was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences this week, for his work on the economics of unemployment.


• Staff Consultative Council elections

Following a great response for nominations, voting is now open to choose two new members to join the Staff Consultative Council.


• Professor Simon Hix

Simon, a professor in the Government Department at LSE, has been at the School on and off since 1987 and says he was once the lead singer and guitarist in a very bad rock band.

  ...   ...   ...  
  14 October 2010  

- News

  Christopher Pissarides  

• Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to Christopher Pissarides

LSE professor Christopher Pissarides was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences on Monday (11 October).

He won the 2010 prize jointly for his work on the economics of unemployment, especially job flows and the effects of being out of work. He shares the prize with Peter Diamond from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dale Mortensen from Northwestern University.

Professor Pissarides is professor of economics at LSE and holder of the Norman Sosnow Chair in Economics. He is also a fellow of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE and of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. He was awarded his PhD at LSE in 1973 and has been on the faculty for 38 years.

Professor Pissarides said he was initially speechless on winning the award and would need to time to absorb the news.

On Wednesday 13 October, the Department of Economics organised a celebration in the Senior Dining Room for Professor Pissarides. The party was attended by staff and students who toasted his success with bubbly, whilst Professor Pissarides, who is battling a cold, sipped hot lemon. More

  Frank Land  

• Safe landings, Frank

Twin brothers Frank and Ralph Land will be marking their 82nd birthday on Sunday 24 October, with a skydive to raise money for Cancer Research.

Frank, emeritus professor in the Information Systems and Innovation Group at LSE, and Ralph (LSE, 1947-52) also wish to commemorate the life of Jacqueline, Ralph's wife, who died from cancer a year ago.

The brothers will jump with their instructors from 12,000ft. The idea to do a skydive came to Ralph whilst the brothers were walking amongst the vineyards in the Dordogne this summer.

‘Having discussed the possibility amongst the vineyards, we quickly recognised that if we were actually to carry this out, we had to tell people we are doing it. After that, there was no escape. Now we are part relishing the thought of the experience and part quaking in our boots. But everybody who has done it talks of a wonderful experience. Ailsa, my wife, thinks we should be sectioned!’ said Frank.

When asked if he was feeling nervous, Frank replied: ‘Not half!’

The skydive will take place at the London Parachute School, at Lewknor in Oxfordshire, and the brothers will receive just 20 minutes of training before the dive takes place.

Both Frank and Ralph graduated from LSE in 1950 and were then taken on as research assistants. They both then left to go into industry. Frank came back to the School in 1968, but Ralph stayed in industry, achieving a CBE for his services to trade in Eastern Europe.

Frank and Ralph have set an ambitious target to raise at least £7,500. All money raised will be split between Cancer Research UK and the Hammersmith Clinical Cancer Research and Treatment Fund. So please dig deep and donate at

  Erik Baurdoux  

• It's Time To Change - LSE lecturer fronts campaign to end mental health discrimination

Dr Erik Baurdoux, a lecturer in statistics at LSE, has become the face of a new campaign to end discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems.

Erik, who manages depression to lead a full life, took part in the campaign, Time to Change, which involved seven people with mental illnesses taking part in a social experiment by posting ads on dating and flat-share websites. At first the ads appeared without mention of their mental health problem, but after some weeks these were taken down and replaced with the exact same profile but this time with a line disclosing they had a mental illness.

When the results of the two stages were compared, the experiment showed an overall drop of 50 per cent in interest in dating and a 68 per cent drop in interest in living with the participants when their mental illness was revealed.

Erik, who stars in an online film about his experiences in the social experiment, was shocked by his results. Between the two stages, interest in him fell by 81 per cent for dating websites and 76 per cent for flat-share websites. More

  Land Registry Building  

• LSE to buy Land Registry building

Land Registry has confirmed that following an open and fair competition it has agreed to sell, subject to contract, its Head Office building to LSE.

Extensive marketing of the property on Lincoln's Inn Fields in London attracted significant interest from a large number of potential purchasers.

Julian Robinson, director of Estates at LSE, said: 'This is a serious landmark building for a serious university. The purchase of the Land Registry will enable LSE to further its objective of creating a world class estate commensurate with its academic reputation.'

The building will be used for academic, research and teaching purposes. LSE will take vacant possession in May 2011.

  Juan Maria Nin  

• The macroeconomic situation and the role of La Caixa

Some years after graduating from LSE with a master's degree in law, Juan Maria Nin returned to the School last Tuesday (5 October) to share his thoughts on the macroeconomic crisis. The event was jointly organised by LSE Enterprise and the Catalan Observatory.

As president and CEO of Spain's largest savings bank, La Caixa, he was well placed to comment on its role in handling economic problems in Spain.

The talk looked at the origins of the Spanish financial crisis, comparing it both to other European countries and previous crises. He pointed out that Spain has never reneged on a debt and that the current problem stems from illiquidity due to lack of market confidence, rather than insolvency.

For a full write up of the event, visit the LSE Enterprise website.


