From nanohealth to Richard Burton – researchers’ visit will strengthen Swansea University’s links with the USA

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Two senior researchers from Swansea University will be strengthening links with America, from The Richard Burton Diaries to new developments in nanohealth, as they fly the flag for Swansea and Wales in the USA next week.

Burton diaries with gloved hands

The main focus of the visit, by University Vice Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies and history Professor Chris Williams, is the US launch of The Richard Burton Diaries.  The handwritten diaries, which Burton began in 1939 and ended just before his death in 1984, are part of the Richard Burton archive at Swansea University. 

The diaries were donated to the University by Burton’s wife Sally. They have been edited for publication by Professor Chris Williams, and are being launched in front of senior American figures from the arts and academia at events in New York and Los Angeles.

However, Swansea University’s links with the US Ago beyond the Burton diaries. 

-          Nanohealth –Swansea University collaborates with several US institutions in this area, including Texas A and M, and Rice University

-          US Scholars in Residence have taught at Swansea, for example from Colorado State University, University of North Carolina Wilmington and the University of Tennessee

-          Student exchange schemes have twinned Swansea with over 20 partner institutions in the USA, including California State University, University of Illinois, and Louisiana State University

-          Swansea’s American Studies department offers expertise on the USA, and its excellent sources on the US Civil War recently prompted a visit by American history buff – and Manchester United football manager – Sir Alex Ferguson

Richard Burton's diaries - different formats

Professor Richard B Davies, who will be meeting research councils and senior figures from American universities during the visit, underlined the importance of these links:

“Active international links are critical in making Swansea the strong research intensive university it is and creating the outstanding career and life-enhancing opportunities enjoyed by our students.

Since its foundation in 1920, Swansea University has embraced opportunities to think globally whilst remaining true to its regional roots.  

The University is internationally active, attracting students and staff from over one hundred countries, with approximately 30% of all new staff recruited over the last five years from outside the UK.

Hundreds of Swansea students already spend part of their course studying somewhere else in the world and this is a hugely maturing experience greatly valued by employers. We want to grow these numbers further.

Our Academic Schools enjoy strong links with partner institutions around the world, and much of the University’s teaching and research has global relevance.

Maintaining and extending these links is very important, and we shall be using this opportunity to make sure Swansea is in the spotlight in the USA.”

Professor Chris Williams

Professor Chris Williams, who edited The Richard Burton Diaries, and who will be speaking about them at the launch events in the USA, said:

“Richard Burton was, and remains, a global name and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to speak internationally about his personal diaries, which reveal the deeply cultured, widely-read, intellectual man he was.  And I think he would have been very pleased as well.”

The pictures should be credited to The Richard Burton Archive, Swansea University