Episodes

  • This week we ask "how can we improve public services?" In particular, what are the structures and management strategies that best enable effective service delivery?

    Date of episode recording: 2023-12-14T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 36:08
    Language of episode: English (UK)


    Presenter: Prof Alan Renwick
    Guests: Marc Esteve
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

    Transcript link: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/improving-public-services/transcript

  • This week, we’re looking at how Russian leaders talk about sovereignty. In particular, how do their ideas about sovereignty help them rationalise war in Ukraine?

    Date of episode recording: 2023-12-07T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 34:46
    Language of episode: English (UK)


    Presenter: Prof Alan Renwick
    Guests: Kalina Zhekova
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

    Transcript link: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/russian-discourses-of-sovereignty/transcript

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  • This week we’re discussing the politics of climate change and loss and damage policy, ahead of the upcoming COP28 conference.

    Date of episode recording: 2023-11-23T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 39:39
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Emily McTernan
    Guests: Lisa Vanhala
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

    Transcript link: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/climate-change-loss-and-damage/transcript

  • This week we’re looking at the role of historical research in political science. What’s it good for, and how’s it best done?

    Date of episode recording: 2023-11-30T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 33:56
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter:Prof Alan Renwick
    Guests: Sam Erkiletian and Zeynep Bulutgil
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

  • This episode focuses on the recent emergent issues in Gaza, delving into the unfolding events and their broader impact, especially within the Global South.

    Date of episode recording: 2023-11-24T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 01:01:07
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Dr. Mezna Qato; Dr. Sertac Sehlikoglu
    Guests: Dr. Goldie Asuri; Dr. Saada Toor; Dr. Sanaa Alimia
    Producer: Meryem Zisan Koker; Hazal Aydin

  • About the Lecture:
    The extent to which a face appears alive or lifeless has long been a topic in psychology, with the idea that more humanlike-looking faces achieve greater familiarity until a point is reached at which subtle imperfections give a sensation of strangeness – the uncanny valley effect. The uncanny valley effect term describes the sense of discomfort or unease we experience when we encounter a robot with certain human-like characteristics. With rapid advances in technology, AI-generated faces are now widely available and are being used for both helpful and criminal purposes, from finding missing children to transmitting political misinformation via fake social media accounts. In this talk, Dr Krumhuber will give a brief historical perspective on how we have overcome the uncanny valley with AI faces that are now indistinguishable from human faces. Also, Dr Krumhuber will present her recent work which found that White AI faces are judged as human more often than actual human faces—a phenomenon we term AI hyperrealism.

    About the Speaker
    Eva Krumhuber is associate professor in the Department of Experimental Psychology at University College London. Much of her work is concerned with the empirical investigation of the socio-cognitive and affective processes in human perception and behaviour. This includes research on facial expressions, especially morphological and dynamic features and their role in emotion interpretation. More recently, she started exploring commonalities and differences in human and machine classification of emotions, with a particular focus on how various elicitation methods (i.e., posed, spontaneous, naturalistic) influence recognition accuracy. She has published widely within the field of psychology and computer science.

  • About the Lecture:
    In 2022 the government introduced the out-of-home calorie labelling policy in England to help people make informed nutritional decisions as part of a broader strategy to reduce rates of obesity. However, little is known about how this policy impacts people’s mental health, especially those with lived experience of eating disorders. This lecture will explore why the policy might be harmful for people with lived experience of eating disorders, what the current evidence says, and potential impacts for public policy. In particular, we will discuss whether public health policies can be inclusive of both obesity prevention and eating disorder prevention.

    About the speaker:
    Nora Trompeter is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Child Health. Nora has a background in developmental psychology and completed her PhD in 2022 at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her research is focused on identifying social and emotional risk factors for the development of eating disorder symptoms in adolescents.
    Ivonne Derks is Research Fellow at the Research Department of Behavioural Sciences and Health. She has a background in Health Sciences, Psychology and Clinical Epidemiology, and completed her PhD (2019) at Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Ivonne’s research is focussed on the development of eating disorder symptoms in adolescence and identifying shared risk factors between obesity and eating disorders.

