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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.
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 (£).
31 July 2015
Excellence is everywhere. Following the REF, the UK’s Universities are all rushing to take credit for their ‘excellence’. The Government’s recent science and innovation strategy talks about “the importance of achieving excellence”. Who’d be
against that? If quality is good then surely excellence is better? I’m
not so sure, writes Dr Jack Stilgoe (UCL Science & Technology Studies) in The Guardian.
30 July 2015
Back in 2010, UK science dodged a bullet – sort of. Following a global recession, the scientific community was warned to
expect cuts of up to 40% to the core research budget. We rallied,
presenting strong arguments for the role of science in fueling the
economy, writes Dr
Jennifer Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) in the Guardian.
29 July 2015
The good news is that rates of teenage pregnancies are at record lows. In 2014 in England and Wales they were at the lowest rate since 1946, with only 15.6 pregnancies per 1,000 women younger than 20. Unfortunately, rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are still very high, writes Dr Rosie Webster (UCL Primary Care & Population Health) in The Conversation.
24 July 2015
NASA’s recent discovery of 12 more exoplanets,
including the most Earth-like yet, brings the number of exoplanets –
those outside our solar system – discovered to nearly 2,000. It’s now
thought that almost every star has a planetary system, with Earth just
one of several billion planets in our galaxy alone, writes Dr Giovanna Tinetti (UCL Physics & Astronomy) in The Conversation.
23 July 2015
Two themes dominate the Conservative government’s approach to science: research excellence and local economic growth. Are they compatible? Chancellor George Osborne is living up to his avowed commitment to science. He talked about radio astronomy in his speech to the CBI, an industry lobby group, and even mentioned science in his Mansion House speech to City grandees. This month’s budget and productivity plan make unequivocal commitments to excellence, writes Professor Graeme Reid (Office of the UCL Vice-Provost, Research) in Research Fortnight (£).
22 July 2015
Deep into the Arctic Circle in the far north of Norway, Finland, Sweden
and north-west Russia, a few thousand indigenous minority people known
as the Saami continue to follow a lifestyle of reindeer husbandry. But their profession is increasingly under threat from a number of developments ranging from climate change to globalisation, writes Matthew Gwynfryn Thomas (UCL Anthropology) in The Conversation.
The holiday season is getting into full swing, but a shadow has been
cast by the abysmal failure of our boys to get anywhere near the
enormous target of 509 which Australia’s cricketers set them to win in
the second Test match. It may seem preposterous even to have thought
they would. But a revolution seems to be taking place in the ability of
teams to make large scores in the fourth innings, writes Dr Paul Ormerod (UCL Clinical, Educational &
Health Psychology) in City AM.
16 July 2015
Drifting along at what for decades was regarded as the outer boundary of
our solar system, icy Pluto is far from alone. The dwarf planet has
moons – at least five of them
– which are all fascinating little worlds in their own right. Detailed
views of these icy bodies, captured by the New Horizons spacecraft, have
now begun to stream back to Earth as data and will reveal much about
the chemistry and physics of the outer solar system, writes Dr Geraint Jones (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) in The Conversation.
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