- Notices


• Staff Consultative Council elections..... have your say

Following a great response for nominations for new volunteers to serve on the Staff Consultative Council (SCC), there will now be elections to choose two new members - one to represent support staff in academic departments and one to represent support staff in administrative divisions.

The nominations are:

Academic Departments

  • Linda Duffy, MPhil/PhD programme administrator, Social Psychology

  • Champa Heidbrink, research centre manager, LSE Health

  • Hazel Johnstone, departmental manager, Gender Institute

  • Terri Natale, postgraduate administrator, Managerial Economics and Strategy Group

Administration (please note that this does not include finance and facilities, the Library, or IT Services, as these groups are represented by other seats on the SCC)

  • Simon Beattie, graduate admissions manager

  • Annette Haas, administrative officer, Academic Partnerships

  • Veronique Mizgailo, PA to Howard Davies

  • Rachel Power, careers adviser

Staff in these areas are invited to vote for their preferred candidate. Voting closes at 4pm on Friday 22 October. Details on how to vote can be found on the SCC website.


• LSE Research Online has been upgraded

The LSE Research Online team has recently completed work to upgrade LSE Research Online. The software on which the service runs has been updated, meaning the service’s web pages run much faster.

And, following focus group feedback from academic colleagues, they have also updated the service's look and feel. If you have any feedback on any aspect of the service, or wish to post your research, please get in touch at

The upgrade has also coincided with Open Access Week 2010, the global celebration and week of activism about the Open Access movement. The LSE Research Online team will be giving out awards to those people and departments who have made an outstanding contribution to Open Access at LSE over the last year. The lucky winners will be contacted with prize details soon.

To mark the occasion, the team has organised an event for academic staff to find out how LSE Research Online and the LSE Experts services can improve research visibility. Please join them for coffee and cakes in the Portrait Room, adjacent to the Senior Common Room, Old Building, at 12-2pm on Thursday 21 October.


• AUA lunchtime networking event

The LSE branch of the AUA, the professional body for university administrators, is holding a lunchtime networking event on Thursday 21 October, where you can meet colleagues from around the School, find out about the AUA and its activities, and meet LSE’s UNISON rep.

Refreshments will be provided and the event is open to non-members as well as existing AUA members. If you would like to attend, or find out more about the AUA, e-mail

  Blood and Gifts  

• National Theatre ticket offer for Blood and Gifts

Afghanistan. 1981. As the Soviet army approaches the Pakistan border, CIA agent Jim Warnock has an impossible decision to make…

The National Theatre is offering LSE staff the chance to purchase tickets to Blood and Gifts, a new play by JT Rogers, for just £25. For more on the production, see

The offer is valid for performances until Monday 1 November. Call 020 7452 3000 and quote ‘LSE Staff Offer’ or book online at Enter promotional code 3123 then select date and seats.

This offer is subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. It is not available on tickets already purchased and proof of eligibility may be required.


- Research


• Research reveals likely housing winners and losers

There is a great deal of uncertainty and speculation about the direction of the housing market in the UK and the USA - both for home-owners and renters.

Academics from LSE, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, have devised a mathematical model to provide some foresight into changes in the housing market. The model could be beneficial to central banks and ministries of finance that have an interest in the effects of the housing market on their economies.

The Financial Markets Group at LSE carried out the research. It developed a life-cycle model to investigate how prices of housing (purchasing and renting), the overall economy and wealth distribution react to changes in technology and financial conditions. More


• Research opportunities

Candidates interested in applying for any research opportunities should contact Michael Oliver in the Research Division at or call ext 7962.

The Research Division maintains a regularly updated list of research funding opportunities for academic colleagues on their website.


• Research e-Briefing

Click here to read the Summer edition of the Research Division newsletter. To sign up for research news, recent research funding opportunities, research awards that are about to start, and examples of research outcomes, click here. The next issue is out at the end of October 2010. More

  LSE Enterprise  

• Latest opportunities from LSE Enterprise

LSE Enterprise offers you the opportunity to undertake private teaching and consultancy work under the LSE brand. We help with bidding, contracts and other project administration, enabling you to focus on the work itself. To see the latest opportunities click here or visit

If you would like us to look out for consulting opportunities in your field, email your CV and summary of interests to

Email to be added to our Executive Education database.


- Events

  David Blunkett  

• LSE IT Services public lecture series

Interested in staying safe online? Want to know what the risks are in browsing the internet and what the common Facebook pitfalls are?

LSE IT Services have organised a series of lectures to help promote information security issues, with speakers including Rt Hon David Blunkett (pictured).

With the increasing use of computers and information technology in our everyday lives, the number of threats that people face on the Internet everyday has also increased. This series aims to show what some of those threats are, how you can protect yourselves and what other people are doing to protect us.

These events are free and open to all with no ticket required.

  Events Leaflet  

• Upcoming LSE events include....

A Dialogue with Hernando De Soto
On: Friday 15 October at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Hernando de Soto, president of the ILD.

Europe in the New Energy World Order
On: Tuesday 19 October at 6pm in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Lykke Friis, Danish minister for climate and energy and minister for gender equality.

