University of Bath Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex, visited the University’s Claverton campus this week to meet researchers, staff and students from the Department of Psychology and Milner Centre for Evolution.

The visit, which also marked the fifth anniversary of the installation of the Chancellor at the University, was an opportunity for him to see first-hand two of the newest buildings on campus: 10 West and the recently-opened Milner Centre for Evolution.

The Department of Psychology’s research covers clinical, cognitive, developmental, environmental, health, and social aspects of psychology. According to The Guardian University Guide 2018 it is ranked first in the country for Psychology. During the visit, the Chancellor learnt more about the pioneering work of the Department’s Centre for Applied Autism Research and also toured a new Virtual Reality lab space.

The Milner Centre for Evolution brings together intellectual expertise in a state-of-the-art research facility. The building - which was officially opened this September - includes offices, laboratories, a seminar room and an area for outreach activities. Part of the Department of Biology & Biochemistry, the Centre is named after Bath alumnus, Dr Jonathan Milner, who donated £5.6 million towards its establishment. The Wolfson Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation also made substantial contributions.

The Centre focuses on both fundamental and applied evolutionary research. During the visit, the Chancellor learnt more about how improving knowledge in this area can have important impacts, in particular for future healthcare. The other key element of the Centre’s work focuses on outreach, in particular to school-aged children, in order to improve understanding about evolution. As part of the visit the Chancellor joined in with local schoolchildren trying out some interactive evolutionary activities.

As part of his visit, the Chancellor also met with applicants and their families attending an open day in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Professor Laurence Hurst, Director of the Milner Centre for Evolution, said: “It was a real honour to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to the brand new Milner Centre for Evolution. We are particularly excited about the potential for this Centre in helping to improve evolutionary understanding and in conducting research that will have significant, applied impacts in the years to come. It was a fantastic opportunity for members of the team to share their enthusiasm with the Chancellor.”

Professor Greg Maio, Head of the Department of Psychology, said: “Thanks to a number of high-ranking positions in national tables in recent years, the Department of Psychology at Bath is really on the map both for its teaching and its research. This week’s visit was a great occasion to showcase our teaching and research to the Chancellor, including research with high impact and activities in our new state-of-the-art labs.”

Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bernie Morley added: “It is always an honour to welcome the Chancellor to Bath to show him our latest developments and activities. This week’s visit to the Department of Psychology and Milner Centre for Evolution was an opportunity for him to meet the people behind two fantastic areas of the University which continue to go from strength to strength. His visit was also a chance to celebrate his five year tenure as Chancellor and his continued contribution as an ambassador for the University.”