The Natural History Museum’s director, Sir Neil Chalmers, is to become the next warden of Wadham College. Wadham made the announcement following the news that their current warden, John Flemming, will leave in July because of ill health. Mr Flemming’s announcement came as a great surprise to staff and students as he was expecting to continue in his post for another decade. Wadham is said to be “grief stricken” at the announcement that Flemming is suffering from cancer, which has forced early retirement. Sir Neil will take over the post of Warden in October 2004, until which time the sub-warden Jeffrey Hackney will be Acting Warden. He will not be able to come any earlier as he is committed to a project at the Natural History Museum which seeks to raise in excess of £68,000. Hackney is confident that Chalmers will be an excellent warden, saying that the college had ‘a very good feel for him’ when they interviewed candidates and that he had ‘happily accepted’ the offer of the post. Sir Neil has been educated at both Oxford and Cambridge and pursued an academic career before becoming Dean of Science at the Open University. He has held his post at the Natural History Museum since 1988, a period of significant change, during which free access to the museum has been introduced, a policy which he actively promoted. He initiated the process of opening the museum’s vast collections of specimens to the public, as part of the Darwin Centre project, phase one of which was completed last year.
ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003

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