University of London
The University of London is a collegiate federal research university located in London, England. As of October 2018, the university contains 18 member institutions, central academic bodies and research institutes; the university has over 52,000 distance learning external students and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of students in the United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awarding examination board for students holding certificates from University College London and King's College London and "other such other Institutions, corporate or unincorporated, as shall be established for the purpose of Education, whether within the Metropolis or elsewhere within our United Kingdom", allowing it to be one of three institutions to claim the title of the third-oldest university in England, moved to a federal structure in 1900, it is now incorporated by its fourth royal charter and governed by the University of London Act 1994.
It was the first university in the United Kingdom to introduce examinations for women in 1869 and, a decade the first to admit women to degrees. In 1948 it became the first British university to appoint a woman as its vice chancellor; the university's colleges house the oldest teaching hospitals in England. For most practical purposes, ranging from admissions to funding, the constituent colleges operate on an independent basis, with many awarding their own degrees whilst remaining in the federal university; the largest colleges by enrolment as of 2016/17 are UCL, King's College London, Queen Mary, the London School of Economics, Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, each of which has over 9,000 students. Smaller, more specialist, colleges are the School of Oriental and African Studies, St George's, the Royal Veterinary College, London Business School, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Institute of Cancer Research.
Imperial College London was a member from 1907 before it became an independent university in 2007, Heythrop College was a member from 1970 until its closure in 2018. City is the most recent constituent college, having joined on 1 September 2016; as of 2015, there are around 2 million University of London alumni across the world, including 12 monarchs or royalty, 52 presidents or prime ministers, 84 Nobel laureates, 6 Grammy winners, 2 Oscar winners, 3 Olympic gold medalists and the "Father of the Nation" of several countries. University College London was founded under the name “London University” in 1826 as a secular alternative to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which limited their degrees to members of the established Church of England; as a result of the controversy surrounding UCL's establishment, King's College London was founded as an Anglican college by royal charter in 1829. In 1830, UCL applied for a royal charter as a university; this was rejected, but renewed in 1834. In response to this, opposition to "exclusive" rights grew among the London medical schools.
The idea of a general degree awarding body for the schools was discussed in the medical press. And in evidence taken by the Select Committee on Medical Education. However, the blocking of a bill to open up Oxford and Cambridge degrees to dissenters led to renewed pressure on the Government to grant degree awarding powers to an institution that would not apply religious tests as the degrees of the new University of Durham were to be closed to non-Anglicans. In 1835, the government announced the response to UCL's petition for a charter. Two charters would be issued, one to UCL incorporating it as a college rather than a university, without degree awarding powers, a second "establishing a Metropolitan University, with power to grant academical degrees to those who should study at the London University College, or at any similar institution which his Majesty might please hereafter to name". Following the issuing of its charter on 28 November 1836, the new University of London started drawing up regulations for degrees in March 1837.
The death of William IV in June, resulted in a problem – the charter had been granted "during our Royal will and pleasure", meaning it was annulled by the king's death. Queen Victoria issued a second charter on 5 December 1837; the university awarded its first degrees in 1839, all to King's College. The university established by the charters of 1836 and 1837 was an examining board with the right to award degrees in arts and medicine. However, the university did not have the authority to grant degrees in theology, considered the senior faculty in the other three English universities. In medicine, the university was given the right to determine which medical schools provided sufficient medical training. In arts and law, by contrast, it would examine students from UCL, King's College, or any other school or college granted a royal warrant giving the government control of which colleges could affiliate to the university. Beyond the right to submit students for examination, there was no other connection between the affiliated colleges and the university.
In 1849 the university held its first graduation ceremony at Somerset House following a petition to the senate from the graduates, who had received their degrees without any ceremony. About 250 students graduated at this ceremony; the London academic robes of this period were distinguished by their "rich velvet facings". The list of affiliated colleges g
Quarraisha Abdool Karim
Quarraisha Abdool Karim is a South African epidemiologist, known for her many contributions to AIDS research. She is the Associate Scientific Director of the AIDS research center, CAPRISA, a professor in Clinical Epidemiology at the Columbia University, an honorary professor in Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, she is the vice-president of the African Academy of Sciences. Karim's research is world-renowned, most notably with the CAPRISA 004 study, where she was the principal investigator, her work has been awarded on many occasions, including the Order of Mapungubwe, the highest honor in South Africa, the prestigious L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Awards for helping to combat HIV and improving the life of African women. Abdool Karim was born in Tongaat in South Africa in 1960. In 1981, she graduated with a bachelor of science from the University of Durban-Westville. Abdool Karim moved on to the University of Witwatersrand, gaining a bachelor of science honours degree in Biochemistry.
