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Day of Archaeology 2012

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Day of Archaeology 2012 (logo by Glenn Hustler)

Institute staff, students and alumni have participated in the second annual Day of Archaeology on 29 June, an online project providing insights into the daily life of archaeologists.

Digital Engagement in Archaeology Conference: Call for Papers

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Digital Engagement in Archaeology (Image © Chiara Marcotulli)

A conference on 'Digital Engagement in Archaeology: Strategies and Evaluation Methods' will be held at the Institute on 8 & 9 November 2012 for which a call for papers is announced.

Call for Submissions - Audible Observatories

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ET Poster Logo

previewEthnographic Terminalia seeks submissions for Audible Observatories, an exhibition to be held in San Francisco in November 2012. Artist-researchers, collaborators, anthropologists and other scholars working in art are encouraged to submit their proposals prior to July 15, 2012.

'Should cannabis be legalised?' - new Economics film launched online

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The policy of ‘depenalising’ cannabis in Lambeth between 2001 and 2002 – where people with small quantities of cannabis were given a warning instead of being arrested – led to an 8% fall in overall crime in the area. That is the main finding revealed by a new documentary, 'Should Cannabis Be Legalised?', now available free online:

The documentary, by production start-up Econ Films, focuses on a study by economists Jérôme Adda, Brendon McConnell and Imran Rasul on the effect of depenalisation on crime presented at the recent Royal Economic Society annual conference. Their research compares crime records for Lambeth with all other London boroughs between 1998 and 2006.

The documentary reports that:

* Crime rates for cannabis possession went up by around 20%.

This more than offset the fall in cannabis arrests because of the change in policy. Moreover, cannabis possession was still higher well after the policy experiment ended. By looking at the neighbouring boroughs, the researchers estimate that a large chunk of this increase (as much as half) was due to people coming from nearby to buy and smoke cannabis in Lambeth – so-called ‘drug tourists’. The rest of this rise is caused by a combination of a) cannabis users buying more cannabis, b) new people starting to using cannabis, and c) police reporting arrests where they would otherwise not have done.

* But other sorts of crime fell by 11%.

Other crime fell by 11% compared with the London average and overall crime fell by 8% (due to the rise in cannabis possession offences). Crime fell in areas such as violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, theft, fraud, and criminal damage – these account for 97% of crimes in Lambeth. Meanwhile arrests went up by around 3% and prosecutions also went up. As Imran Rasul puts it: ‘this suggests there is an increase in police effectiveness’ – just as the policy had intended.

* House prices in Lambeth were 6% lower than they otherwise would have been.

House price data from the time shows that, despite the fall in crime, Lambeth became a less attractive place to live. So although there was public support for the scheme, there was a case of ‘not in my backyard’.

The documentary argues that this ambivalence towards cannabis can help explain why cannabis is still illegal in the UK despite the growing calls for a change in approach.

Storage of the Dead

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Painted and gilt cartonnage mask from the UCL Petrie Museum (© UCL Media Services. Photographer: Mary Hinkley)

Richard Bussmann was recently invited to discuss his research as part of a radio programme looking at burial and funerary practices across time and space.

Anthropology Students Won Campus MovieFest

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Congratulations to Joshua Lipworth and Megan Laws (3rd Year Anthropology) who have won the world’s largest student film festival, the Campus MovieFest, leading to their film also being shortlisted for the Cannes Film Festivals Short Film Prize.

Jim Durbin

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James Durbin, Honorary Professor UCL and CeMMAP Fellow passed away June 23rd 2012. His contributions to econometrics and statistics were immense and we treasure his association with UCL and CeMMAP.

PhD Alumni Conference 5th-6th July

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Running from the 5th July 2012 - 6th July 2012.

For more information, please see the website.

The Bridges that Built London

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Prehistory on the foreshore: the Mesolithic site viewed from Vauxhall Bridge (Photo: Nathalie Cohen)

The new BBC4 series on the Bridges that Built London, presented by Dan Cruickshank, features contributions from the Thames Discovery Programme team.     

PIA Volume 22: Deadline for submissions approaching

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Papers from the Institute of Archaeology (PIA)

The deadline for submissions to Volume 22 of the Papers from the Institute of Archaeology (PIA) is 31 July.

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