Tuesday 7th July 2009 by C. Freeman
A whole new batch of famous names will adorn the walls at Brooke Weston during a departmental reshuffle. Andersen in Modern Foreign Languages and Schweitzer in Humanities will become distant memories, to be replaced by Fibonacci and Descartes in Maths and Nightingale in Humanities.
The Citizenship department will comprise More (after Sir Thomas) and Pankhurst, and will move into what is now music. The new music department will be housed in Bach and Vangelis, while Tomlinson and Rubik will become familiar destinations in IT. Other changes include the addition of Lawson to Business, while the brand new food technology room will be known as Oliver.
Since Brooke Weston opened in 1991 individual rooms in each department have been named after eminent people in that field. Science is represented by luminaries such as Marconi, Newton and Darwin while the English fraternity comprise authors including Kipling, Wordsworth and Hardy.
Lovelace in IT is named after Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the poet Byron and an early pioneer of computing. Others who have been commemorated include Sir Harold Montague Finniston, a Scottish steel magnate who, as well as being chairman of British Steel, also had Brooke Weston's lecture theatre named after him.
Nominations for room names are made by Heads of Department with the final decision taken by the Principal.
A quick run-down of the incoming great and good:
Bach, Johann Sebastian: Was a German composer and organist, best known for his baroque orchestral and choral works. Considered old-fashioned by his contemporaries in 18th century Germany, his work experienced a revival a hundred years later and is still revered today.
Descartes, Rene: French philosopher, mathematician and writer who wrote 'A Discourse on Method, Meditations on First Philosophy' in 1641 and is hailed as the founder of modern philosophy.
Fibonacci: Italian mathematician, Leonardo of Pisa, is credited with introducing Arabic numerals to Europe and after whom a sequenced pattern of numbers is named. The Fibonacci numbers begin with zero and go upwards, with each numeral being the sum of the previous two eg; 0,1,1,2,3,5. This sequenced pattern is often a feature of the natural world with seed heads and leaves forming patterns that correspond with Fibonacci numbers.
Lawson, Nigel and his offspring, Nigella and Dominic: Members of the Lawson dynasty who shaped Britain by being a long-serving Thatcherite Chancellor of the Exchequer, food writer and presenter and former editor of The Sunday Telegraph respectively.
More, Sir Thomas: Was a lawyer and intellectual who gained a reputation as a leading Renaissance scholar. He held many public offices but was beheaded in 1535 when he refused to sign the Act of Supremacy that declared King Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church of England. Four hundred years later he was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint by Pope Pius XI, and he later became the patron saint of politicians and statesmen.
Nightingale, Florence: Named after her Italian birthplace, Nightingale is most famous for her nursing skills during the Crimean War when she and a team of nurses reduced the mortality rate from 42 per cent to just 2.2 per cent at hospital barracks in Scutari by improving sanitation and hygiene. She was also a skilled statistician, illustrating her findings in a 1,000 page treatise for the Royal Commission. Her experiences at Crimea led her to set up nursing schools and she mentored Linda Richards, America's first trained nurse who took Nightingale's methods back to the USA.
Oliver, Jamie: Credited with being the scourge of turkey twizzlers in the UK, Oliver has brought a new brand of ethical, healthy eating to the British masses. Not content with revitalising the school catering industry and teaching the residents of Rotherham how to cook, he is now taking his potent brand of culinary evangelism to the USA.
Pankhurst, Emmeline: Is perhaps the best known campaigner of the women's suffrage movement which began in the late 19th century to win the right to vote for married women. By the early 20th century the movement became more militant with the formation of the Women's Social and Political Union. Its members, known as suffragettes, demonstrated violently and volubly for the right to vote. One was killed throwing herself under the King's horse at the Derby in protest. With the outbreak of World War One the campaigning stopped as Britons concentrated on the war effort but the protests paid off as, in 1918, women over the age of 30 were finally given voting rights.
Rubik, Erno: Invented an infuriating puzzle where all six faces of a coloured cube had to be mixed up and then unscrambled. Beloved of show-offs who could do it, it became a global craze in the 1980s and is credited with being the world's best-selling toy. Since this success Rubik has worked on computer programming, earning his place in Brooke Weston's IT corridor. Rubik's newest brain-teaser, the Rubik 360, is due to be released next year.
Tomlinson, Ray: Pioneered an email system which could send messages between computers operating on differing networks. He achieved this by using the @ sign to distinguish the user from their machine and it has been in use ever since. The first test email just consisted of random keystrokes. Since its humble beginnings in 1971 it is estimated that more that 200 billion emails are sent daily, about 70 per cent of which are spam or viruses.
Vangelis: Being known by a short-form of his original Greek name of Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, this composer is best known for his Oscar-award winning soundtrack to the 1981 British film 'Chariots of Fire.' His career has spanned nearly 50 years and 40 albums.