For her master's degree, Abdool Karim moved to the United States, gaining her master's in Parasitology in 1988, from Columbia University. In 2000, she completed her PhD in Medicine in South Africa. In the 1990s, South Africa had seen an HIV epidemic. During this time, Abdool Karim began her socia-behavioural studies in relation to HIV, in South Africa, she conducted population-based surveys, aiming to the understand the spread of the epidemic in women, as well as researching on additional factors such as gender and migration. In 1992, Abdool Karim et al. published a paper, highlighting that women were more vulnerable to the HIV infection. The study found a correlation between migration and HIV; this correlation was found to be emphasised among men. During the 1990s, Abdool Karim conducted numerous studies and wrote a handful of papers, studying the infection and highlighting the different groups who were more at risk to the disease. In 2007, CAPRISA conducted a clinical trial, named CAPRISA 004, Abdool Karim was the principal investigator.
This underlying aim of this study was to investigate the affects of Tenefovir gel, in reducing the risk of HIV contraction. The CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial resulted in a proof of concept for Microbicides. Overall, the study demonstrated protection against the HIV infection, with a 39% reduction in infections. Additionally, at the XVIII International AIDS Conference, 2010, the results of their CAPRISA 004 study led to a standing ovation, an uncommon occurrence at a scientific meeting. Abdool Karim has won many awards for her work on AIDS research; this includes the TWAS-Lenovo Science prize. Here, she became the first women recipient of that award. 2011: Olusegun Obasanjo Prize 2013: Order of Mapungubwe 2014: TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize 2014: SAMRC Scientific Merit Award 2014: ASSAF Science-for-Society Award 2015: eThekwini Living Legends Award 2016: L'Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science Quarraisha Abdool Karim is married to the South African epidemiologist, Salim'Slim' Abdool Karim, whom she sometimes collaborates with on research.
She has three children. Abdool Karim owns a house in Durban and has an apartment in Manhattan. In 2017, the BBC named Abdool Karim as one of the seven trailblazing women in science
J. M. Coetzee
John Maxwell Coetzee is a South African-born novelist, linguist and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. He lives in Adelaide, he became an Australian citizen in 2006. In 2013, Richard Poplak of the Daily Maverick described Coetzee as "inarguably the most celebrated and decorated living English-language author". Before receiving the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, Coetzee was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, CNA Prize, the Prix Femina étranger, The Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Booker Prize, among other accolades, he was born in Cape Town, Cape Province, Union of South Africa, on 9 February 1940 to Afrikaner parents. His father, Zacharias Coetzee, was an occasional attorney and government employee, his mother, Vera Coetzee, was a schoolteacher; the family spoke English at home, but John spoke Afrikaans with other relatives. He is descended from early Dutch immigrants to South Africa in the 17th century on his father's side, while his mother was a descendant of Dutch and Polish immigrants.
Coetzee spent most of his early life in Cape Town and in Worcester in Cape Province, as recounted in his fictionalised memoir, Boyhood. The family moved to Worcester, he attended St. Joseph's College, a Catholic school in the Cape Town suburb of Rondebosch studying mathematics and English at the University of Cape Town and receiving his Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English in 1960 and his Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Mathematics in 1961, he relocated to the United Kingdom, in 1962, worked as a computer programmer for IBM in London, ICT in Bracknell staying until 1965. In 1963, while still in the UK, Coetzee was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the University of Cape Town for a thesis on the novels of Ford Madox Ford entitled "The Works of Ford Madox Ford with Particular Reference to the Novels", his experiences in England were recounted in Youth, his second volume of fictionalised memoirs. Coetzee went to the University of Texas at Austin, in the United States, on the Fulbright Program in 1965, receiving his doctorate in 1969.
