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Durham University News

Comment and opinion

Queen’s speech 2015: the experts respond

The first Queen's Speech of the new Parliament outlined the new government’s ambitious policy agenda for the coming year. Helen Fenwick looks at the Investigatory Powers Bill which covers surveillance.

(28 May 2015) » More about Queen’s speech 2015: the experts respond


10 questions for the Labour Party

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Professor David Held says Labour's problems cannot be fixed by minor tweaks, they need to address the big questions.

(27 May 2015) » More about 10 questions for the Labour Party


The damage caused by incompetent rape response

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Following the news that Hampshire constabulary paid out £20,000 in damages to a young woman who reported a rape to them in 2012, Nicole Westmarland argues the case for specialist teams to deal with people who experience sexual violence.

(26 May 2015) » More about the damage caused by incompetent rape response


Feedback from teachers doesn't always help pupils improve

A new study by Beng Huat See and Stephen Gorard casts doubt on whether feedback is always as effective as previous studies have made out.

(20 May 2015) » More about Feedback from teachers doesn't always help pupils improve


Who are the top football teams in the health league?

New research by Clare Bambra at the Centre for Health and Inequalities Research (CHIR) shows who are the winners and losers in the public health league.

 

(19 May 2015) » More about who are the top football teams in the health league?


Why men are not biologically useless after all...

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Dr Jo Setchell, explains why sexual selection – and partner choice – improves the overall genetic quality of a species and reduces the risk of population extinction.

(19 May 2015) » More about why men are not biologically useless after all...


How organised crime in the UK has evolved beyond the mafia model

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Professor David Wall (SASS), and Yulia Chistyakova (Liverpool John Moores University) describe how research reveals a very different picture of organised crime.

(18 May 2015) » More about how organised crime in the UK has evolved beyond the mafia model


Uncertainties over the NHS will continue amid further Tory cuts to local government

Professor David Hunter, Centre for Public Policy and Health asks, "Having won an unexpected but slender majority, will the Conservative party’s new-found confidence result in new, bolder policies which may further erode the NHS’s public service?"

(11 May 2015) » More about uncertainties over the NHS will continue amid further Tory cuts to local government


Why the VE Day narrative in Germany is becoming even more complicated

Historian Dr James Koranyi believes that commemoration and memory is being re-politicised in Germany, and this could have worrying consequences.

(8 May 2015) » More about why the VE Day narrative in Germany is becoming even more complicated


Can the SNP derail Conservative hopes in Berwickshire?

David Byrne, says loosing their only seat in Scotland could have dire implications for the Conservative party.

 

(6 May 2015) » More about can the SNP derail Conservative hopes in Berwickshire?


The quiet local revolution reshaping the NHS

Professor David Hunter describes how the shift of health policy from London to the English regions could reshape the future of the NHS.

(6 May 2015) » More about the quiet local revolution reshaping the NHS


Prevention is better than cure

Professor David Hunter explains why future governments must take prevention and public health seriously if they want the NHS to be sustainable.

(29 Apr 2015) » More about prevention is better than cure


Why it is so hard to predict where and when earthquakes will strike

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Professor Mark Allen explains how research can be used to provide useful predictions in the future.

(28 Apr 2015) » More about Why it is so hard to predict where and when earthquakes will strike


Can a Green union man beat Labour's London parachuter in the north east?

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David Byrne, School of Applied Social Sciences, reports from Redcar and Cleveland, one of the UK’s most interesting marginal constituencies.

(27 Apr 2015) » More about can a Green union man beat Labour's London parachuter in the north east?


Investigating the largest structure in the Universe

Image courtesy of ESA Planck Collaboration

Astronomers have discovered what they say is the largest known structure in the Universe – a void measuring 1.8 billion light years across. Here, Professor Shaun Cole, Deputy Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology and a member of the research team behind the discovery, gives the background to the “supervoid”.

 

(23 Apr 2015) » More about Investigating the largest structure in the Universe


What former NHS chief's intervention tells us about the funding crisis

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If the NHS is to realise the promises our party political leaders are making, it will need a lot more new money and investment according to Professor David Hunter who looks at the the core issue of funding the service.

