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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.

Opinion

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Today the UK's forgotten victims, tomorrow its next child protection scandal?

Does it matter less if a boy is sexually exploited than a girl? It certainly shouldn't. Remember, we're still talking about a child subjected to sexual violations that can leave lasting physical, psychological and social scars. Don't forget the additional stigma associated with being sexually victimised as a male - if real boys don't cry, they certainly aren't raped. Yet as the week goes on, I'm left increasingly frustrated that the vulnerabilities and support needs of boys have been so utterly side-lined in discussions of the implications of the Rotherham report, writes Dr Ella Cockbain (UCL Security and Crime Science) in The Huffington Post.
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Published: Aug 29, 2014 4:55:04 PM

Mark Ronan

The prime numbers have it

In June the first Breakthrough Prizes in mathematics were announced: $3 million for each of five recipients, three in America, one in France, and one who divides his time between Britain and America. The new prizes, founded by internet moguls Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner, were announced last December at a ceremony to award similar prizes in physics and the life sciences. Narrowly focused on particular specialisations, these differ from the mathmatics prize, which is spread across the whole subject. The big difference between mathematics and other sciences is that maths has no need for expensive experimental work, and mathematicians are free to follow their own instincts-trying to propel them in a particular direction would be rather like herding cats, writes Professor Mark Ronan (UCL Mathematics) in Standpoint Magazine.
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Published: Aug 29, 2014 11:38:11 AM

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Hollande’s presidency has been a disaster since day one

After the sudden dissolution of his government, French president François Hollande is edging ever a bit closer to the political abyss. His prime minister, Manuel Valls, has just formed a new cabinet, which excludes three major socialist “rebels”: Arnaud Montebourg (economy), Benoît Hamon (education) and Aurélie Filippetti (culture). While various key figures, including former presidential candidate Segolène Royal, retain their posts, the net result is that the government’s political centre of gravity has shifted noticeably to the right, writes Professor Philippe Marliere (UCL SELCS) in The Conversation.
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Published: Aug 27, 2014 1:31:22 PM

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Toxic talent management habits

All organisations have problems, and they always involve people. Indeed, talent management issues are a major cause of organisational underperformance. For example, a recent report by Deloitte, based on data from over 2,500 business and human resources leaders from more than 90 countries, shows that employers around the world are poorly prepared to tackle key human capital challenges, such as “leadership, retention and engagement, the re-skilling of HR and talent acquisition.” I see five specific bad talent habits over and over again. They all threaten the effectiveness of the modern organisation, says Professor Tomas Chamorro Premuzic (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) in The Hindu.
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Published: Aug 22, 2014 2:59:07 PM

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When death goes viral: mourning celebrities on social media

Although the recent death of Robin Williams generated millions of tweets, people’s fascination with celebrity deaths is far from new. The Egyptians and Mayans built colossal monuments to worship their royals; the Greeks and Romans organised massive funerals to commemorate poets and military heroes. In the 19th century, Victor Hugo’s funeral drew millions of people to the streets of Paris, and we all remember Diana’s funeral, writes Professor Tomas Chamorro Premuzic (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) in The Guardian Media Network Blog. More...

Published: Aug 21, 2014 11:25:52 AM