His PhD dissertation was a computer-aided stylistic analysis of Samuel Beckett's English prose. In 1968, he began teaching English literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo where he stayed until 1971, it was at Buffalo that he began Dusklands. From as early as 1968 he sought permanent residence in the United States, a process, unsuccessful, in part due to his involvement in protests against the war in Vietnam. In March 1970, he had been one of 45 faculty members who occupied the university's Hayes Hall and were subsequently arrested for criminal trespass; the charges against the 45 were dropped in 1971. He returned to South Africa to teach English literature at the University of Cape Town, where he was promoted Professor of General Literature in 1983 and was Distinguished Professor of Literature between 1999 and 2001. Upon retiring in 2002 and relocating to Adelaide, Australia, he was made an honorary research fellow at the English Department of the University of Adelaide, where his partner, Dorothy Driver, is a fellow academic and served as professor on the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago until 2003.
Coetzee has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career, although he has a reputation for avoiding award ceremonies. He was the first writer to be awarded the Booker Prize twice: first for Life & Times of Michael K in 1983, again for Disgrace in 1999. Two other authors have since managed this -- Hilary Mantel. Summertime, named on the 2009 longlist, was an early favourite to win an unprecedented third Booker Prize for Coetzee, it subsequently made the shortlist, but lost out to bookmakers' favourite and eventual winner Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Coetzee was longlisted in 2003 for Elizabeth Costello and in 2005 for Slow Man; the Schooldays of Jesus, a follow up to his 2013 novel The Childhood of Jesus, was longlisted for the 2016 Booker Prize. On 2 October 2003, Horace Engdahl, head of the Swedish Academy, announced that Coetzee had been chosen as that year's recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the fourth African writer to be so honoured and the second South African after Nadine Gordimer.
When awarding the prize, the Swedish Academy stated that Coetzee "in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider". The press release for the award cited his "well-crafted composition, pregnant dialogue and analytical brilliance", while focusing on the moral nature of his work; the prize ceremony was held in Stockholm on 10 December 2003. He is a three-time winner of South Africa's CNA Prize, his Waiting for the Barbarians received both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, Age of Iron was awarded the Sunday Express Book of the Year award, The Master of Petersburg was awarded The Irish Times International Fiction Prize in 1995. He has won the French Prix Femina étranger, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the 1987 Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society. Coetzee was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe by the South African government on 27 September 2005 for his "exceptional contribution in the field of literature and for putting South Africa on the world stage."
He holds honorary doctorates from The American University of Paris, the University of Adelaide, La Trobe University, the University of Natal, the University of Oxford, Rhodes University, the State University
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a representative democratic election, his government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress party from 1991 to 1997. A Xhosa, Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in British South Africa, he studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg. There he became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics, joining the ANC in 1943 and co-founding its Youth League in 1944. After the National Party's white-only government established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged whites, he and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow.
Mandela was appointed President of the ANC's Transvaal branch, rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People. He was arrested for seditious activities and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason Trial. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South African Communist Party. Although committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government, he was arrested and imprisoned in 1962, subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state following the Rivonia Trial. Mandela served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison, Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure, with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990. Mandela and de Klerk led efforts to negotiate an end to apartheid, which resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory and became president.
Leading a broad coalition government which promulgated a new constitution, Mandela emphasised reconciliation between the country's racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. Economically, Mandela's administration retained its predecessor's liberal framework despite his own socialist beliefs introducing measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial and served as Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999, he declined a second presidential term, in 1999 was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation. Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Although critics on the right denounced him as a communist terrorist and those on the far-left deemed him too eager to negotiate and reconcile with apartheid's supporters, he gained international acclaim for his activism.
Regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice, he received more than 250 honours—including the Nobel Peace Prize—and became the subject of a cult of personality. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is referred to by his Xhosa clan name and described as the "Father of the Nation". Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata part of South Africa's Cape Province. Given the forename Rolihlahla, a Xhosa term colloquially meaning "troublemaker", in years he became known by his clan name, Madiba, his patrilineal great-grandfather, was king of the Thembu people in the Transkeian Territories of South Africa's modern Eastern Cape province. One of Ngubengcuka's sons, named Mandela, was the source of his surname; because Mandela was the king's child by a wife of the Ixhiba clan, a so-called "Left-Hand House", the descendants of his cadet branch of the royal family were morganatic, ineligible to inherit the throne but recognised as hereditary royal councillors.
