Media Relations

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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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Archive of Opinion

<< 2013 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2015 >>

Why Mumbai should get over its obsession with cars

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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.

Monster telescope needs mind-bending mathematics to uncover secrets of the universe

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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.

Lessons on censorship from Syria’s internet filter machines

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Emiliano De Cristofaro

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.

Black modernism, racism and the making of popular British culture in the inter-war years

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Caroline Bressey

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.

Assess governance structures

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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.

How much do we care about our online privacy?

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A year and a half after Snowden’s initial NSA revelations, internet privacy has become one of the most widely discussed topics in media and technology. But there is little evidence that snooping habits have diminished. Even apps that emerged to ensure consumer anonymity, such as Snapchat and Whisper, have been under investigation for breeching their own privacy specs. But how much has changed in the mindset of consumers, and are we genuinely concerned about privacy, writes Professor Tomas Chamorro Premuzic (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) in the Guardian Media Network.

Glühwein and gravitational waves

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Jon Butterworth

Fireworks seem to go off pretty much continually between Halloween and the weekend-after-Bonfire-night these days. I don’t object, and I rather like pumpkins and zombie costumes. Cats, witches and skeletons too. Though I’m not sure what nightmares were being channelled by the small child who came trick-or-treating to our door dressed as a ladybird. And then Bonfire Night on Wednesday. None of this weird American Halloween stuff, just the fine old British tradition of burning a religious terrorist in effigy, writes Professor Jon Butterworth (UCL Physics & Astronomy) in The Guardian.

A cosy pact with the spies is no substitute for the rule of law

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Philippe Sands

No one can doubt that the threat of terrorism poses considerable challenges. Yet the approach adopted by Robert Hannigan, the new head of Britain’s electronic spying agency, is deeply troubling. The GCHQ chief’s call for greater “co-operation” between the private sector and the intelligence services came in the same week we learnt that GCHQ may be accessing documents covered by legal professional privilege, writes Professor Philippe Sands (UCL Laws) in the Financial Times.

Yes, EU immigrants do have a positive impact on public finances

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The impact of immigration on Britain’s tax and welfare system is perhaps the most important economic issue in the debate over the country’s relationship with the EU and its principle of free movement. There are claims that immigrants from Europe take advantage of the UK’s benefit and health system. This has led to political pressure to limit immigrants' access to benefits and public services and even restrict immigration from the European Economic Area countries, writes Professor Christian Dustmann and Dr Tommaso Frattini (UCL Centre for Research & Analysis of Migration) in The Conversation.

If you want a fair inheritance tax, make it a tax on income

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No one likes tax but inheritance tax (or “death tax”) is the focus of particular moral outrage. On the face of it, this is odd. The reason tax is disliked is because it reduces the money you can spend. But as inheritance tax is only payable after you have ceased to exist, you’re not actually losing out by paying it, says Dr Dean Machin (UCL Philosophy) in The Conversation.

<< 2013 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2015 >>