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Latest Social & Historical Sciences News

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

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Jon Bull Slavery

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

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groundwater

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

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Food sharing among BaYaka

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.

UCL researchers elected to British Academy

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British Academy Fellows

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

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cave

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.

Camp stability predicts patterns of hunter–gatherer cooperation

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Agta

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 economists warn of historic economic risks from Brexit

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Portico

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

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Gentrify this

Data from location-based social networks may be able to predict when a neighbourhood will go through the process of gentrification, by identifying areas with high social diversity and high deprivation.

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

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New York skyline

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

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Fieldsite in China

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

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Pygmy group musicians

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.

UCL launches free online course examining global social media impact

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South Indian Field Site

Anyone with an interest in how social media is used around the world can now sign up for Why We Post: The Anthropology of Social Media, UCL’s first MOOC (massive open online course).

UCL staff recognised in New Year Honours 2016

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Portico Statue

Congratulations to the members of the UCL community who have been recognised in the 2016 New Year Honours list.

Tropical groundwater resources resilient to climate change

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Artesian well in central semi-arid Tanzania

Tropical groundwater may prove to be a climate-resilient source of freshwater in the tropics as intense rainfall favours the replenishment of these resources, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters.

Research Images as Art/Art images as Research: 2015/16 winners announced

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Red poppies in the mouse brain

A diverse and fascinating series of images were unveiled as the winners of the Research Images as Art / Art Images as Research competition for 2015/16, run by the UCL Doctoral School.

Stonehenge ‘bluestone’ quarries confirmed 140 miles away in Wales

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Excavations at Craig Rhos-y-felin

Excavation of two quarries in Wales by a UCL-led team of archaeologists and geologists has confirmed they are sources of Stonehenge’s ‘bluestones’– and shed light on how they were quarried and transported. 

International UCL-led study prompts rethink on the rise of diabetes in cities

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Cities Changing Diabetes

New research led by UCL for the Cities Changing Diabetes partnership shows socio-cultural factors including time pressure, commuting time and where you live play significant roles in diabetes vulnerability.

Engraved stones revealed at ice age pioneer basecamp

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Engraved stones

Archaeologists from the UK working in the Channel Island of Jersey have found the remains of a 14,000 year old hunter-gatherer settlement offering great views over landscapes now drowned by the English Channel. 

Feeding Stonehenge: what was on the menu for Stonehenge’s builders, 2500 BC

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Durrington

Archaeologists from a consortium of universities including UCL have found out what people ate while building Stonehenge, by analysing the food residues preserved in their pots as well as the animal bones and other food waste from the large settlement of Durrington Walls near Stonehenge.

Islamist insurgency strongly influences where polio occurs

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Polio Vaccination Campaign in South Sudan

Islamist insurgency has had a strong effect on where polio cases occur since 2011, potentially as a reaction to the use of counterinsurgency strategies, according to new research led by UCL.

How the Inuit adapted to Ice Age living and a high-fat diet

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The_Inuit

Greenland natives – the Inuit – have mutations in genes that control how the body uses fat which provides the clearest evidence to date that human populations are adapted to particular diets according to new UCL research. The genetic differences allow the Inuit to physically adapt to survive Arctic conditions and live healthily on a traditional diet which is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from marine mammal fat.

Seven Ponds in Seven Days

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Helen Greaves and Emily Alderton

Kicking off on 20 September, a conservation project in Norfolk is highlighting the vital role of ponds in the English countryside as part of a “seven ponds in seven days” restoration challenge.

Scientists warn only ‘simplified’, degraded tropical forest may remain by end of century

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Cut Tree

A new and more dangerous phase of impacts on the world’s remaining tropical forests is emerging, threatening to simplify the world’s most diverse ecosystem including mass species loss, according to new UCL-led research published today in Science. 

Heat release from stagnant deep sea helped end last Ice Age

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Arctic Ice Shelf

The build-up and subsequent release of warm, stagnant water from the deep Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas played a role in ending the last Ice Age within the Arctic region, according to new research led by a UCL scientist.

Professor Chris Husbands takes up new post as Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University 

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Professor Chris Husbands

Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and Vice-Provost (Academic Development & London) has announced that he will be leaving UCL to take up the appointment of Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University from January 2016.

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