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Institute named after him

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Dr James Martin is to have an institute named after him at Oxford University. It will research the global effects of technology.

The computing pioneer and prolific author has made a multi-million pound donation to his old university - an initial gift of £700,000 will rise to £1.4m annually in perpetuity, according to the BBC.

The James Martin institute will debate issues such as genomics and nanotechnology, and will bring researchers togeter with leading figures in politics and business. Oxford's vice-chancellor, Sir Colin Lucas, said this would allow mankind to gain "maximum benefit" from technological developments.

Martin said the impact of technology is one of the most important areas a university could study. He told the BBC: "The 21st Century will present humanity with unparalleled problems and opportunities. The institute will teach, pursue research and influence policy in areas that are critical to these challenges and to the future of world civilization."

Martin founded an IT consultancy, called Headstrong, in 1981. He has written 101 boooks, one of which, "The Wired Society: A Challenge for Tomorrow", was nominated for the Pulitzer prize. ®

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