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Gresham College, the 400-year-old college in the City of London with no formal students, has appointed two new professors. Mathematician Sir Roger Penrose FRS, soon to retire as Rouse Ball professor of mathematics at Oxford University, will become the college's new professor of geometry. International telecoms lawyer Gerald Wakefield will become professor of law. The college, funded by the City Corporation and the Mercers' Company, appoints eight professors (former incumbents include Sir Christopher Wren) in the sciences, arts and commerce to give free public lectures and discuss contemporary issues at conferences.

Sir Peter Hall (left) has taken on the role of principal patron of World Youth Theatre 2000. This event, which will take place in July 2000, will be the most ambitious international youth festival ever held. Sir Peter, former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, is now director of the Peter Hall Company at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Philip Norrey has joined Devon's education service as deputy director responsible for finance, the school building programme and information and communications technology. Dr Norrey was formerly assistant director of education in North Somerset. He succeeds Tony Smith, who was recently promoted to director of education following the departure of CEO Simon Jenkin.

Dr Peter Doyle, executive director of Zeneca Group Plc, has taken over from Sir Alistair Grant as chairman of the Biological Sciences Research Council. The research chemist, who took up his new post on May 1, will serve for four years. And Sir Anthony Cleaver, chairman of AEA Technology (the former Atomic Energy Authority), replaces Sir David Plastow as chairman of the Medical Research Council. The former IBM chairman is also a board memberof Business in the Community and chairman of the Independent Assessors of TECs.

Danielle Walker (left) and Roland Crooke will join social research charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation this summer. Ms Walker, head of policy at the National Lottery Charities Board, has been appointed director of policy and practice development, to co-ordinate the foundation's research and development programme. Mr Crooke, who has worked with the Notting Hill Housing Trust, will become director of housing operations. He replaces Cedric Dennis, who becomes the foundation's director of care services.

Dr Sally Power, formerly a lecturer at Bristol University's graduate school of education, has been appointed senior lecturer in policy studies at the Institute of Education,University of London. She will work with Professor Geoff Whitty in the department headed by Gareth Williams, professor of educational administration.

Maureen Clark has been appointed next head of Hunterhouse College, a Belfast independent school for more than 700 girls. Ms Clark, currently vice principal at the college and formerly of Chesham High School, Buckinghamshire, will take up her new post in September on the retirement of the present head, Doreen Hunter.

Sir Malcolm Thornton, Conservative chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Education until the last election, has joined the board of advertising and design agency Paver Downes Associates with a brief to extend its work in the education sector. The former MP for Crosby, who was defeated at the last election, is a school governor and married to a headteacher.

And Kieran Heakin, headteacher of St John's RC Junior School in Burnley, Lancashire, will be sworn in tonight as the new mayor of Whitworth, near Rochdale.

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