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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 >>

The truth is, Scandinavia is neither heaven nor hell

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Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen

Earlier this year, British travel writer and resident of Denmark, Michael Booth, riled Guardian readers with a provocative article claiming to dispel the myth of Scandinavia as the perfect place to live. Many are now confused. Is everything we believed about the social ideals of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland a lie? Well, not entirely but we’re not all drunk serial killers either, writes Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (UCL SELCS) in The  Conversation.

Kim Kardashian: why we love her and the psychology of celebrity worship

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Two things are particularly striking about Kim Kardashian. The first is how she has managed to catch the attention of the global media. The second is that there are so many reasons why she shouldn't be famous. Indeed, it is tempting to suggest that in a logical world Kim Kardashian would be a peripheral citizen rather than a modern cultural icon. Is Kim just another symptom of postmodernist confusion and cultural decline, or is there a deeper psychological explanation for her fame? Writes Professor Tomas Chamorro Premuzic (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) in The Guardian Media Network Blog.

The world’s best leaders are cast as themselves in a play that never ends

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Dr Marco Aponte-Moreno

When Hillary Clinton welled up in response to an innocuous question about how she keeps so upbeat on the presidential campaign trail in 2008, people took notice. To the surprise of pollsters, she won the primary in question – New Hampshire – despite trailing her opponent Barack Obama before the tears. A display of weaknesses such as this is one of the most fundamental qualities of inspirational leadership. Expressing sincere vulnerability allows leaders to communicate their humanity and accessibility, and it seems the people of New Hampshire were swayed, writes Dr Marco Aponte-Moreno (UCL Management Science & Innovation) in The Conversation.

The Fields Medal is the greatest prize in maths

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Mark Ronan

Today, at the International Congress of Mathematicians, we will learn who has won the Fields Medal, often considered the “Nobel Prize” of mathematics. First awarded in 1936, then again in 1950 and every four years since, the medal is given to at most four people, making it more selective than the annual Nobel Prize in Physics, which is often shared, writes Professor Mark Ronan (UCL Mathematics) in The Telegraph.

Rosetta will teach us more about comets than we have learned in 50 years

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On August 6, millions of miles away from Earth, the firing of a rocket thruster signalled the end of a decade-long journey by a European spacecraft to reach its ultimate target – a comet. The spacecraft is Rosetta, and its target is 67P/Churuymov-Gerasimenko, named after its Ukrainian discoverers. The spacecraft will study 67P’s nucleus at close quarters as it falls towards the sun, when it will come to life with a tail created by sun’s warmth, writes Dr Geraint Jones (UCL Space & Climate Physics) in The Conversation.

Losing weight might make you healthier but not happier

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Sarah Jackson

Supermodel Kate Moss' quip that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” captured the sense in society that being thin is the recipe for happiness. Obesity causes a range of health problems, including diabetes, but will losing weight really make you happier? While there’s no doubt that losing weight can significantly improve your physical health, in research published in PLOS ONE we found that the effect on mental health was less straightforward, writes Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) in The Conversation.

You might be surprised to find out who is living in London’s luxury apartments

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Mayfair, Belgravia and Kensington: all London boroughs associated with affluence and grandeur, not student accommodation. But today these areas play host to a burgeoning student population. With the internationalisation of education and the “flight to quality” of overseas students to highly rated institutions, London’s student housing market is apparently changing, writes Dr Nicola Livingstone (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) in The Conversation.

The Israeli assault on Gaza: a public health perspective

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It is three weeks since the current Israeli offensive against Gaza began on July 8. But it is now eight years since Israel began its blockade of Gaza. Since then unemployment has risen, public infrastructure has crumbled and civil service employees have not received salaries regularly since August 2013, and none at all since April 2014. With the prospects for peace still looking remote, the public health implications of the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the current war are vast, writes Dr Andrew Seal (UCL Institute for Global Health) in The Conversation.

Breakthrough in understanding chronic pain could lead to new treatments

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Chronic pain, defined as disabling pain that persists despite attempts at treatment and often without obvious cause, has become a serious challenge for health professionals. It is not surprising that someone suffering from this level of pain might become depressed, but most studies consider depression a “comorbidity” – an associated disorder – or suggest that the pain is “somatisation” of the depression – that is, it may be a mental disorder’s effect on the body, writes Dr Amanda Williams (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) in The Conversation.

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