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Durham University News

Comment and opinion

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


Claims about Cambridge Analytica's role in Africa should be taken with a pinch of salt

Men holding up an election poster in Nigeria 2015

Durham's Professor of Modern African History, Justin Willis, Professor Gabrielle Lynch, University of Warwick and Professor Nic Cheeseman, University of Birmingham urge caution about Cambridge Analytica's assertions.

(23 Mar 2018) » More about claims about Cambridge Analytica's role in Africa should be taken with a pinch of salt


Space - the final business opportunity?

Famous red sports car and planet earth in background

Professor Martin Ward from the Department of Physics explains why the launch of the Heavy Falcon rocket has opened up new frontiers.

(13 Feb 2018) » More about Space the final business opportunity?


Votes for Women

Dr Henry Miller and Ciara Stewart from Durham's Petition, Parliament and People Project, explain how 17,000 petitions helped deliver votes for women. 

(6 Feb 2018) » More about votes for women


What the Brexit deal means for EU citizens and their families

Professor of European Law, Eleanor Spaventa considers the grey areas of the deal agreed earlier this month. 

(15 Dec 2017) » More about what the Brexit deal means for EU citizens and their families


We could use old coal mines to decarbonise heat – here's how

miner's hands holding a lump of coal

Dr Charlotte Adams from Geography and Durham Energy Institute Executive Director Professor Jon Gluyas believe that the UK's abandoned deep mines could meet our future energy needs.

(28 Nov 2017) » More about we could use old coal mines to decarbonise heat – here's how


After Mugabe, all eyes are on Museveni: how long can he cling to power?

Professor Justin Willis from the Department of History discusses issues around President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda with Professor Gabrielle Lynch (University of Warwick) and Professor Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham).

(27 Nov 2017) » More about After Mugabe, all eyes are on Museveni: how long can he cling to power?


Nearly half of teenage smokers have bought illegal tobacco, so what are the dangers?

cigarette stubs in an ashtray

Dr Andrew Russell from the Department of Anthropology and the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing discusses new figures that show more than half of all teenage smokers in the north-east of England have bought illegal tobacco.

(22 Nov 2017) » More about nearly half of teenage smokers have bought illegal tobacco, so what are the dangers?


Sexual harassment - it's all part of growing up

Dr Fiona Vera-Gray from Durham Law School talks about sexual harassment being commonly disregarded as an inevitable part of life.

(9 Nov 2017) » More about sexual harassment - it's all part of growing up


Trump - Rating the presidency

After a tumultuous year beset by controversy, how should we assess Donald Trump, twelve months on from his US presidential election win? 

(9 Nov 2017) » More about Trump - rating the presidency


Time to celebrate the unsung women heroes of peace mediation

While women are active and successful mediators at the grassroots level, they remain largely invisible in international peacemaking.

(31 Oct 2017) » More about time to celebrate the unsung women heroes of peace mediation


What is space? The 300-year-old philosophical battle that is still raging today

Dr Emily Thomas, from Philosophy, examines the way debate over the definition of space has unfurled and grown in the last 300 years.

(19 Oct 2017) » More about what is space? The 300-year-old philosophical battle that is still raging today


Why the US withdrawal from UNESCO is a step backwards for global cultural cooperation

Professor Robin Coningham, UNESCO Chair on Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, explains why this will result in few benefits.

(19 Oct 2017) » More about why the US withdrawal from UNESCO is a step backwards for global cultural cooperation


A step-change in tackling sexual violence

Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience)

Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) and Chair of the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Group at Durham University, writes on a step-change in the higher education sector, and Durham's part in it.

(18 Oct 2017) » More about a step-change in tackling sexual violence


Why hunger is on the rise in the world, and what can be done about it

The United Nations reports that global hunger is on the rise for the first time in ten years - Professor Peter Atkins examines the reasons behind this increase.

(3 Oct 2017) » More about why hunger is on the rise in the world, and what can be done about it


How Taylor Swift has become a femme fatale - with a little help from Sylvia Plath

clip from Taylor Swift video - she is in a bath of diamonds

Dr Eleanor Spencer-Regan, Digital Director of the Centre for Poetry and Poetics considers what the former "pop princess" and the confessional poet have in common. 

(20 Sep 2017) » More about how Taylor Swift has become a femme fatale - with a little help from Sylvia Plath


What new barriers can EU citizens expect in their daily lives after Brexit?

Professor Eleanor Spaventa warns that EU citizens living in Britain should prepare to present documentation whenever they interact with the state.

(13 Sep 2017) » More about what new barriers can EU citizens expect in their daily lives after Brexit?


Primacy of the law has been asserted in Kenya – but the aftermath is unpredictable

Professor Justin Willis considers the potential impact of the decision by Kenya's Supreme Court to declare the election null and void. 

(7 Sep 2017) » More about primacy of the law has been asserted in Kenya – but the aftermath is unpredictable


A museum of Confederate statues – and how it could help end the American Civil War

Dr Kevin Waite, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, examines the fierce debate in the United States surrounding confederate memorials and suggests a solution.

(24 Aug 2017) » More about a museum of Confederate statues – and how it could help end the American Civil War


Nosy neighbours and the outsourcing of UK gun control

Dr Sam Hillyard from the School of Applied Social Sciences, discusses nosy neighbours and the outsourcing of UK gun control. 

(11 Aug 2017) » More about nosy neighbours and the outsourcing of UK gun control


Kenya’s elections are much more than just a ruthless game of thrones

Professor Justin Willis from the Department of History and Professor Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham) talk about the threat of controversy and unrest that looms over Kenya’s election.

(3 Aug 2017) » More about Kenya’s elections are much more than just a ruthless game of thrones


Understanding why some female teachers sexually abuse pupils

Andrea J Darling, who is studying for a PhD in the School of Applied Social Sciences, discusses why some female teachers sexually abuse pupils. 

(11 Jul 2017) » More about Understanding why some female teachers sexually abuse pupils


How badly implemented land reform can affect wildlife: a Zimbabwean case study

Credit: Durham University

Dr Sam Williams Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology talks about land reform affecting wildlife.

Large carnivores are in decline all over the world. Threats like persecution and loss of both prey and habitat are key contributors. The planet’s top biodiversity hotspots have already lost around 90% of their primary (undisturbed) vegetation, driven by factors like growth of infrastructure, agriculture and the removal of natural resources.

(29 Jun 2017) » More about How badly implemented land reform can affect wildlife: a Zimbabwean case study


Twenty years on, Harry Potter continues to cast a spell on readers

Dr Eleanor Spencer-Regan Vice-Principal and Senior Tutor of St Chad's College and member of the Department of English Studies considers the enduring appeal of Harry Potter.

(26 Jun 2017) » More about twenty years on, Harry Potter continues to cast a spell on readers


Is there enough good evidence to inform teaching in schools?

Professor Stephen Gorard talks about the importance of using solid evidence to inform education practice.

(21 Jun 2017) » More about is there enough good evidence to inform teaching in schools?


Fact Check: is China dumping steel?

Fact Check: is China dumping steel?

Professor Ian Greenwood and Professor Ray Hudson examine if China is dumping steel.

(15 Jun 2017) » More about Fact Check: is China dumping steel?