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UCLOpinion

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.

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Opinion

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Against excellence

Excellence is everywhere. Following the REF, the UK’s Universities are all rushing to take credit for their ‘excellence’. The Government’s recent science and innovation strategy talks about “the importance of achieving excellence”. Who’d be against that? If quality is good then surely excellence is better? I’m not so sure, writes Dr Jack Stilgoe (UCL Science & Technology Studies) in The Guardian. More...

Published: Jul 31, 2015 3:41:11 PM

Jennifer Rohn

The great beyond: will the UK science budget be cut by 40%?

Back in 2010, UK science dodged a bullet – sort of. Following a global recession, the scientific community was warned to expect cuts of up to 40% to the core research budget. We rallied, presenting strong arguments for the role of science in fueling the economy, writes Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) in the Guardian. More...

Published: Jul 30, 2015 4:45:23 PM

Rosie Webster

Have young people stopped fearing sexually transmitted infections?

The good news is that rates of teenage pregnancies are at record lows. In 2014 in England and Wales they were at the lowest rate since 1946, with only 15.6 pregnancies per 1,000 women younger than 20. Unfortunately, rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are still very high, writes Dr Rosie Webster (UCL Primary Care & Population Health) in The Conversation.
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Published: Jul 29, 2015 4:37:38 PM

Giovanna Tinetti

UK satellite Twinkle will boost search for Earth-like exoplanets

NASA’s recent discovery of 12 more exoplanets, including the most Earth-like yet, brings the number of exoplanets – those outside our solar system – discovered to nearly 2,000. It’s now thought that almost every star has a planetary system, with Earth just one of several billion planets in our galaxy alone, writes Dr Giovanna Tinetti (UCL Physics & Astronomy) in The Conversation.
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Published: Jul 24, 2015 4:11:24 PM

Graeme Reid

Base science funding on performance, not postcodes

Two themes dominate the Conservative government’s approach to science: research excellence and local economic growth. Are they compatible? Chancellor George Osborne is living up to his avowed commitment to science. He talked about radio astronomy in his speech to the CBI, an industry lobby group, and even mentioned science in his Mansion House speech to City grandees. This month’s budget and productivity plan make unequivocal commitments to excellence, writes Professor Graeme Reid (Office of the UCL Vice-Provost, Research) in Research Fortnight (£). More...

Published: Jul 23, 2015 10:35:21 AM