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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.
22 September 2014
The constitutional consequences of a yes vote in Scotland
would have been momentous, leading to months – possibly years – of
fraught negotiation with uncertain consequences. But the consequences of
no for governance in the rest of the UK may, paradoxically, be even
more complex and profound, writes Dr Meg Russell (UCL Constitution Unit) in The Observer.
19 September 2014
Readers’ comments are an important, yet often overlooked, type of user-generated content. And some readers are much more likely to post and read comments than others. Trolling,
the act of posting disruptive or inflammatory comments online in order
to provoke fellow readers, has been the focus of much recent attention, writes Professor Tomas Chamorro Premuzic (UCL Clinical, Educational
& Health Psychology) in The Guardian Media Network blog.
17 September 2014
Taxpayers in Britain spend more than £1 billion a year providing free
bus travel. Mostly used by pensioners, some disabled people qualify for
this concessionary travel, and there are fears that an austerity-driven government will cut back on the passes. Some commentators have suggested there is scope for reducing public
spending by cutting the scheme – £1 billion is, after all, a lot of
money. Research suggests, however, that free bus passes are good value
and worth maintaining, writes Professor Roger Mackett (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) in The Conversation.
15 September 2014
The first week of the new school year seemed like a good time to visit
the recently re-opened Imperial War Museum in London. I had read that
the museum was "overrun by hordes of schoolchildren" in early September.
But if I thought I could avoid the crowds I was wrong. There was an
hour-long wait for a timed-ticket entry slot to see the new World War
One galleries, writes Professor Lisa Jardine (UCL Centre for Editing Lives &
Letters) for BBC News magazine.
It has been fashionable for some time now to pooh-pooh
"Great Britain." To many it smacks of empire and Colonel Blimp and
Maggie Thatcher riding in her tank. It's hardly surprising that those pleading
the merits of the Union have had a hard time. It is sad, though, if Britain's
Union cannot stand for anything of value. As many people in England have simply
forgotten about it, the nationalists in Scotland stand ready to finish it for
good, writes Dr
Michael Collins (UCL History) in The
Nobody I know has ever seen anything like it. A referendum campaign? But maybe that's the wrong word. A campaign
means politicians persuading people to vote this way or that. What's
been happening in Scotland, in these last six astonishing months, is
people persuading politicians, writes Neal Ascherson (UCL Archaeology) in The Herald.
9 September 2014
For some time I have been researching the lives of a group of
scientists who worked on the development of the atomic bomb during World
War Two. Although there are several impeccably researched non-fiction
works on the subject and a number of biographies, none of these really
conveyed to me the emotions and convictions that drove their work - I
simply could not connect with the personal principles of the scientists
who collaborated with such energy to produce the period's ultimate
weapon of mass destruction, writes Professor Lisa Jardine (UCL Centre for Editing Lives &
Letters) for BBC News magazine.
4 September 2014
Following President Lázaro Cárdenas’ expropriation of foreign oil
company assets in 1938, the oil industry has been a symbol of Mexican
sovereignty. This made the state oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex)
politically untouchable. That is until now. Game-changing laws have recently been approved that open deep-water oil and shale fields to foreign investment, as well as liberalising Mexico’s electricity industry, writes Baltazar Solano Rodriguez (UCL Energy Institute) in The Conversation.
3 September 2014
The story of Ashya King
and his parents is desperately sad. One feature is that his family want
him to receive proton therapy. This is not a “magic bullet” treatment
and without knowing his medical details it is impossible to say what the
risks and benefits would be for Ashya. However, proton therapy is in
use around the world, and indeed on the NHS, and does in some cases have
some huge advantages over other treatments. This article makes no
comment on the specific case, it is simply an explanation of the physics
behind the therapy, writes Professor Jon Butterworth (UCL Physics & Astronomy) in The Guardian.
2 September 2014
Cuba has imposed new limits
on the amount of goods that travellers can bring into the country. The
new measures will be unpopular with many involved in the trade from
suppliers to customers, and at first sight they appear futile and
counter-productive. The informal trade in consumer goods and domestic equipment involves
huge bundles and packages being brought to the island by visiting
Cuban-Americans. The strong growth of these imports in recent years has
been the result of reforms in both the US and Cuba, says Dr Emily Morris (UCL Institute of the Americas) in The Conversation.
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