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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.
The first week of the new school year seemed like a good time to visit the recently re-opened Imperial War Museum in London. I had read that the museum was "overrun by hordes of schoolchildren" in early September. But if I thought I could avoid the crowds I was wrong. There was an hour-long wait for a timed-ticket entry slot to see the new World War One galleries, writes Professor Lisa Jardine (UCL Centre for Editing Lives & Letters) for BBC News magazine. More...
Published: Sep 15, 2014 4:00:00 PM
It has been fashionable for some time now to pooh-pooh "Great Britain." To many it smacks of empire and Colonel Blimp and Maggie Thatcher riding in her tank. It's hardly surprising that those pleading the merits of the Union have had a hard time. It is sad, though, if Britain's Union cannot stand for anything of value. As many people in England have simply forgotten about it, the nationalists in Scotland stand ready to finish it for good, writes Dr Michael Collins (UCL History) in The Herald. More...
Published: Sep 15, 2014 11:46:41 AM
Nobody I know has ever seen anything like it. A referendum campaign? But maybe that's the wrong word. A campaign means politicians persuading people to vote this way or that. What's been happening in Scotland, in these last six astonishing months, is people persuading politicians, writes Neal Ascherson (UCL Archaeology) in The Herald. More...
Published: Sep 15, 2014 11:24:40 AM
For some time I have been researching the lives of a group of scientists who worked on the development of the atomic bomb during World War Two. Although there are several impeccably researched non-fiction works on the subject and a number of biographies, none of these really conveyed to me the emotions and convictions that drove their work - I simply could not connect with the personal principles of the scientists who collaborated with such energy to produce the period's ultimate weapon of mass destruction, writes Professor Lisa Jardine (UCL Centre for Editing Lives & Letters) for BBC News magazine. More...
Published: Sep 9, 2014 4:37:58 PM
Following President Lázaro Cárdenas’ expropriation of foreign oil
company assets in 1938, the oil industry has been a symbol of Mexican
sovereignty. This made the state oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex)
politically untouchable. That is until now. Game-changing laws have recently been approved that open deep-water oil and shale fields to foreign investment, as well as liberalising Mexico’s electricity industry, writes Baltazar Solano Rodriguez (UCL Energy Institute) in The Conversation.
Published: Sep 4, 2014 4:57:14 PM