  • About the Lecture:
    In this lecture, we will explore the ways in which popular culture constitutes a privileged site for LGBTIQ+ teenagers’ identity formation, analysing how the queer protagonists of Netflix’s hit TV show “Sex Education” turn to cinema, graphic novels, music and fashion to find inspiration for the development of their non-normative gender identities, “forbidden” desires and sexual orientations. We will uncover the undeniable parallels between these characters -Eric, Adam, Lily and Ola- and iconic films like "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," "Paris is Burning," or "Alien," along with the influence of queer legends such as David Bowie, Tina Turner, and Marlene Dietrich. In a way, this constitutes a metatextual exploration that reveals how transnational queer teen TV shows -like “Sex Education” itself- serve as beacons, offering role models for LGBTIQ+ youth worldwide.
    In a society steeped in cisheteronormativity, queer teens often seek affirmation and self-discovery through the kaleidoscope of popular culture. With the popularisation of platforms such as Netflix and HBO, which have recently become champions of diversity and inclusion, queer youth are finally able to see positive representations of queerness and find information about themselves that is not always available in their home and educational environments. Although queer popular culture and its influence on youth will be at the forefront of our discussion, we will also analyse the role of media for the dissemination of (queer) sex education; the promotion of feminist pedagogies throughout the show; and the potential of educational institutions to become sites of queer utopia, something exemplified in the fictional college portrayed in the last season of the show.

    About the speaker:
    Lucia Vazquez Rodriguez is a media scholar specialized in feminist and queer approaches to popular culture; in April this year, who joined UCL as a Lecturer in the MA Digital Media: Production, and became a member of the research group ReMAP. Lucia has an MA in Film and Philosophy from King's College London and a PhD in Audiovisual Communication from the Complutense University of Madrid, where they worked in several projects and publications with a research group called GECA (Gender, Aesthetics and Audiovisual Culture), and wrote a thesis on queer Latin American cinema directed by women.
    Lucia's main areas of interest are Queer and Feminist Screen Studies, Digital Fandom Communities, and Media Literacy, particularly in relation to teenagers, streaming platforms, sexual scripts and gender roles. Lucia is currently working on a book on the uses of haptic (highly sensorial) images within queer contemporary films directed by women, although they have also published extensively (and will continue to do so) about LGBTIQ+ teen TV shows such as “Sex Education”.

  • In this episode we hear from Abbie Chapman, a research fellow at UCL respond to the question 'Is taking A-Level worth it?' Abbie talks us through her experience.

    Date of episode recording: 2024-02-13T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 00:08:39
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Roberta Livingston
    Guests: Abbie Chapman
    Producer: Emma Bryant and Roberta Livingston

  • About the Lecture:
    In 2022 the government introduced the out-of-home calorie labelling policy in England to help people make informed nutritional decisions as part of a broader strategy to reduce rates of obesity. However, little is known about how this policy impacts people’s mental health, especially those with lived experience of eating disorders. This lecture will explore why the policy might be harmful for people with lived experience of eating disorders, what the current evidence says, and potential impacts for public policy. In particular, we will discuss whether public health policies can be inclusive of both obesity prevention and eating disorder prevention.

    About the speaker:
    Nora Trompeter is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Child Health. Nora has a background in developmental psychology and completed her PhD in 2022 at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her research is focused on identifying social and emotional risk factors for the development of eating disorder symptoms in adolescents.
    Ivonne Derks is Research Fellow at the Research Department of Behavioural Sciences and Health. She has a background in Health Sciences, Psychology and Clinical Epidemiology, and completed her PhD (2019) at Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Ivonne’s research is focussed on the development of eating disorder symptoms in adolescence and identifying shared risk factors between obesity and eating disorders.

  • About the Lecture
    Perhaps the most powerful way to understand the Holocaust and the myriad methods through which Jewish people across Europe were dehumanised, excluded, persecuted and murdered is through the direct testimony of those who were the targets of Nazi antisemitism. In this special Lunch Hour Lecture to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2024, Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich, who was nine years old when the Nazis invaded her birth country of Poland, will talk to Dr Michael Spence, President & Provost of UCL, about what happened to her and her family, how she survived against the odds, her liberation by the British at Bergen-Belsen, and ongoing effects of this traumatic past.

    As part of the conversation, Mala and Ruth-Anne Lenga (UCL Centre for Holocaust Education) will also discuss how the testimony of survivors forms a vital part of educating about the Holocaust in schools and tackling stereotypes, misconceptions and generalisations about Jewish life and experiences before, during and after the Holocaust.

