News Releases

UWI highlights 60 researchers under 60

For Release Upon Receipt - September 8, 2008

St. Augustine

The Caribbean region may be the hiding place of many of the world’s undiscovered treasures. This year, as The University of the West Indies (UWI) marks its 60th Anniversary Celebrations, the institution has managed to unearth a few hidden gems in the form of some of the world’s top researchers. The newest publication from the university, titled 60 under 60, puts the spotlight on these world-class academics, many of whom hail from Caribbean countries, and who have had significant impact in the region and beyond.

“In 60 under 60, we celebrate some of the men and women who are helping UWI to support the competitiveness of our society, as well as the humanitarian dimension, to ensure that the care of the most vulnerable in our society, and in the world, is not ignored by the rich and powerful,” says Professor E. Nigel Harris, UWI Vice Chancellor.

The research interests of the 60 featured academics span numerous fields including astronomy, robotics, molecular biology, epidemiology of diseases, biodiversity conservation, climate modelling, steel pan technology, social psychology and international trade.

“The individuals featured in this publication are only a representation of the rich and diverse group of scholars and thinkers who make up our university—in truth there are many more not included. Those selected are all under 60 years old and together represent the assurance that our University will have the talent and promise to sustain us as the leading Caribbean university for many years to come.”

Professor Stephan Gift, of the UWI St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago, is featured in 60 under 60. Prof Gift’s work has yielded a new model of the electron that explains why electrons and protons have the same charge magnitude, and a new theory of magnetism that for the first time accounts for chemical reactivity, covalent bonds, and the solidity of matter. He is one example of how much The University of the West Indies has contributed on the world stage. Taken as a whole, the researchers featured in 60 under 60 showcase the university as an innovative, internationally competitive, contemporary university that is deeply rooted in the Caribbean.

“60 under 60 is a snapshot of the possibilities that UWI offers the region,” says Mrs Dawn-Marie De Four-Gill, UWI Marketing and Communications Director. “The innovative research and development that is sometimes overlooked by the very persons who fund us—the people of the Caribbean—must be viewed as an opportunity for alumni, friends and the private sector to invest tangibly in the continued development of UWI.”

Published in commemoration of UWI’s 60th anniversary, 60 under 60 is a special edition of the UWI’s Pelican Magazine. The book was previewed at UWI’s Dining with the Stars Anniversary Gala event in Mona, Jamaica in July 2008, and will be released in UWI Campus bookstores later this year.

Visit the 60 under 60 website 


The University of the West Indies is a contemporary, international tertiary education institution offering innovative programmes, modern facilities and collaborative lonks wit over sixty institutions worldwide. The UWI is the largest internationally accredited university in the region, serving over 40,000 local, regional and international students. UWI is committed to be first in the development of new knowledge unique to the Caribbean and small-island states, and to be the first port of call for Caribbean governments seeking advice and technical expertise for policy development, strategic planning and programme implementation. Persons interested in making donations to the UWI can do so by contributing to the University Campus Endowment Funds, scholarship funds, academic chairs, and new facilities.


Vice Chancellor, Prof. E. Nigel Harris, is coordinating UWI staff, students and alumni to organise region-wide signature 60th Anniversary events. The Anniversary Celebrations were launched with a formal Opening Ceremony on Saturday 12th January, 2008 at UWI Cave Hill, Barbados. On July 12th to 19th, 2008, UWI Mona, Jamaica hosted a special Convocation Week, which included an official reception hosted by UWI Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne, and a formal banquet attended by several regional heads of state. As the culmination of the yearlong celebrations, a gala black-tie dinner will be hosted by UWI St. Augustine Campus on December 12th, 2008. Proceeds from all UWI 60th Anniversary initiatives will be channelled into a special UWI Regional Endowment Fund, which will facilitate infrastructural projects across the region.

For more information on the UWI 60th Anniversary, please visit or contact the UWI 60th Anniversary Secretariat at; (Tel.) 876 977 0014, Ext. 2525; UWI 60th Anniversary Secretariat, Office of the Vice Chancellor, UWI Mona, Jamaica or the Local Organising Committee at (Tel) 868 662-2002 Ext. 3635.