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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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Opinion

‘Correct and brilliant’: Angus Deaton’s work is a model of applied economics

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“In physics, Nobel prizes are awarded for being correct while in economics they are often awarded for being brilliant.” So said former World Bank president Robert Zoellick. Economist Angus Deaton noted the contrast and pondered how interesting it might be to classify economics laureates into Zoellick’s two boxes, writes Professor Ian Preston (UCL Economics) in The Conversation.

Ten sure ways countries can turn away international students

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The pursuit of global mobility in a world divided up into nations invokes a fundamental dilemma. Free passage without harassment is a right we routinely expect to exercise whenever we travel abroad. Yet the right of people within a country to determine who enters their nation is enshrined in law. This unresolvable tension between sovereignty and mobility catches international students in its grip, writes Professor Simon Marginson (UCL Institute of Education) in The Conversation.

Not all academies are the same – don’t assume they will all boost result

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Our new research shows that many of the schools that have become academies since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government came to power are fundamentally different in nature from those that became academies under Labour, writes Professor Stephen Machin (UCL Economics) in The Conversation.

We need a Syria strategy, not half-baked reasons to drop bombs

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Philippe Sands

As David Cameron prepares the ground for a return to the House of Commons to seek support for the bombing of Syria, many will search in vain for a longer-term strategy that guides him, writes Professor Philippe Sands (UCL Laws) in the Financial Times.

The Air France protesters were desperate, frightened people, not a violent mob

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On Monday, about 100 employees stormed an Air France management and union official meeting that was discussing dramatic job cuts. As the negotiations had been making no progress, the staff became angry, and tussled with some company officials, writes Professor Philippe Marliere (UCL SELCS) in The Guardian.

Report from Iraq: religion lends Yazidis a profound resilience in the face of persecution

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Iraq’s Yazidis maintain an oral tradition that tallies the massacres inflicted upon them over the centuries. Some say there have been 72, others 73. Whatever the number, genocidal campaigns against this ethno-religious minority are a recurring feature of their history, writes Dr Tyler Fisher (UCL SELCS) in The Conversation.

Fact Check: is there zero economic benefit from high immigration?

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Evaluating the home secretary’s claim requires recognising that the economic effects of immigration have several dimensions. Although she says the overall impact is close to zero, she bases that on several specific claims, says Professor Ian Preston (UCL Economics) in The Conversation.

Why Theresa May is wrong about immigration

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When Theresa May says that "at best the net economic and fiscal effect of high immigration is close to zero" and that "there is no case, in the national interest, for immigration of the scale we have experienced over the last decade," she is ignoring persuasive arguments that immigration may in many cases be economically beneficial, write Professor Christian Dustmann (UCL CReAM) and Professor Ian Preston (UCl Economics) in Newsweek.

The end of the people's car

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Bernard Rieger

The Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement on September 18 that Volkswagen had manipulated diesel engines during emissions tests sent shockwaves around the Western world, writes Professor Bernhard Rieger (UCL History) in Foreign Affairs.

The Martian got me cheering, but why go to Mars?

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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.

Who benefits when summer-born children start school later?

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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.

From rockets to space toilets: unique exhibition celebrates Soviet cosmonauts

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Andrew Coates

“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.

To stop REF game playing, why not let everyone take part?

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David Price

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 (£).

India’s tea capital can recover from devastating floods – if the government gets its act together

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Sneha Krishnan

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.

Free brave blue-skies researchers to refuel economic growth

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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.

Explainer: how do archaeologists discover forgotten ancient monuments?

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Kris Lockyear

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.

Anti-psychotic drugs designed to treat mental illness are being used to manage challenging behaviour

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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.

My laboratory would fall apart if Britain left the EU

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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.

The case for re-nationalising Britain’s railways

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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.

Does developing bad behaviour in primary school affect a child’s grades?

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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.

Ignore the doom-merchants: History shows why robots won’t destroy our jobs

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Ormerod

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.

Autistic people are more creative than you might think

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Anna Remington

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.

First wave of academy schools created under Labour boosted grades

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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.

No surprises on A-level results day – and that’s a good thing

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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.

Now universities can accept as many students as they want, will there be a free-for-all in clearing?

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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.

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