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Durham University News

Comment and opinion

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

Image of David Byrne

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

Image of Professor David Hunter

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

Image of Lexie Thorpe

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

Image of Justin Willis

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

Image of Dr Antonis Vradis

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”

Image of Rachel Waddingham

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


Teachers show bias to pupils who share their personality

Professor Peter Tymms analyses new research from Germany which looks at how similar personality traits between teachers and children can affect how children are assessed in school.

(25 Feb 2015) » More about teachers show bias to pupils who share their personality


To stop child abductors, we need a better understanding of who they are

Child abduction is every parent's worst nightmare. Graham Hill explores how demonising perpetrators can undermine our ability to understand their motives; an understanding which could lead to interventions to protect children.

(24 Feb 2015) » More about to stop child abductors, we need a better understanding of who they are


'I could sow the seeds of a new civilisation'

Image of Hannah Earnshaw

Hannah Earnshaw, Department of Physics, talks about her application to the Mars One mission and her hopes of becoming one of the first humans to live on the Red Planet.

(23 Feb 2015) » More about 'I could sow the seeds of a new civilisation'


How school teachers could become the foot soldiers of education research

Professor Stephen Gorard and Dr Nadia Siddiqui ask "As demand for results of education research increases, could teachers do this as a part of their schools’ regular function?"

(19 Feb 2015) » More about How school teachers could become the foot soldiers of education research


Air pollution from Europe and America is making the tropics drier

Image of Yok Balum Cave, Belize

Harriet Ridley, Earth Sciences writes about the effect of air pollution from Europe and North America on the tropics, thousands of miles to the south.

(16 Feb 2015) » More about air pollution from Europe and America is making the tropics drier


The new law against 'revenge porn' is welcome, but no guarantee of success

Clare McGlynn, Durham University and Erika Rackley, University of Birmingham say while the new law is certainly welcome, what is really needed is cultural change: so that it is not just the breach of someone’s privacy by maliciously distributing private images that is condemned, but also the culture of hostility and aggression that feeds and underpins it.

(16 Feb 2015) » More about the new law against 'revenge porn' is welcome, but no guarantee of success


Can schemes to inspire tomorrow's scientists close the poverty attainment gap?

Image of Pallavi Banerjee

Research by Pallavi Amitava Banerjee, School of Education, shows that while school performances in maths and science are improving, a school’s percentage of disadvantaged pupils still has the most impact on achievement in these subjects.

(10 Feb 2015) » More about can schemes to inspire tomorrow's scientists close the poverty attainment gap?


GCHQ datasharing with the NSA deemed unlawful

Image of Professor Ian Leigh

Following the ruling from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal which ruled that the way GCHQ shared intelligence from the US National Security Agency was unlawful, Ian Leigh says we have no reason to believe that anything has changed at the organisation.

(9 Feb 2015) » More about GCHQ datasharing with the NSA deemed unlawful


Universities must aim higher on ethnic equality and diversity

Image of Dr Vicki Boliver

A new report, authored by Dr Vicki Boliver and published by race equality think-tank the Runnymede Trust, highlights a number of concerns around inequalities in higher education.

 

(4 Feb 2015) » More about Universities must aim higher on ethnic equality and diversity


 

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