(22 Apr 2015) » More about What former NHS chief's intervention tells us about the funding crisis


Anorexia is an illness – not something we can simply blame on the media

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As France move to implement new laws banning the promotion of extreme thinness in the fashion industry, Lexie Thorpe (MSc in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience) says this will not be enough to address one of the most treatment-resistant mental illnesses.

(20 Apr 2015) » More about Anorexia is an illness – not something we can simply blame on the media


Map sheds light on dark matter that binds the universe together

Dark matter has always been described in terms of what it isn’t. Experiments carried out by Richard Massey and his team in the Department of Physics mean we are for the first time describing dark matter for what it is.

(16 Apr 2015) » More about map sheds light on dark matter that binds the universe together


Sudan election result a foregone conclusion

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As opposition parties boycott the elections in Sudan, Justin Willis (History) asks "What are elections for?"

 

(16 Apr 2015) » More about Sudan election result a foregone conclusion


No evidence that Labour's early years' policy will close education gap

Dr Christine Merrell (CEM) examines the Labour Party’s manifesto on early years' policy – and finds it lacking.

(14 Apr 2015) » More about no evidence that Labour early years' policy will close education gap


The Labour Party resurrects past education policies, but will they work?

Professor Steve Higgins, from Durham's School of Education, responds to the Labour Party's manifesto on school policies.

(14 Apr 2015) » More about the Labour Party resurrects past education policies, but will they work?


If we replace probation officers with machines, reoffending rates will rise

"In a bid to cut costs we risk locking up more people as managing ex-offenders is reduced to an algorithm delivered by untrained people or computers" says John Podmore, School of Applied Social Sciences. 

(6 Apr 2015) » More about if we replace probation officers with machines, reoffending rates will rise


Who is watching them while they are watching you?

Durham Law School's Professor Helen Fenwick says "If intelligence services want more powers, they must learn to live with increased oversight".

(2 Apr 2015) » More about who is watching them while they are watching you?


Infections of the mind: why anti-vaxxers just 'know' they're right

Thom Scott-Phillips (Anthropology) looks at the science of how and why ideas spread through populations.

(25 Mar 2015) » More about infections of the mind: why anti-vaxxers just 'know' they're right


Brazil can’t afford to ignore protesters

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Disgruntled rightwingers or disillusioned generation, we must recognise the importance of their grievances. Antonis Vradis asks "Who are these new protesters?"

(18 Mar 2015) » More about Brazil can’t afford to ignore protesters


Work Capability Assessment is a toxic failure – here's a better way

Clare Bambra, Jon Warren and Kayleigh Garthwaite suggest major reform is now needed to restore the Work Capability Assessment test to effectiveness and legitimacy – and this should be based on a real-world idea of incapacity.

(17 Mar 2015) » More about Work Capability Assessment is a toxic failure – here's a better way


Whatever happened to the great European fracking boom?

Liam Herringshaw analyses why the boom in shale gas has not materialised in Europe and why it is crucial that research into fracking continues.

(12 Mar 2015) » More about whatever happened to the great European fracking boom?


“Everyone has a story and the world would be much kinder if we started to listen to it”

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Rachel Waddingham is an independent trainer and consultant with Behind The Label. She is a trustee of the National Hearing Voices Network and the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis.

(11 Mar 2015) » More about “Everyone has a story and the world would be much kinder if we started to listen to it”


Hearing voices? Don't assume that means schizophrenia

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Angela Woods and Ben Alderson-Day discuss the findings of their research into why and how people hear voices.

(11 Mar 2015) » More about Hearing voices? Don't assume that means schizophrenia


UK's counter terrorism tactics must be unpicked

Following identification of the Islamic State militant Mohammed Emwazi, Alan Greene, Durham Law School, reflects on how hard it is to prevent terrorism without radicalising young people at the same time.

(2 Mar 2015) » More about UK's counter terrorism tactics must be unpicked


 

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