The New Machiavelli: how to wield power in the modern world
On: Tuesday 19 October at 6.30pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's chief of staff from 1994-2007.

I Was Not an Untouchable Then
On: Wednesday 20 October at 5pm in the Shaw Library, Old Building
Speakers: S Anand, award-winning publisher and journalist, and Meena Kandasamy, poet, writer, activist and translator.

Jilted Generation: how Britain bankrupted its youth
On: Wednesday 20 October at 6.30pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speakers: Ed Howker, associate editor of The Spectator, and Shiv Malik, a freelance journalist.


• LSE Sustainability in Practice lecture series

Re-engineering the Economy for Real People
On: Tuesday 26 October at 6.30pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Samantha Heath, director of London Sustainability Exchange.

Sustainability Living in Practice
On: Tuesday 9 November at 6.30pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Satish Kumar, visiting fellow at Schumacher College.

Believing Cassandra: how to be an optimist in a pessimist's world
On: Tuesday 23 November at 6.30pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Alan AtKisson, president and CEO of The AtKisson Group.


• Podcasts of public lectures and events

Seizing the Opportunity of the Cloud: the next wave of business growth
Speaker: Steve Ballmer
Recorded: Tuesday 5 October, approx 61 minutes
Click here to listen

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism
Speaker: Professor Ha-Joon Chang
Recorded: Tuesday 5 October, approx 84 minutes
Click here to listen

Brown at 10
Speaker: Professor Anthony Seldon
Recorded: Thursday 7 October, approx 73 minutes
Click here to listen


- 60 Second Interview

    Simon Hix  

• with..... Professor Simon Hix

I’ve been at LSE on and off since 1987. I first came as an undergraduate, studying for a BSc Econ in Government and History, then studied an MSc in West European Politics part-time between 1990 and 1992.

I then went to the European University Institute in Florence to do a PhD. I got my first academic job at Brunel University in 1996, and then took up a lectureship in the Government Department at LSE in 1997 (and was promoted to professor in 2004).

My wife, Beth, is an American, and we met when she was a general course student at LSE. We have two kids, Ben (aged 9) and Ruth (aged 6), and we live in Wimbledon Park in South West London.

What advice would you give new students coming to LSE?

Make the most of the academic staff here at LSE. Come and see us in our office hours. Knock on our doors. Ask us as many questions as you can. Get to know some of us.

What would we be most surprised to learn about you?

I used to be the lead singer and guitarist in a very bad rock band.

What were your best subjects at school?

Maths and history. A strange mix, but a good background for political science.

If it were your last day on earth, what would you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Breakfast: a double espresso, freshly-squeezed orange juice and a pain-au-chocolat
Lunch: fish tacos (preferably from Wahoo’s in La Jolla, California)
Dinner: Korean bulgogi (barbequed beef) and pajeon (seafood pancake)

What would you do if you were LSE director for a day?

Abolish tenure-track contracts and replace them with ten year renewable fixed-term contracts. (My colleagues will hate me for saying that!).

What has been your most embarrassing incident, so far?

Sending an email rubbishing a colleague’s work that he was accidently cc’d into.


- Training


• Academic, personal and professional development courses for staff

Courses on offer next week include:

  • Wednesday 20 October
    Moodle next steps training
    An introduction to copyright

For a full listing of what is available and further details, including booking information, please see


- Media bites

  Nick Barr  

• Times Higher Education (14 October 2010)
Lord of the Market: let competition and choice drive quality
Nicholas Barr, professor of public economics at LSE, said: 'Market forces create incentives to quality unless you've got excess demand.
'It is terribly important to set quantity free so that you don't have excess demand. As somebody who cares passionately about access, I think this a good plan,' he said.

  Michael Power  

• The Daily Telegraph (13 October 2010)
Audit firms face radical overhaul
Professor Michael Power of LSE, who yesterday sat before a House of Lords' own inquiry into the role of auditors in the financial crisis, said the failure of one firm would be 'deeply destabilising'.
'It is perfectly conceivable that one of the Big Four accountancy firms could fail. You can not rule this out from happening, Anderson went that way, and it could happen again,' he said. 'Such a collapse would send ripples through all the others firms and create a loss of confidence.'

  Tony Travers  

• Globe and Mail (9 October 2010)
A cold, hard time for unions in the land of the Union Jack
I asked Tony Travers, LSE, whether there was a season of unrest ahead: 'These are very different times to 1978-79, the famous winter of discontent,' he said.
'This is a big test for the trades unions. They will want to set up a reaction to the cuts, but they'll have to bring their members with them, and their members are much less militant than they used to be.'



Nicole wants to hear from you!

Do you have some news, an achievement, or an aspect of LSE life that you would like to share? If so, then I would love to hear from you, contact me at or on ext 7582.

The next edition of Staff News is on Thursday 21 October. Articles for this should be emailed to me by Tuesday 19 October. Staff News is emailed every Thursday during term time and fortnightly during the holidays.

Nicole Gallivan