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University links with Top Ten poll

The first two of ten contenders for the title of the County’s Greatest – a Leicester Mercury poll currently attracting considerable local interest – are both linked to the University of Leicester: Genetics pioneer Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys and playwright Joe Orton.

It was here in September 1984 that Professor – now Sir – Alec Jeffreys discovered DNA fingerprinting, which has had a worldwide impact on both science and society, including the areas of crime detection, paternity cases and historical identification. The citation to support the Leicester Mercury’s case for his inclusion in this selection says, “Without doubt, Sir Alec deserves his place in Leicestershire’s ten greatest”.

A major collection of material relating to Leicester-born Joe Orton – a piece of literary history - is presently housed in the University of Leicester Library’s Special Collections. The Joe Orton Collection consists of manuscripts, letters and other original material written, compiled or collected by him, plus correspondence and memorabilia connected with the Orton family. Joe Orton died in 1967. Hilary Spurling of The Spectator said of him, “He deserves our attention, not simply as one of our most astute and sophisticated playwrights, but also as a portent of our times”. 

November 2002 

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Last updated: 21 November 2002 17:00
Created by: Rachel Tunstall
Maintained by: Barbara Whiteman

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