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Social & Historical Sciences

Constitution Unit launches Independent Commission on Referendums

The UCL Constitution Unit today launches an Independent Commission on Referendums, bringing together a group of very senior figures to deliberate on the use and conduct of referendums in the UK. The Commission will meet over 8 months, take evidence, and produce a report and detailed recommendations in summer 2018.

UCL academics elected to British Academy

Four members of the UCL community have been elected as Fellows of the British Academy, in recognition of their outstanding research.

Documenting the human domestication of seeds from 2000BC

The rate of evolution of seed coat thinning, a major marker of crop domestication from archaeological remains, has been documented for the first time by UCL scientists using the UK’s synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source.

Buried alive: Aquatic plants survive in ‘ghost ponds’ under agricultural fields

Aquatic plants in ‘ghost ponds’ are able to survive more than 100 years buried beneath cropped agricultural fields, according to new UCL research.

UCL community recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

A number of people from the UCL community have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

University Archaeology Day aims to tackle growing demand for archaeologists

UCL archaeologists are working with experts from 24 other universities to create the UK’s first University Archaeology Day, aimed at inspiring a much needed next generation of archaeologists.

Simple rule predicts when an ice age ends

A simple rule can accurately predict when Earth’s climate warms out of an ice age, according to new research led by UCL.

Key friendships vital for effective human social networks

Close friendships facilitate the exchange of information and culture, making social networks more effective for cultural transmission, according to new UCL research that used wireless tracking technology to map social interactions in remote hunter-gatherer populations.

Study sheds light on the function of the penis bone in male competition

A new UCL study examines how the baculum (penis bone) evolved in mammals and explores its possible function in primates and carnivores – groups where many species have a baculum, but some do not.

UCL Lancet Lecture launches global initiative linking climate change to health

UCL researchers are leading an initiative with The Lancet to address the global health implications of climate change, launching this week in conjunction with today’s 2016 UCL Lancet Lecture.

UCL leads UK with most Philip Leverhulme Prize winners

Five researchers from UCL Geography, UCL Economics, UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies, UCL Computer Science and the UCL Bartlett Developmental Planning Unit have been awarded 2016 Philip Leverhulme Prizes.

UCL partners with Twitter to broadcast lecture on Periscope

A UCL lecture will be live-streamed around the world today on the Periscope platform, in the first partnership of its kind with a UK university.

The Orwell Prize moves to UCL

Prestigious political writing award The Orwell Prize has moved to the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies.

UCL economist receives Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize

The Jacobs Foundation have awarded Professor Orazio Attanasio, Head of UCL Economics and Research Director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), 1 million Swiss francs for his use of economic models and field experiments to assess and shape early child development programs and policies in low income countries.

New Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership launched at UCL

UCL is proud to announce the establishment of the new Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership in UCL History, with the support of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University.

Quality not quantity greatest threat to key groundwater source

The greatest threat to sustainable groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic Basin is contamination and not depletion, according to a study co-authored by UCL researchers and published this week in Nature Geoscience .

What hunter-gatherers can tell us about human social networks

Hunter-gatherers have a three-tiered social network to increase the chance the whole community has enough to eat, according to new UCL research which looked at two contemporary hunter-gatherer groups.

Camp stability predicts patterns of hunter–gatherer cooperation

Food-sharing is more prevalent in stable hunter-gatherer camps, shows new UCL research that sheds light on the evolutionary roots of human cooperation.

UCL researchers elected to British Academy

Four academics from UCL have recently been elected as Fellows of the British Academy, in recognition of their outstanding research.

A federal origin of Stone Age farming

The transition from hunter-gatherer to sedentary farming 10,000 years ago occurred in multiple neighbouring but genetically distinct populations according to research by an international team including UCL.

UCL economists warn of historic economic risks from Brexit

47 economists from the UCL Department of Economics, ranked first in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, have added their voices to a warning that the economic costs of Brexit would be high.

Predicting gentrification through social networking data

Climate change adaptation spending in cities protects “wealth not people”

Developed cities are spending significantly more than developing cities on measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change – with spending seemingly linked to wealth rather than number of vulnerable people – finds UCL research.

The world’s social media habits uncovered in new UCL study

Why do we post selfies in England and footies in Chile? Why is social media considered a distraction to education in rural China, yet a valuable learning aid in Brazil? And how quintessentially English are we when it comes to our social media activity?

First estimate of Pygmy population in Central Africa reveals their plight

The forests of Central Africa could be home to up to 920,000 Pygmies, according to researchers from UCL, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Malaga, who have conducted the first measured estimate of the population and distribution of these indigenous groups.