Durham University

Durham University News

Comment and opinion

How Apollo is still revealing the Moon’s secrets

On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. Fifty years on, the lunar samples collected by Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and subsequent Apollo astronauts still play an important part in our attempts to find out how much water exists on our near neighbour and how it reached Earth, as Dr Vincent Eke, in our Institute for Computational Cosmology, explains.

(15 Jul 2019) » More about How Apollo is still revealing the Moon’s secrets


US military's carbon bootprint is bigger than most countries

Dr Oliver Belcher (Geography) has co-authored a report with colleagues from Lancaster University, that shows the US military is the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

(25 Jun 2019) » More about US military's carbon bootprint is bigger than most countries


What I've learned by teaching prisoners to think like scientists

Dr Phil Heron from Earth Sciences reflects on his recent experience of teaching in HMP Low Newton.

(5 Jun 2019) » More about what I've learned by teaching prisoners to think like scientists


Earthquakes or tiger attacks?

Dr Hanna Ruszczyk (Geography) believes that understanding what people fear most can help prevent disasters.

(24 May 2019) » More about Earthquakes or tiger attacks?


Students are increasingly turning to religious leaders for mental health support

Professor Mathew Guest, Department of Theology and Religion, examines the work of university chaplains and the difference they can make to students' lives. 

(10 May 2019) » More about Students are increasingly turning to religious leaders for mental health support


Fracking can cause earthquakes tens of kilometres away suggests new research

Professor Gillian Foulger (Earth Sciences) believes that earthquakes threaten to be a showstopper for fracking, and a critical problem for cleaner energy solutions too.

(8 May 2019) » More about Fracking can cause earthquakes tens of kilometres away suggests new research


Upskirting is now illegal – now the normalisation of men's sexual privilege in society must be tackled

Upskirting may now be illegal but Dr Hannah Bows believes there's still a long way to go for gender equality. 

(17 Apr 2019) » More about Upskirting is now illegal – now the normalisation of men's sexual privilege in society must be tackled


Student resistance in South Africa: the SASO nine trial and Steve Biko

Anne Heffernan, Assistant Professor in the history of Southern Africa, explains how Steve Biko and SASO continue to influence student activists today.

 

(16 Apr 2019) » More about student resistance in South Africa: the SASO nine trial and Steve Biko


Camera traps reveal the secret lives of Britain's mammals

PhD researcher Sian Green explains that camera traps can help us learn more about mammals and how we can help look after them in the future.

(12 Apr 2019) » More about Camera traps reveal the secret lives of Britain's mammals


100% low-carbon energy is still a long way off for the UK

Professor Jon Gluyas (Department of Earth Sciences) and Dr Andrew Crossland (Durham Energy Institute) discuss the UK's journey to decarbonisation.

(9 Apr 2019) » More about 100% low-carbon energy is still a long way off for the UK


LGBT school lessons row shows homophobia is alive and well in the UK

Dr Anna Llewellyn from our School of Education believes homosexuality is still seen as a threat to family values and innocence in the UK.

 

(3 Apr 2019) » More about LGBT school lessons row shows homophobia is alive and well in the UK


The invisibility of women’s sports is damaging the next generation of female athletes

Today is International Women’s Day: a day to celebrate women’s achievements and to call for a more gender-balanced world. When it comes to this balance, thankfully we are tilting the scales to a more equal setting, but there is still a lot of work to do – especially in sport. 

(8 Mar 2019) » More about The invisibility of women’s sports is damaging the next generation of female athletes


Teaching archaeology in care homes - older people are often the best students

Professor Charlotte Roberts (Archaeology) believes that learning isn’t the preserve of young people - giving older people a chance to learn new things can help them live more fulfilling lives.

(19 Feb 2019) » More about teaching archaeology in care homes


Football’s gender problem

Amée Gill, doctoral researcher in the Department of Sport & Exercise Sciences, explains why from the pitch to the boardroom, women are still being blocked from the top jobs.

(1 Feb 2019) » More about football’s gender problem


How did Uranus end up on its side?

The planet Uranus. Credit: 3quarks

Jacob Kegerreis (Physics), PhD Student, discusses the cataclysmic collision that shaped Uranus’ evolution and caused it to tilt on its axis.

(29 Jan 2019) » More about how Uranus ended up on its side


Fixing gender gaps isn't just about women

father reading to his baby

Kyle Murray, Teaching Fellow in Public Law and Human Rights explains why men will also benefit from a more equal society.

(14 Dec 2018) » More about fixing gender gaps isn't just about women


Has the ban on 'legal highs' worked?

Professors Fiona Measham (Sociology) and Alex Stevens (University of Kent) consider whether the 2016 legislation has proved effective in reducing the use of psychoactive substances in the UK.

(6 Dec 2018) » More about has the ban on 'legal highs' worked?


