What happens to your brain when you fall in love? We take a look at what international researchers have discovered about romance, sex, heartache, and the chemicals that make us go all googly-eyed!Continue reading
Though she did not take the easiest path, a desire for new knowledge and the application of mathematics in complex problems has led Dr Martha Borg to critical acclaim in the field of theoretical chemistry. Here she tells Becky Catrin Jones how she fought through many challenges to achieve her goals.Continue reading
Gene sequencing for disease treatment
A staggering amount of diseases can be traced back to a genetic cause. Dr Rosienne Farrugia talks to THINK about her team’s efforts to use genome sequencing to eventually secure timely treatment for some very serious conditions.Continue reading
By Josef Borg
If you were to travel back in time to Earth’s distant past, about three billion years ago, you would find a planet bearing barely any semblance to today’s world. A toxic atmosphere primarily composed of methane swathed our planet as its surface, devoid of liquid water at the time, was incessantly bombarded by small asteroids. While time travel evades our current realm of possibilities, we do have a replica of this past, primordial Earth right in our cosmic backyard!Continue reading
Over the last few decades researchers have been unravelling the truth behind marijuana. Prof. Giuseppe Di Giovanni tells us more about its use in medical research.Continue reading
Urban areas suffer from crippling traffic issues and gross water wastage. The University of Malta could become a living experiment to test innovative solutions to these problems. Words by Natasha Padfield.Continue reading
During the mid-1970s, the Faculties of Science and Arts were closed down, and the Bachelor programmes phased out. Most of the foreign (mainly British) academics left Malta, as did some Maltese colleagues. Those few who stayed were assigned teaching duties at the newly established Faculty of Education and Faculty of Engineering. Relatively little research took place, except when funds were unneccessary, and it is thanks to these few that scientific publications kept trickling out.
In 1987, the Faculties of Arts and Science were reconstituted. The Faculty of Science had four ‘divisions’ which became the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. In the same year, I returned from the UK to join the Faculty.
Things gradually improved as more staff and students joined. However, equipment was either obsolete or beyond repair. The B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) course was re-launched with an evening course. Faculty members worked flat out in very poor conditions. The Physics and Mathematics building was still shared with Engineering. Despite these problems, we had a Faculty and identity. Nevertheless, we wanted our courses to be of international repute—our guiding principle.
During the 1990s, yearly budgets had improved slightly along with experimental facilities. Computers and the occasional capital investment helped immensely. Research output increased, as did student numbers, while postgraduate Masters and Ph.D. students started to appear.
Since 2005, some faculty members have been working hard to secure European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) by submitting proposals to reinforce our research infrastructure. A total of six projects were approved with a combined budget of nearly €5 million. This has resulted in new, state of the art research facilities and an exponential increase in research output, bolstered by additional academic staff and research student numbers of close to 80.
Students are now organised and active through S-Cubed, the Science Students’ Society. This leading organisation is one of the three faculty pillars: the academic and support staff, and the student body. Together, we have made giant strides and the future looks bright.
Special thanks to Prof. Stanley Fiorini who helped us compile our timeline, aided by Prof. Josef Lauri.