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Latest Social & Historical Sciences News

First estimate of Pygmy population in Central Africa reveals their plight

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Pygmy group musicians

The forests of Central Africa could be home to up to 920,000 Pygmies, according to researchers from UCL, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Malaga, who have conducted the first measured estimate of the population and distribution of these indigenous groups.

UCL launches free online course examining global social media impact

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South Indian Field Site

Anyone with an interest in how social media is used around the world can now sign up for Why We Post: The Anthropology of Social Media, UCL’s first MOOC (massive open online course).

UCL staff recognised in New Year Honours 2016

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Portico Statue

Congratulations to the members of the UCL community who have been recognised in the 2016 New Year Honours list.

Tropical groundwater resources resilient to climate change

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Artesian well in central semi-arid Tanzania

Tropical groundwater may prove to be a climate-resilient source of freshwater in the tropics as intense rainfall favours the replenishment of these resources, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters.

Research Images as Art/Art images as Research: 2015/16 winners announced

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Red poppies in the mouse brain

A diverse and fascinating series of images were unveiled as the winners of the Research Images as Art / Art Images as Research competition for 2015/16, run by the UCL Doctoral School.

Stonehenge ‘bluestone’ quarries confirmed 140 miles away in Wales

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Excavations at Craig Rhos-y-felin

Excavation of two quarries in Wales by a UCL-led team of archaeologists and geologists has confirmed they are sources of Stonehenge’s ‘bluestones’– and shed light on how they were quarried and transported. 

International UCL-led study prompts rethink on the rise of diabetes in cities

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Cities Changing Diabetes

New research led by UCL for the Cities Changing Diabetes partnership shows socio-cultural factors including time pressure, commuting time and where you live play significant roles in diabetes vulnerability.

Engraved stones revealed at ice age pioneer basecamp

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Engraved stones

Archaeologists from the UK working in the Channel Island of Jersey have found the remains of a 14,000 year old hunter-gatherer settlement offering great views over landscapes now drowned by the English Channel. 

Feeding Stonehenge: what was on the menu for Stonehenge’s builders, 2500 BC

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Durrington

Archaeologists from a consortium of universities including UCL have found out what people ate while building Stonehenge, by analysing the food residues preserved in their pots as well as the animal bones and other food waste from the large settlement of Durrington Walls near Stonehenge.

Islamist insurgency strongly influences where polio occurs

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Polio Vaccination Campaign in South Sudan

Islamist insurgency has had a strong effect on where polio cases occur since 2011, potentially as a reaction to the use of counterinsurgency strategies, according to new research led by UCL.

How the Inuit adapted to Ice Age living and a high-fat diet

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The_Inuit

Greenland natives – the Inuit – have mutations in genes that control how the body uses fat which provides the clearest evidence to date that human populations are adapted to particular diets according to new UCL research. The genetic differences allow the Inuit to physically adapt to survive Arctic conditions and live healthily on a traditional diet which is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from marine mammal fat.

Seven Ponds in Seven Days

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Helen Greaves and Emily Alderton

Kicking off on 20 September, a conservation project in Norfolk is highlighting the vital role of ponds in the English countryside as part of a “seven ponds in seven days” restoration challenge.

Scientists warn only ‘simplified’, degraded tropical forest may remain by end of century

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Cut Tree

A new and more dangerous phase of impacts on the world’s remaining tropical forests is emerging, threatening to simplify the world’s most diverse ecosystem including mass species loss, according to new UCL-led research published today in Science. 

Heat release from stagnant deep sea helped end last Ice Age

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Arctic Ice Shelf

The build-up and subsequent release of warm, stagnant water from the deep Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas played a role in ending the last Ice Age within the Arctic region, according to new research led by a UCL scientist.

Professor Chris Husbands takes up new post as Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University 

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Professor Chris Husbands

Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and Vice-Provost (Academic Development & London) has announced that he will be leaving UCL to take up the appointment of Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University from January 2016.

UCL digital research facility gets go-ahead

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NASA image of UK

The Government has committed to investing £4 million in a new facility at UCL to help policymakers develop ways of evening out the UK’s regional economic divides. This figure is matched by an additional £5.6 million of institutional funding.

UCL academics elected as British Academy Fellows

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British Academy Fellows

Four academics from UCL have been elected as Fellows of the British Academy in recognition of their outstanding research in the humanities and social sciences.

Mapping the people of Scotland

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How people travel to work or study in Edinburgh

Researchers at UCL have mapped the people of Scotland in unprecedented detail.

The project, ‘DataShine Scotland’, commissioned by National Records of Scotland and the Scottish Government, uses data from Scotland’s Census 2011 to show over 1,000 social characteristics for over 46,000 Scottish areas. These cover everything from health and education through to housing conditions and how people travel to work.

Missing people project wins ESRC impact award

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olivia-stevenson

The Geographies of Missing People, a research project co-designed by the Acting Head of UCL Public Policy, Dr Olivia Stevenson, has won the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Society.

Unique social structure of hunter-gatherers explained

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Elderly Agta couple, Philippines

Sex equality in residential decision-making explains the unique social structure of hunter-gatherers, a new UCL study reveals.

Epoch-defining study pinpoints when humans came to dominate planet Earth

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Columbian Exchange

The human-dominated geological epoch known as the Anthropocene probably began around the year 1610, with an unusual drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the irreversible exchange of species between the New and Old Worlds, according to new research published today in Nature.

Computer reconstruction of human fossil sheds light on our origins

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Handy man 1

The fossil of Homo habilis, or ‘handy man’, has undergone state-of-the-art computer reconstruction, revealing new information about its jaw shape which indicates the species has older evolutionary roots than previously thought and shows that three different Homo species existed between 2.1 and 1.6 million years ago, according to UCL researchers who led the study.

UCL rated top UK university by research strength in the REF2014

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UCL number 1 REF

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the new Research Excellence Framework 2014 published today, by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted. 

Research Images as Art/Art Images as Research: winners announced

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Birds of a Feather by Chris Falla (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture)

A striking image demonstrating the science behind a flock of starlings in flight has been announced as the winner of this year’s Research Images as Art/Art Images as Research competition, run by the UCL Doctoral School.

Influential UK birth cohort studies to be brought together for first time

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Newborn

One outcome of the IOE and UCL merger coming into effect today will be that all five of the UK’s national birth cohort studies will be housed at the same institution for the first time, forming the largest concentration of birth cohort expertise in the world.

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