    About the Speakers
    Mala Tribich MBE was born in 1930 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland. Following the Nazi invasion in 1939, her family was forced to move into a ghetto in her hometown, the first in Poland. Although attempts were made to hide her and other children in the family, Mala remained in the ghetto until it was liquidated and she was held as a slave labourer and then transported Ravensbrück and then eventually to Bergen-Belsen, where she remained until the camp was liberated. By then, she was just a girl of 14 years of age. In March 1947 she moved to the UK to be reunited with her brother Ben Helfgott, the only member of her close family to have survived. She made her life in the UK, working as a secretary before gaining a degree in Sociology from the University of London. She married her husband Maurice in 1950 and today has two children and three grandchildren. Mala is a regular speaker at many national memorial events, schools and universities and is now one of the few remaining survivors of the Holocaust.

  • With the ever-increasing challenge of climate change, educationalists are having to respond in a form that moves beyond a sense of eco-anxiety and hopelessness. This lecture aims to address this by proposing a pedagogy of hope as the means to engage learners of all ages in demonstrating that change is possible through social engagement and promoting a sense of global citizenship. Inspired by the thinking of the Brazilian educationalist, Paulo Freire, Professor Bourn will outline that a sense of hope needs to link to social and environmental justice. He will refer to his recently published edited volume on this theme including examples from research and practice in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

    About the speaker:
    Professor Douglas Bourn is Director of the Development Education Research Centre at UCL. Among his recently published books are Understanding Global Skills for 21st Century Professions (2018) and Education for Social Change (2022) and editing Bloomsbury Handbook for Global Education and Learning (2020), Research in Global Learning (2023) and with Massimiliano Tarozzi, Pedagogy of Hope for Global Social Justice (2024).

  • About the Lecture:
    Little attention is paid to sleep hygiene and Dr Garfield will present evidence to persuade the audience otherwise. This involves discussing research that is correlational as well as causal evidence from experimental and genetic epidemiological studies from recent years. Within the realm of sleep I will also discuss some of our recent findings on napping and how a nap might be beneficial for maintaining a healthier brain as we get older.

    About the speaker:
    Dr Victoria Garfield is a Senior Research Fellow in Genetic Epidemiology at the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, based in the Institute of Cardiovascular Science. She has a background in psychology, statistics and a PhD in Genetic epidemiology. Victoria’s research has focused on sleep epidemiology for the last 10 years, which includes understanding whether poor sleep might cause health problems as we get older. A particular interest in this area is dementia and whether changing our sleep habits could help prevent dementia. Victoria also has another stream of research which focuses on understanding why people with diabetes/high blood pressure are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia.

  • Anxiety is a natural human response. It’s what we feel when we are worried, tense, or afraid – particularly about the unknown or things that are about to happen. However, for approximately 23% of the UKs population, anxiety involves repeated episodes of intense fear or terror about everyday situations and activities. Professor Oliver Robinson is the co-group leader of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. In this month’s episode, Shakira and Iman talk to Oli about anxiety disorders and the difference between anxiety and fear.

    Presented by Shakira Crawford & Iman Issa-Ismail.
    Guest: Prof Oliver Robinson.
    Producer: Shakira Crawford.
    Podcast Research: Kyron James.
    Project Mentors: Marie Horner & Kaveh Rahnama.
    Filmed By: Mike Wornell.
    Led By: Dr Rupy Kaur Matharu & Dr Shoba Poduval.

    In collaboration with Future Formed and UCL.
    Funded by the UCL East Community Engagement Seed Fund 2022/23 and Future Formed.

  • Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people communicate and interact with the world. Though more than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK, it is often taboo to talk about. This is one of the reasons some people with autism feel it is hard to be themselves and mask their autistic traits to appear more neurotypical to society. Professor Kurinchi Gurusamy is the Head of Research in the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science at University College London. He also lives with autism. In this month’s episode, Shakira and Iman talk to Kurinichi about his personal experiences of living with autism and common misconceptions.

    Presented by Shakira Crawford & Iman Issa-Ismail.
    Guest: Prof Kurinchi Gurusamy.
    Producer: Shakira Crawford.
    Podcast Research: Kyron James.
    Project Mentors: Marie Horner & Kaveh Rahnama.
    Filmed By: Mike Wornell.
    Led By: Dr Rupy Kaur Matharu & Dr Shoba Poduval.

