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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.


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

Philippe Sands

The stench of a cover-up

The reverberations of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s devastating report on the use of torture by the CIA were felt around the world because of the scale of the abuse and the graphic detail of the horror described. The conclusions make for grim reading: the CIA used torture. It was driven by the White House. It provided no useful information. It was accompanied by lies and deceit — to Congress, to the American people and to the world, writes Professor Philippe Sands (UCL Laws) in the Daily Mail. More...

Published: Dec 15, 2014 3:03:10 PM


George Orwell really did have a stint in jail as a drunk fish porter

If you had been walking down Mile End Road in London on Saturday December 19, 1931, you would have witnessed a scene common in the days before Christmas across Britain. A man who had celebrated a little too much a little too early was taken away by the police after he had consumed four or five pints and the best part of a small bottle of whisky and made a nuisance of himself. But this wasn’t quite as run of the mill as it seemed, writes Dr Luke Seaber (UCL Centre for Languages & International Education) in The Conversation.

Published: Dec 9, 2014 11:29:46 AM