Nelson Mandela's father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela, was a local chief and councillor to the monarch. In 1926, Gadla was sacked for corruption, but Nelson was told that his father had lost his job for standing up to the magistrate's unreasonable demands. A devotee of the god Qamata, Gadla was a polygamist with four wives, four sons and nine daughters, who lived in different villages. Nelson's mother was Gadla's third wife, Nosekeni Fanny, daughter of Nkedama of the Right Hand House and a member of the amaMpemvu clan of the Xhosa. Mandela stated that his early life was dominated by traditional Thembu custom and taboo, he grew up with two sisters in his mother's kraal in the village of Qunu, where he tended herds as a cattle-boy and spent much time outside with other boys. Both his parents were illiterate, but being a devout Christian, his mother sent him to a local Methodist school when he was about seven. Baptised a Methodist, Mandela was given the English forename of "Nelson" by his teacher.
When Mandela was about nine, his father came to stay at Qunu, where he died of an undiagnosed ailment which Mandela believed to be lung disease. Feeling "cut adrift", he said that he inherited his father's "proud rebelliousness" and "stubborn sense of fairness". Mandela's mother took him to the "Great Place" palace at Mqhekezw
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
George F. R. Ellis
George Francis Rayner Ellis, FRS, Hon. FRSSAf, is the emeritus distinguished professor of complex systems in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, he co-authored The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, published in 1973, is considered one of the world's leading theorists in cosmology. He is an active Quaker and in 2004 he won the Templeton Prize. From 1989 to 1992 he served as president of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation, he is a past president of the International Society for Religion. He is an A-rated researcher with the NRF. Ellis was a vocal opponent of apartheid during the National Party reign in the 1970s and 1980s, it is during this period that Ellis's research has focused on the more philosophical aspects of cosmology, for which he won the Templeton Prize, he was awarded the Order of the Star of South Africa by Nelson Mandela, in 1999.
On 18 May 2007, he was elected a fellow of the British Royal Society. In 2005 Ellis appeared as a guest speaker at the Nobel Conference in Minnesota. Born in 1939 to George Rayner Ellis, a newspaper editor, Gwendoline Hilda MacRobert Ellis in Johannesburg, George Francis Rayner Ellis attended the University of Cape Town, where he graduated with honours in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with distinction, he represented the university in fencing and flying. While a student at Cambridge University, where he received a PhD in applied maths and theoretical physics in 1964, he was on college rowing teams. At Cambridge, Ellis served as a research fellow from 1965 to 1967, was assistant lecturer in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics until 1970, was appointed university lecturer, serving until 1974. Ellis became a visiting professor at the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago in 1970, a lecturer at the Cargese Summer School in Corsica in 1971 and the Erice Summer School in Sicily in 1972, a visiting H3 professor at the University of Hamburg in 1972.
The following year, Ellis co-wrote The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with Stephen Hawking, debuting at a strategic moment in the development of General Relativity Theory. In the following year, Ellis returned to South Africa to accept an appointment as professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town, a position he held until his retirement in 2005. George Ellis has worked for many decades on anisotropic cosmologies and inhomogeneous universes, on the philosophy of cosmology, he is writing on the emergence of complexity, the way this is enabled by top-down causation in the hierarchy of complexity. In terms of philosophy of science, Ellis is a Platonist.: Hawking, S. W.. F. R.. The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-20016-5.: Low Income Housing Policy in South Africa, Urban Problems Research Unit, UCT, 1979.: Flat and Curved Space Times, Oxford University Press, 1988, revised 2000. Before the Beginning: Cosmology Explained, Bowerdean/Marion Boyars, 1993.: The Renaissance of General Relativity and Cosmology.
University Press, Cambridge 1993. Science Research Policy in South Africa, Royal Society of South Africa, 1994.: On The Moral Nature of the universe: Cosmology and Ethics. Fortress Press, 1996.: Wainwright, J.. F. R. Eds.. Dynamical Systems in Cosmology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-55457-2.: Is The Universe Open or Closed? The Density of Matter in the Universe. Cambridge University Press, 1997.: The Far Future Universe, Templeton Foundation Press, 2002. Science in Faith and Hope: an interaction, Quaker Books, 2004.: Relativistic Cosmology, Cambridge University Press, 2012. "How Can Physics Underlie the Mind? Top-Down Causation in the Human Context", Springer, 2016 Ellis has over 500 published articles including 17 in Nature. Notable papers include: "Covariant and Gauge Invariant Approach to Cosmological Density Fluctuations" "Schwarzschild black hole lensing" "arXiv:gr-qc/9812046v5 Cosmological models" "Gravitational lensing by naked singularities" "Cosmological perturbations and the physical meaning of gauge-invariant variables" The Astrophysical Journal, volume 395 "The case for an open Universe" in Nature 370, 609–615 "Physics and causality" in Nature 435, p. 743 "Is the Universe Expanding?", General Relativity and Gravitation, Vol. 9, Issue 2, pp. 87-94 In 2019 Rhodes University in Grahamstown announced it would award Ellis an honorary doctorate in laws List of science and religion scholars George Ellis's web page Professor George Ellis: a man of many parts, Cape Argus, 18 March 2004 George Ellis's scientific work as listed at SPIRES Interview with George Ellis on Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett George Ellis extended interview with transcript for the'Why Are We Here?'
Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. Easter Island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park, it is believed that Easter Island's Polynesian inhabitants arrived on Easter Island sometime near 1200 AD. They created a thriving and industrious culture, as evidenced by the island's numerous enormous stone moai and other artifacts. However, land clearing for cultivation and the introduction of the Polynesian rat led to gradual deforestation. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island's population was estimated to be 2,000–3,000. European diseases, Peruvian slave raiding expeditions in the 1860s, emigration to other islands, e.g. Tahiti, further depleted the population, reducing it to a low of 111 native inhabitants in 1877.
Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. In 1966, the Rapa Nui were granted Chilean citizenship. In 2007 the island gained the constitutional status of "special territory." Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, comprising a single commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. The 2017 Chilean census registered 7,750 people on the island, of whom 3,512 considered themselves Rapa Nui. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world; the nearest inhabited land is Pitcairn Island, 2,075 kilometres away. Easter Island is considered part of Insular Chile; the name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday in 1722, while searching for "Davis Land". Roggeveen named it Paasch-Eyland; the island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua means "Easter Island". The current Polynesian name of the island, Rapa Nui, was coined after the slave raids of the early 1860s, refers to the island's topographic resemblance to the island of Rapa in the Bass Islands of the Austral Islands group.
However, Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl argued that Rapa was the original name of Easter Island and that Rapa Iti was named by refugees from there. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island since French ethnologist Alphonse Pinart gave it the romantic translation "the Navel of the World" in his Voyage à l'Île de Pâques, published in 1877. William Churchill inquired about the phrase and was told that there were three te pito o te henua, these being the three capes of the island; the phrase appears to have been used in the same sense as the designation of "Land's End" at the tip of Cornwall. He was unable to elicit a Polynesian name for the island and concluded that there may not have been one. According to Barthel, oral tradition has it that the island was first named Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka, "The little piece of land of Hau Maka". However, there are two words pronounced pito in Rapa Nui, one meaning'end' and one'navel', the phrase can thus mean "The Navel of the World".
Another name, Mata ki te rangi, means "Eyes looking to the sky". Islanders are referred to in Spanish as pascuense. Oral tradition states the island was first settled by a two-canoe expedition, originating from Marae Renga, led by the chief Hotu Matu'a and his captain Tu'u ko Iho; the island was first scouted after Haumaka dreamed of such a far-off country. At their time of arrival, the island had Nga Tavake'a Te Rona. After a brief stay at Anakena, the colonists settled in different parts of the island. Hotu's heir, Tu'u ma Heke, was born on the island. Tu'u ko Iho is viewed as the leader who caused them to walk; the Easter Islanders are considered to be South-East Polynesians. Similar sacred zones with statuary in East Polynesia demonstrates homology with most of Eastern Polynesia. At contact, populations were about 3,000-4,000. By the 15th century, two confederations, hanau, of social groupings, existed, based on lineage; the western and northern portion of the island belonged to the Tu'u, which included the royal Miru, with the royal center at Anakena, though Tahai and Te Peu served as earlier capitals.
The eastern portion of the island belonged to the'Otu'Itu. Shortly after the Dutch visit, from 1724 until 1750, the'Otu'Itu fought the Tu'u for control of the island; this fighting continued until the 1860s. Famine followed the destruction of fields. Social control vanished as the ordered way of life gave way to lawlessness and predatory bands as the warrior class took over. Homelessness prevailed, with many living underground. After the Spanish visit, from 1770 onwards, a period of statue toppling, huri mo'ai, commenced; this was an attempt by competing groups to destroy the socio-spiritual power, or mana, represented by statues, making sure to break them in the fall to ensure they were dead and without power. None were left standing by the time of the arrival of the French missionaries in the 1860s. Between 1862 and 1888, about 94 % of the population emigrated; the island was victimized by blackbirding from 1862 to 1863, res