The University of Cambridge is looking for a Professor of Lego, and you'd better be quick if you want to apply, because the deadline is Friday. The Lego Foundation is giving £2.5m to fund the position. It has also provided £1.5m to support a play research centre in the university's education faculty. The university aims to produce research so that "children are equipped with 21st century skills like problem solving, team work and self-control". The job essentially involves studying the importance of play and playfulness in education globally. The successful candidate will be paid somewhere around £84,000, the average salary earned by Cambridge professors. Unfortunately it's not for everyone - the job description specifies you must have an "outstanding research record of international stature and the vision, leadership, experience and enthusiasm". Duties include teaching and research, examining, supervision and administration. The year before, Cambridge advertised for a doctor of chocolate.



Scientists want to bring back extinct Caspian tiger

Until recently, the tigers roamed Central Asia, from the Caspian Sea to north-west China, before struggles that included loss of habitat robbed them of their prey. Ever since Caspian tigers disappeared, biologists and conservationists have tried to come up with a strategy to bring tigers back to Central Asia. It's not clear exactly when the Caspian tiger died out. Some reports suggest it was last seen in the 1950s, while others date its extinction to the 1970s. Another tiger subspecies known as the Amur tiger is genetically very similar to the Caspian tiger and could potentially survive in Central Asia. Between 2010 and 2012, scientists conducted studies that showed that Caspian and Amur tigers were almost identical in their genetic structure. Researchers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and State University of New York (SUNY) say they have found two spots in Kazakhstan to reintroduce the extinct enormous cat.

The species would also need hooved-animals to prey upon and numbers of these in the area are still low. This is predicted to take at least 15 years.


Published in Young Nation magazine on January 28, 2017