UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


2020 media coverage

December 2020

Editing the DNA of human embryos could be used to protect us from future pandemics

Yusef Paolo Rabiah, PhD Candidate at UCL STEaPP, discusses the implications of human genome editing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read: The Conversation, More: The Express, IFL Science

The Conversation partners on £2m research-policy project to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic’s social impacts

UCL STEaPP is leading a £2m collaboration to build bridges between policy and research, focused on mitigating the biggest social impacts of COVID-19 and accelerating the UK’s recovery. Read: The Conversation, More: Yahoo News, Research Professional, UCL News

October 2020

Parliament and the pandemic: how to do better

Dr Chris Tyler writes that scrutiny of government has been weak during the Covid-19 pandemic, but researchers can help it improve. Read: Research Professional

Tech Abuse

Dr Leonie Tanczer discusses the use of tech to abuse and control partners in a domestic setting and whether tech companies do more to stop their products being used in this way. Watch: BBC Click, Read: BBC News

September 2020

AI enabled future crime

Following a project with the UCL Dawes Centre for Future Crime on the AI enabled crimes of most concern, Florence Greatrix (Policy Impact Unit) looks at the different types of AI enabled crimes and their impacts. Read: The Police Foundation

Coronavirus showed the way cities fund public transport is broken – here’s how it needs to change

Instead of repeated bailouts, permanent reform of public transport funding is needed, write Dr Jenny McArthur and Emilia Smeds. Read: The Conversation. More: Architecture and Design, Cities Today, The Independent

Science and Policy Collide During the Pandemic

Dr Chris Tyler comments on the relationship between scientific experts and policymakers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read: The Scientist

Politologin Tanczer: "Viele meinen, Algorithmen hätten kein Stereotypenproblem"

Dr Leonie Tanczer discusses the role of technology in domestic abuse and whether technology can still be considered to be gendered. Read: Der Standard (in German)

August 2020

How tech traps domestic abuse victims

Dr Leonie Tanczer explains how perpetrators of tech-abuse often misappropriate established features in existing consumer IoT devices. Read: IT Pro

Ambitious Ethiopia needs UK to deliver at COP26

Professor Yacob Mulugetta explains why it makes sense for Ethiopia's development and progression as a country to commit to emission reductions and to work towards a green economy. Read: ECIU

July 2020

UAE Mars mission: extraordinary feat shows how space exploration can benefit small nations

In just a few years, the Hope mission has boosted UAE's economy and science capacity, write Dr Ine Steenmans and Neil Morisetti. Read: The Conversation, More: Space.com, MENAFN, Live Science, TNW

Smart home hubs and fitness trackers 'stopping customers switching'

A study by Sarah Turner, July Galindo Quintero, Simon Turner and Jessica Lis, working under the supervision of Dr Leonie Tanczer, found that many consumer IoT devices are "locking customers in" to their smart home devices and fitness trackers, and preventing them from switching brands. Read: Telegraph (£)

Hope Mars Mission: Live Launch

Dr Ine Steenmans speaks about the findings of the recent Emirates Mission to Mars: a mission to transformative value report during the live mission launch. Watch: Dubai One (from 1 hour 58 mins)

What Huawei's 5G UK network ban means for you

Professor Madeline Carr says Huawei is one of the more scrutinised tech companies in the world and that the same level of scrutiny should be applied to companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook. Read: Tech Radar

Spying app use jumps 50 per cent during pandemic

Dr Leonie Tanczer comments on the rise in image-based tech-abuse during lockdown. Read: Financial Times

June 2020

Lockdown is giving domestic abusers new opportunities to hack into smart devices

Dr Leonie Tanczer explains why the tech industry needs to focus more on the ‘intimate’ perils of smart home devices and why the person you’re sitting next to can actually be a threat actor. Read: One Zero

UCL report evaluates transformative value of Emirates Mars Mission

An evaluation of the Emirates Mission to Mars, by Dr Ine Steenmans, Dr Jean-Christophe Mauduit, Professor Joanna Chataway and Neil Morisetti, reveals the ways that space missions can generate wider transformative value for society and examines how the UAE has utilised the mission as an inspiration and catalyst for domestic change. Read: Science Business

#INWED20 | Civil engineers lead the field as Top 50 Women in Engineering revealed

Dr Ellie Cosgrave has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability by the Women’s Engineering Society. Read: New Civil Engineer

Clean energy is vital to the Covid-19 response in the world’s poorest countries

A co-authored op-ed by Professor Yacob Mulugetta looks at how renewable mini-grids can power health facilities and irrigation systems, making communities more resilient to future pandemics and climate shocks. Read: Climate Change News 

May 2020

Re-imagining science advice in a post-Covid-19 future

As part of the Campaign for Social Science's Covid-19 series, Dr Adam Cooper and Dr Chris Tyler look at UK’s science advisory system and the lessons we should learn from the current crisis to improve how science and evidence inform public policy making. Read: Campaign for Social Science

What happens when the Internet of Things becomes an accomplice in domestic abuse?