When seven jobs just isn't enough

Dr Jo McBride (Business School) and Dr Andrew Smith (University of Bradford) discuss the issue of low paid workers who have to do multiple jobs just to get by.

(6 Dec 2018) » More about when seven jobs just isn't enough


Only a referendum on Theresa May's Brexit deal can end deadlock in parliament – what the options should be

Professor Thom Brooks, Dean of Durham Law School, argues for a second referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

(4 Dec 2018) » More about Only a referendum on Theresa May's Brexit deal can end deadlock in parliament


No woman in a public place is free from the risk of upskirting

Professor Clare McGlynn and Dr Fiona Vera-Gray from Durham Law School on why we must do more to tackle image-based sexual abuse.

(23 Nov 2018) » More about no woman in a public place is free from the risk of upskirting


We have weaker bones than our hunter-gatherer ancestors - here's what you can do

Dr Karen Hind (Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences) and Professor Charlotte Roberts (Department of Archaeology) explain that bones become weak, and can fracture easily, without proper physical activity.

(22 Nov 2018) » More about why we have weaker bones than our hunter-gatherer ancestors


Combatting forced labour and in-work poverty - lessons from Brazil and India

Professor Deirdre McCann from Durham Law School discusses the growing unease about the state of working life in the UK and the presence of forced labour in today’s society.

(13 Nov 2018) » More about combatting forced labour and in-work poverty - lessons from Brazil and India


Fracking causes earthquakes by design: can regulation keep up?

Miles Wilson, PhD Candidate, Gillian Foulger and Jon Gluyas (all Department of Earth Sciences) and Richard Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Internationalisation, Newcastle University explain that fracking is intended to bring about the very process which results in earthquakes.

(9 Nov 2018) » More about Fracking causes earthquakes by design: can regulation keep up?


#Revolution: how the humble hashtag changed world politics

Joanna Rozpedowski from SGIA looks at evolution of the hash tag & how it has changed the world for good.

(2 Nov 2018) » More about #Revolution: how the humble hashtag changed world politics


Creativity is a human quality that exists in every single one of us

Lucy M Davies and Lynn Newton from the School of Education explain why creativity is a quality that exists in every human being.

(16 Oct 2018) » More about Creativity is a human quality that exists in every single one of us


Three things we can all learn from people who don't use smartphones or social media

Dr Mariann Hardey from Durham University Business School and Rowland Atkinson from University of Sheffield explain why disconnecting can be a good thing.

(21 Sep 2018) » More about things to learn from those who don't use social media


The Russians who are resisting the Kremlin's crackdown on minority languages

Dr Guzel Yusupova from Modern Languages and Culture looks at the Russians who are protesting against the Kremlin.

(12 Sep 2018) » More about the Russians who are resisting the Kremlin's crackdown on minority languages


How Donald Trump can survive Michael Cohen's decision to turn on him

Dr Neil Visalvanich from SGIA looks at the history of presidential scandal to assess Trump's chances of weathering this latest storm.

(22 Aug 2018) » More about how Donald Trump can survive Michael Cohen's decision to turn on him


Colombia’s troubled peace process and the lessons of Bosnia-Herzegovina

Dr Stefanie Kappler Associate Professor in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building and Dr Louis Monroy-Santander,Teaching Fellow in Defence, Development and Diplomacy from SGIA look at the challenges facing Colombia's new president Ivan Duque 

(14 Aug 2018) » More about Colombia’s troubled peace process and the lessons of Bosnia-Herzegovina


Early California lawmakers also preached #resistance — but against immigration

black and white photo of Chinese workers from 1870s

Dr Kevin Waite, from our Department of History, reveals why the State of California refused to ratify the 14th Amendment and why it once pioneered racist immigration exclusion laws.

(14 Aug 2018) » More about early California lawmakers also preached #resistance — but against immigration


Bribery and buying favours: why Uganda's MPs want longer terms

Headshot of President Museveni

Now that President Yoweri Museveni has been given the legal go-ahead to run for the presidency again, what does this mean for Ugandan politicsProfessor Justin Willis from Durham History and Gabrielle Lynch from University of Warwick explain.

(9 Aug 2018) » More about bribery and buying favours: why Uganda's MPs want longer terms


Parts of Spain and Portugal are more than 46℃ – here's what is going on

Professor Glenn McGregor from Geography explores the causes of the heat wave currently affecting much of Europe, and asks whether this might be a sign of things to come.

(8 Aug 2018) » More about parts of Spain and Portugal are more than 46℃ – here's what is going on


Why Boris Johnson is wrong about the burka

Upper half of a woman's face

Dr Mathew Guest from Theology and Religion asks what is more offensive – concealing your face or misleading the public?