    In collaboration with Future Formed and UCL.
    Funded by the UCL East Community Engagement Seed Fund 2022/23 and Future Formed.

  • Mental health illnesses that occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child, affect 27% of new and expectant mothers in the UK. Common negative stigmatising perceptions are often what prevent people from speaking out and seeking help. Dr Kate Adlington is an Academic Clinical Fellow at Queen Mary University London and a Higher Trainee in General Adult Psychiatry in the East London NHS Foundation Trust. In this month’s episode, Shakira and Iman talk to Kate about perinatal mental health, the pressures of being a new mother (including feeling lonely and the social detriments of pregnancy), the healthcare inequalities faced by black and ethnic minority women, plus more.

    Presented by Shakira Crawford & Iman Issa-Ismail.
    Guest: Dr Kate Adlington.
    Producer: Shakira Crawford.
    Podcast Research: Kyron James.
    Project Mentors: Marie Horner & Kaveh Rahnama.
    Filmed By: Mike Wornell.
    Led By: Dr Rupy Kaur Matharu & Dr Shoba Poduval.

    In collaboration with Future Formed and UCL.
    Funded by the UCL East Community Engagement Seed Fund 2022/23 and Future Formed.

  • Join hosts Doctor Xand van Tulleken and Dr Rochelle Burgess for Season 4, Episode 2 of Public Health Disrupted with Prof Maria Kett and Sarah Spencer.

    "Is technology the magic bullet for humanitarian aid, or does it come with its own set of ethical dilemmas?"

    In this episode, hosts Dr Xand van Tulleken and Dr Rochelle Burgess delve into the complex world of humanitarian crises and the transformative role of technology in emergency responses.

    With the expertise of Professor Maria Kett, an anthropologist with a rich background in disability-inclusive humanitarian aid, and Sarah Spencer, an AI technical consultant navigating the challenging intersection of AI, national security, and public policy, this episode explores the intricate relationship between technology and humanitarian action.

    From AI’s potential for predicting and containing epidemics, to the potential pitfalls of humanitarian surveillance, our guests discuss how technology is reshaping the humanitarian landscape. They challenge us to consider the ethical implications of data security, consent, and the agency of vulnerable populations whose lives are increasingly datafied.

    Read full show notes: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/health-of-public/ai-good-tech-and-ethics-humanitarian-crises
    Access transcript: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/health-of-public/transcript-ai-good-tech-and-ethics-humanitarian-crises

  • We speak with Warren Luk, a former student in Economics & Statistics at UCL, about his time at the university, how important extra-curricular activities are, and what his career path has been since he ventured into the world. Links: https://www.goodlab.hk/

    Transcription link: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/statistics/transcript-episode-11

    Date of episode recording: 2023-07-12T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 00:29:16
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Nathan Green
    Guests: Warren Luk
    Producer: Chih Ching Chen

  • This episode we explore Positive Impact. UCLB is helping to create a new generation of businesses from UCL academics specifically with positive societal impact at their heart. The commercialisation process can be a long road requiring financial, legal, and practical support. Nigel Campbell meets two inventors, Buffy Price Co-founder and COO of Carbon Re, an AI and Climate Tech company spinout from UCL and Cambridge, and Professor Pete Coffey from UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Founder of Tenpoint Therapeutics; both who are on that journey on how their inventions might improve our future world. We also talk to Dr Anne Lane, CEO of UCLB to find out how UCLB finds the bright ideas which will improve lives, and what it takes to scale to a point where they are having true impact.

    For more information and transcript: https://www.uclb.com/event-category/podcast/

  • The Bartlett Review Podcast: Women leading infrastructure

    Why is there a shortage of female leaders in infrastructure and construction, and why is this an urgent problem for us all? In this podcast, we're talking about the shortage of female talent working in top jobs in construction and infrastructure. What is putting women off these jobs? Join Julia Prescot, Deputy Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, and experts Prof Priti Parikh and Dr Katharina Burger from UCL's Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, to examine how we can do more to build a pipeline of female talent.

    https://bartlett-review.ucl.ac.uk/women-leading-infrastructure/index.html