Speaking to Adobe Ideas, Dr Leonie Tanczer discusses the importance of designers having a solid understanding of the nuances of domestic abuse when determining the design and implementation of IoT devices. Read: Adobe Ideas

How your smart home devices can be turned against you

Dr Leonie Tanczer and Dr Irina Brass speak to BBC Future about how devices such as smart light bulbs and voice-controlled assistants also be used against someone as a form of domestic abuse. Read: BBC Future

April 2020

Coronavirus: governments knew a pandemic was a threat – here's why they weren't better prepared

Despite all the effort that goes into predicting disasters, governments have been bad at acting on what they were told, explains Dr Chris Tyler. Read: The Conversation

Dominic Cummings and SAGE: advisory group’s veil of secrecy has to be lifted

The notion of SAGE being independent appears nowhere in its 64 pages of guidelines. But the case for more transparency is obvious, writes Dr Chris Tyler. Read: The Conversation

Covid-19: The Internet of Things and Cybersecurity

The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity (PETRAS) is producing weekly short Landscape Briefings on Covid-19: The Internet of Things and Cybersecurity, including issues surrounding contact tracing applications in the UK. Read: STEaPP news

Academics must aid MPs’ scrutiny of Covid-19 policy

Dr Chris Tyler describes how researchers can help parliament do its job and looks at how the UK parliament uses science advice. Read: Research Professional, More: LSE Impact Blog 

Urban science advice and COVID-19 

Dr Carla Washbourne explains why effective urban science advice is critical for responding to crises like COVID-19. Read: STEaPP blog

Covid-19 shows why health and well-being should be an everyday target

Dr Julius Mugwagwa examines whether the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to political action in strengthening local health systems, especially in countries constrained by development challenges. Read: Africa at LSE blog

March 2020

How not to waste a crisis - possibilities for government after COVID-19

Coronavirus could turn out to be just be a one-off blip, with normal service resuming once the worst of it is over. But it could prove to be a step change that’s used to accelerate changes that were long overdue, writes Professor Geoff Mulgan. Read: Geoff Mulgan's blog

Coronavirus response shows science in motion

Professor Joanna Chataway and Professor Geoff Mulgan examine why crises demand agility in linking research to decision-making. Read: Research Professional

Coronavirus: why we need to consult engineers as well as scientists for solutions

Dr Adam Cooper asks where are the engineers in the UK governments response to Covid-19. Read: The Conversation

Covid-19 pandemic: raising the stakes for a ‘local health’ perspective

In the latest STEaPP Op-ed, Dr Julius Mugwagwa explains why global health also needs to be local - especially in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Read: STEaPP blog

Comment: the engineer and the environmentalist

Dr Carla Washbourne and Dr Jenny McArthur, look at how a more holistic engineering mindset will be key to addressing our 21st century challenges. Read: The Engineer

February 2020

What exactly constitutes harassment on Instagram?

Dr Leonie Tanczer looks at what constitutes harassment in our digital realm and whether our laws adequately cover the nuanced interactions of social media. Read: Refinery29

Housing policy as if young people mattered - and voted

A report co-authored by Dr Jenny McArthur for the Helen Clark Foundation outlines four policies that could make #housing more affordable in New Zealand and create a system that prioritises long-term affordability. Read: Newsroom

A holistic approach to reasoning about the security of critical infrastructure systems

Dr Uchenna D Ani says Security designs should not consider technical details alone but should capture the bigger picture of the co-interacting participants that provide critical services. Read: STEaPP blog

Neuromorphic computing: a hardware for a greener computing sector?

Florence Greatrix, Policy Impact Unit, examines what is neuromorphic computing - and whether it be the answer to meeting our increasing computing demands and achieving net zero. Read: Policy Postings

Regulating digital technology

Dr Irina Brass speaks to speaks to Quality Magazine about the challenges of developing standards and policies for emerging technologies, including some top tips for organisations wanting to manage cybersecurity and data protection. Read: Quality Magazine