Call us: +44 (0)20 7679 9041
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.
30 September 2015
The penultimate object in the spectacular Cosmonauts exhibition,
just opened at the Science Museum in London, is a spacesuit for a
mission to Mars. It is lightweight, almost fragile and the pink-brown
colour of the Martian sky. It suggests that after the fraught Cold War
dynamics of the old space race, the inevitable next destination is the
red planet, writes Professor Jon Agar (UCL Science & Technology Studies) in The Conversation.
23 September 2015
Expectant parents in England with a September due-date will no longer
have to hope that their baby doesn’t arrive too early. The UK schools
minister Nick Gibb recently announced
that he will amend the school admissions code to clarify that no child
will be forced to start school when they have just turned four, says Tammy Campbell (UCL Institute of Education) in The Conversation.
“Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever,” said the Russian aviation pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1911. The quote, displayed at a new exhibition celebrating Soviet space success, still seems relevant today, writes Professor Andrew Coates (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) in The Conversation.
17 September 2015
A recent analysis of staff selected for inclusion in last year’s
research excellence framework made predictably depressing reading, writes Professor David Price (UCL Vice-Provost, Research) in THE (£).
16 September 2015
Heavy flooding has affected more than a million people in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, with 45 dead and more than 200,000
in relief camps. And yet there is still very little coverage of the
disaster in the international media – perhaps not surprising when you
consider even most Indians aren’t paying attention, writes Sneha Krishnan (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic
Engineering Department) in The Conversation.
14 September 2015
At the turn of the 19th century, the world stood poised for one of its
greatest transformations. An increasing ability to apply the fruits of
science to everyday needs created a priceless new paradigm for advancing
humanity, writes Professor Donald Braben (UCL Earth Sciences) in New Scientist.
11 September 2015
The popular image of an archaeologist is someone who spends most of
their time on their knees painstakingly excavating sites. Although
excavation is still one of archaeology’s principal research methods, it
is not without problems: it is slow, expensive and can cover only
relatively small areas of a site, writes Dr Kris Lockyear (UCL Archaeology) in The Conversation.
2 September 2015
Intellectual disability is characterised by
impairment in cognition (intellect) and difficulties in day-to-day life
skills. It is fixed and lifelong, although with the right support most
people with intellectual disability can lead active and fulfilling
lives, writes Dr Rory Sheehan (UCL Psychiatry) in The Conversation.
28 August 2015
While the latest immigration figures are grabbing the headlines, researchers like me are trying to not think about their potential political repercussions, writes Professor Stephen Moss (UCL Ophthalmology) in the Guardian Higher Education Network.
Labour leadership hopefuls Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Burnham
have both spoken of re-nationalising the UK’s railways. National
ownership of such a crucial piece of a country’s infrastructure is the
source of much debate, writes Nicole
Badstuber (UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering) in The Conversation.
A few mischievous children acting out in a classroom and disrupting an
entire lesson is a common scenario that teachers deal with. However,
trouble-making children who hit out and misbehave are not only
disruptive to teachers and classrooms, they are also likely to get lower
grades, says Praveetha
Patalay (UCL Institute of Education) in The Conversation.
26 August 2015
Economics is often described as the dismal science, but it
regularly contains cheerful material. A paper by the leading US economic
historian Joel Mokyr made for exuberant holiday reading. Written
for the top Journal of Economic Perspectives, it is entirely in English
and contains not a single mathematical symbol, writes Dr Paul Ormerod (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health
Psychology) in City AM.
18 August 2015
Autism is commonly, if mistakenly, associated more with logical thinking
than creative expression. But new research suggests we might need to
rethink our views on creativity and autism, writes Dr Anna Remington (UCL Institute of Education) in The Conversation.
14 August 2015
Struggling schools that were given more autonomy by being converted into
academies under the former Labour government have seen improved exam
results compared to similar schools that did not become academies,
according to our new research, writes Professor Stephen Machin (UCL Economics) in The Conversation.
