Media Relations

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The UCL Media Relations team is the university’s central press office.

We connect journalists to expert academics and promote UCL research and teaching throughout the global media.

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UCLOpinion is the home for opinion and expertise from around the UCL academic community on topical social and political issues. Views expressed are those of the authors, and not of UCL.



Oh, pardon; those gassy burps may signal life on Mars

For many years I have had a deep desire to retire to the planet Mars. It just seems the ideal end for a crazy scientist like me. But recent findings from the Curiosity rover may have put the kibosh on my plans. The detection of spikes in the levels of methane in the atmosphere is causing much discussion because it is hard to find a simple geological explanation for the variations. One theory that could explain the phenomenon would be the presence of living organisms on Mars, writes Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock (UCL Physics & Astronomy) in The Times (£). More...

Published: Dec 22, 2014 12:10:49 PM


Prozac and PMS – how antidepressants could help with that painful time of the month

Already widely prescribed as antidepressants, SSRIs such as fluoxetine (the non-brand name for Prozac) have gained increasing acceptance over the past 20 years in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Recent research has given us an idea of the way these drugs do this, which should pave the way to improved treatment, writes Dr Jonathan Fry (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) in The Conversation. More...

Published: Dec 22, 2014 11:35:47 AM

Emily Morris

Diplomatic thaw with the US is a gift to the Cuban economy

The restoration of full diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, announced simultaneously by Barack Obama and Raúl Castro yesterday, is a huge political breakthrough. The benefits to the Cuban economy, however, will be more gradual. Economic sanctions by the US against Cuba began in 1960. They consisted of a range of measures, only some of which can be removed by the US president in the short term. The rest require congressional approval, which is likely to be a difficult and protracted process, writes Dr Emily Morris (UCL Institute of the Americas) in The Conversation. More...

Published: Dec 19, 2014 1:27:30 PM

Mark Maslin

Why I’ll talk politics with climate change deniers – but not science

There are many complex reasons why people decide not to accept the science of climate change. The doubters range from the conspiracy theorist to the sceptical scientist, or from the paid lobbyist to the raving lunatic. Climate scientists, myself included, and other academics have strived to understand this reluctance. We wonder why so many people are unable to accept a seemingly straight-forward pollution problem. And we struggle to see why climate change debates have inspired such vitriol, writes Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) in The Conversation. More...

Published: Dec 17, 2014 4:01:43 PM

Philippe Sands

Lawyers must be held to account for authorising torture

Dianne Feinstein and the US Senate intelligence committee have produced a brave and damning report on torture by the CIA. It will go some way in preventing the use of torture, yet there is more to be done, writes Professor Philippe Sands (UCL Laws) in the Financial Times. More...

Published: Dec 16, 2014 10:42:22 AM