(8 Aug 2018) » More about why Boris Johnson is wrong about the burka


The Art of the Possible

Jane Robinson of Durham University discusses the contribution of culture and creativity to teaching, research and wider engagement.

(6 Aug 2018) » More about The Art of the Possible


Will Imran Khan the prime minister necessarily look like Imran Khan the candidate?

Dr Rosita Armytage from Anthropology provides her insights on Imran Khan and continuity in Pakistani politics

(27 Jul 2018) » More about will Imran Khan the prime minister necessarily look like Imran Khan the candidate?


Pakistani voters weigh their options ahead of the general election

Pakistan's electorate need to decide which of the three main parties will confront the way China and the military have transformed their country and vote accordingly, believes Dr Rosita Armytage from Anthropology.

(19 Jul 2018) » More about Pakistani voters weigh their options ahead of the general election


Testosterone levels determined by where men grow up – new research

Boys who grow up in healthier, wealthier environments tend to have more testosterone as adults, according to the latest research from Dr Kesson Magid (Department of Anthropology).

(5 Jul 2018) » More about testosterone levels determined by where men grow up – new research


'Upskirting' and 'revenge porn': the need for a comprehensive law

Professor Clare McGlynn (Durham Law School) and Professor Erika Rackley (University of Birmingham) discuss the need to criminalise upskirting and revenge porn.

(4 Jul 2018) » More about 'Upskirting' and 'revenge porn': the need for a comprehensive law


The misleading evidence that fooled scientists for decades

Dr Peter Vickers from the Department of Philosophy discusses how there are surprisingly few proven facts in science.

(19 Jun 2018) » More about the misleading evidence that fooled scientists for decades


We discovered that life may be billions of times more common in the multiverse

Professor Richard Bower from the Department of Physics discusses why life may actually be a lot more common in parallel universes than we had thought.

(14 Jun 2018) » More about we discovered that life may be billions of times more common in the multiverse


The evolving civic role of universities

Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer at Durham University, writes on the evolving civic role of universities. 

(8 Jun 2018) » More about The evolving civic role of universities


What each of the G7 countries wants, and what they need

Angela Merkel wearing headphones

The 2018 meeting of the G7 countries promises to be tense due to recent decisions on trade policy by the Trump administration. Dr Dennis Schmidt (SGIA) joins other experts to consider what Germany and other member states hope to get from the summit.

(8 Jun 2018) » More about what each of the G7 countries wants, and what they need


A small secondment in Hatfield College, Durham University

Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), reminisces about volunteering in Hatfield College.

(6 Jun 2018) » More about a small secondment in Hatfield College, Durham University


Was Ireland’s 8th amendment a breach of the country’s international human rights commitments?

Sign for polling station in English and Irish

Dr Aisling McMahon from Durham Law School and Dr Brid Ni Ghrainne (University of Sheffield) looked closely at the amendment and explain why it violated international human rights law

(25 May 2018) » More about was Ireland’s 8th amendment a breach of the country’s international human rights commitments?


How to understand one of Stephen Hawking's final papers

Professor Ruth Gregory from Mathematical Sciences explains what we can understand from one of Professor Stephen Hawking's final papers, which was published posthumously last week.

(9 May 2018) » More about how to understand one of Stephen Hawking's final papers


Warning signs: how early humans first began to paint animals

Professor Paul Pettitt, from the Department of Archaeology and Derek Hodgson, University of York, explain why figurative art might derive from Neanderthal handprints.

(4 May 2018) » More about warning signs: how early humans first began to paint animals


How research uses the wisdom – and funding – of the crowd

blue tit, smartphone next to river, outline of Lindisfarne island

Billions of people across the world are now connected by the internet and this online crowd is regularly used to provide information and funding to projects both big and small.

(26 Apr 2018) » More about how research uses the wisdom – and funding – of the crowd


Why 'upskirting' needs to be made a sex crime

The Justice Secretary David Gauke has indicated that the government could support a change to the law surrounding upskirting. Clare McGlynn, Professor of Law at Durham and University of Birmingham's Professor Erika Rackley explain why a new law against upskirting is urgently needed.

(24 Apr 2018) » More about why 'upskirting' needs to be made a sex crime


Would Jesus have done better in politics than in the church?

Revd. Dr Peter Phillips, Research Fellow in Digital Theology & Director of CODEC Research Centre, believes that the Bible is clear, and Christ's teachings were highly politicial. 

(28 Mar 2018) » More about would Jesus have done better in politics than in the church?


How stigma in the healthcare system is undermining efforts to reduce obesity

Dr Emily Oliver (Department of Sociology) and Dr Stuart Flint from Leeds Beckett University discuss how research shows healthcare providers may offer weight loss advice in place of medical treatment.

(27 Mar 2018) » More about how stigma in the healthcare system is undermining efforts to reduce obesity