A-level results day is here and with its dawn have arrived pictures of
jubilant young people jumping for joy. The most amount of students ever
were accepted into university on A-level results day according to the University and College Admission Service, write Dr Mary Richardson and Dr Tina Isaacs (both UCL Institute of
Education) in The Conversation.
13 August 2015
Another university admissions cycle is reaching its climax with A-level
results envelopes opening, university places confirmed and the clearing process
for those who did better or worse than they’d hoped kicking into
action. Amid all this, the government is having a third go at creating a
real market in higher education, writes Professor Peter Scott (UCL Institute of Education) in The Conversation.
12 August 2015
Those teenagers who receive their A-level results on August 13 are the
first cohort of young people living through a wave of changes to the
UK’s school exam system. These reforms, which started under the former
secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, were aimed to embed what
he termed “the art of deep thought” into post-16 education, write Dr Mary Richardson and Dr Tina Isaacs (both UCL Institute of
Education) in The Conversation.
11 August 2015
The new universities minister Jo Johnson has called for a renewed focus on teaching quality in higher
education, with the establishment of a new teaching excellence
framework (Tef) to measure and monitor university teacher quality. How
it will work is yet to be decided, but it will be shaped by responses to
the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (Hefce) current consultation, writes Dr Gillian Wyness (UCL Institute of Education) in the Guardian.
7 August 2015
A fear of speaking aloud in public is one of the most common social
phobias, and is estimated to affect up to three in every 10 people. It’s probably not surprising, therefore, that comedians and
performers at the Edinburgh fringe experience high levels of stress, writes Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Cognitive Neuroscience) in the Guardian.
6 August 2015
When a software engineering firm revealed on billboard adverts that at
least one of its employees was a young woman who liked her job, the
predictable outpouring of sexist trolling was promptly drowned out by a
torrent of positive responses. But in truth it should never even have
raised an eyebrow, writes Ellie Cosgrave (UCL STEaPP) in The Conversation.
So much has been said and written about the speech that Shashi Tharoor delivered at the Oxford Union
in May that we may wonder whether there can be anything left to add to
the discussion. But one point that does not seem to have been made, or
not made loudly enough, in relation to what is a complicated subject has
less to do with reparations and more with the preservation and study of
the colonial record, writes Professor Phiroze Vasunia (UCL Greek & Latin) in NDTV.
In many ways, it’s an obvious solution. For many centuries, world trade
over the oceans was propelled by wind power alone. Now that we’re
seeking an alternative to the fossil fuel-burning vehicles that enable
our modern standard of living, some people are turning again to
renewable solutions such as wind to power our tankers, bulk carriers and
container ships, write Dr Tristan Smith and Dr Nishatabbas Rehmatulla (both UCL Bartlett School Environment, Energy & Resources) in The Conversation.
5 August 2015
Alas poor Cecil! Close personal friend of mine, sadly dead now. The catchphrases of the Scottish comedian Bob Doolally capture the
outpourings of grief among the Twitterati at the death of the now famous
lion, writes Dr Paul Ormerod (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health
Psychology) in City AM.
4 August 2015
When Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, fell to Islamic State
(IS) in June 2014, the aspiring caliphate stepped up its campaign to
expand and consolidate its control over the region. It did this in part
by trying to exterminate the thinly protected enclaves of assorted
ethnic and religious groups on the Nineveh Plains, writes Dr Tyler Fisher (UCL SELCS) in The Conversation.
A classic Gary Larson cartoon shows a robed and bearded figure rolling
out clay strips, with the caption: “God makes the snake.”
Body elongation was certainly fundamental in the
evolution of snakes from lizards, as was the shrinking and ultimately
loss of limb pairs. However,
informative early fossils are rare, and many details of the transition
unresolved, writes Professor Susan Evans (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) in Science (£).
© UCL 1999–2015