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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.
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.
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.
10 November 2014
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.
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.
5 November 2014
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.
4 November 2014
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.
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