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The UCL Media Relations team is the university’s central press
We connect journalists to expert academics and promote UCL
research and teaching throughout the global media.
22 January 2015
Maths over Mourinho? Analytics over Ancelotti? Data analysis is now
commonplace in both the sporting and business worlds, but human decision
making still dominates in management, writes Professor
Tomas Chamorro Premuzic (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) in
the Guardian Creative Data blog.
A British volcanologist has won one of the most prestigious awards in
science – the Vetlesen Prize, which is considered to be the earth
sciences equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Stephen Sparks of the University
of Bristol will receive the £165,000 ($250,000) award for his
groundbreaking research into the workings of volcanoes, writes Robin Wylie (UCL Earth Sciences) in The Conversation.
16 January 2015
What on earth is going on in the oil market? Does the recent 60% collapse in oil prices in six months really reflect shifts in underlying supply and demand for crude oil? I’m afraid not, as I have been predicting for more than three years. Here’s what has really been happening, writes Chris Cook (UCL Institute for Security & Resilience Studies) in The Conversation.
15 January 2015
Climate change will cause all sorts of problems for humans in the
future. It could cause mass migration and conflict as people flee
flooded homes or arid farmland, and fight over ever more scarce
resources. It’ll mean economic slowdown as industries are hit and
societies cough up the money required to adapt to the new world. Climate
change will even affect your health, writes Andrew Papworth (UCL Geography) in The Conversation.
month’s results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) released a
wave of instant analysis. Conclusions were relayed with breathless
excitement. Universities claimed to be top of this or fastest-growing
says Professor Graeme Reid (Office of the UCL Vice-Provost,
Research) in Research Fortnight (£).
13 January 2015
I was recently asked by an incredulous
colleague why I was working in a Geography department. I answered that
geography was the study of ‘the who, the where, and the how, of the
past, present and future’. I followed this up suggesting our subject has a profound role to play
in both understanding and solving the great challenges of the 21st
century. Of which I would suggest global inequality, global poverty,
global security, environmental degradation and climate change are the
most pressing, writes Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) in Geographical.
Tragedy in Paris overshadowed last week's London meeting between German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister, David Cameron. But it was clear enough that the very real friendship between
the two leaders did not amount to a meeting of minds on European
issues, writes Sir Stephen Wall (UCL European Institute) in BBC Online.
9 January 2015
I grew up with the drawings of Charb, Wolinski and Cabu. Their fearless
provocations have always seemed to me a necessary expression of the
fertility of French culture, writes Dr
Louisiane Ferlier (UCL Centre for Editing Lives & Letters) in The Guardian
Higher Education Network.
The huge salaries of school “super-heads” and some university vice-chancellors has once again come under fire, this time by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee. UK headteachers are among the highest paid in the world, with good pension packages, writes Professor
Peter Earley (UCL Institute of Education) in The Conversation.
7 January 2015
Some people might argue that the greatest moral challenge of our time is serious enough to justify deliberately tampering with our climate to stave off the damaging effects of global warming. Geoengineering, or “climate hacking”, to use its more emotive
nickname, is a direct intervention in the natural environments of our
planet, including our atmosphere, seas and oceans, writes Katelijn
Van Hende (UCL Australia) in The Conversation.
31 December 2014
On New Year’s Eve fireworks manufacturers the world over will finally be
able to relax after their biggest sale of the year. But this day has
been a fireworks staple for a surprisingly long time, although the
fireworks themselves have changed quite a bit, writes Dr
Simon Werrett (UCL Science & Technology Studies) in The Conversation.
22 December 2014
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 (£).
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.
19 December 2014
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.
17 December 2014
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.
16 December 2014
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.
15 December 2014
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.
9 December 2014
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.
4 December 2014
With high levels of equality, low unemployment and sophisticated social
services, Norway, Denmark and Sweden represent models many strive to
emulate, but they are not the northern utopias they seem, writes Professor Henrietta Moore (UCL Institute for Global
Prosperity) in The Guardian.
3 December 2014
Why does it take so long for human children to grow up? A male chimp and
male human, for example, both end up with the same body weight but they
grow very differently:
at year one the human weighs twice that of the chimp but at eight the
chimp is twice that of the human. The chimp then gains its adult weight
by 12 – six years before the human. A male gorilla is also a faster
growing primate – a 150kg male gorilla weighs 50kg by its fifth birthday
and 120kg by its tenth, writes Dr John Skoyles (UCL CoMPLEX) in The Conversation.
27 November 2014
There is no congestion charging, no bike-share scheme, no bus lanes
even. Despite an estimated 91% of trips in the city being made on foot,
bus or train, transport policy remains geared towards the car, writes Dr Andrew Harris (UCL Geography) in the Guardian Cities.
24 November 2014
Telescopes have come a long way since the days when they were all about
lone astronomers watching the night sky through their upstairs windows.
Today teams of astrophysicists build and use much more modern
instruments, not only to observe light visible to our eyes, but also
radio emissions from the universe, writes Dr Jason McEwen (UCL Space & Climate Physics) in The Conversation.
20 November 2014
Norwegian writer Mette Newth once wrote
that: “censorship has followed the free expressions of men and women
like a shadow throughout history.” As we develop new means to gather and
create information, new means to control, erase and censor that
information evolve alongside it. Today that means access to information
through the internet, which motivates us to study internet censorship, writes Dr Emiliano De Cristofaro (UCL Computer Science) in The Conversation.
13 November 2014
In 1919, Ivy MacKusick, an art student at UCL’s Slade School of Fine
Art, completed a Portrait of a Man in His Shirtsleeves. We know nothing
about the man of African descent depicted in this portrait. It was
painted during the inaugural year of the Harlem Renaissance, which was
also a year of violent race riots in the United States and Britain. The
evocative painting makes it hard not to speculate about the thoughts
passing through the man’s mind as he sat for the Slade students, writes Dr
Caroline Bressey (UCL Geography) in The Conversation.
11 November 2014
Projects such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature's
Green List are beginning to evaluate the effectiveness of protected
areas systematically. This will help to shift the focus of conservation
efforts from targets assessed just by hectares to other, more-meaningful
objectives, focused on effectiveness. But to learn from successes and
failures, we must also evaluate governance systems, writes Dr Peter Jones (UCL Geography) in Nature.
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