• This week we’re looking at the impact of war on rates of infant mortality. How big is it? And can it be mitigated?

    It seems obvious that war harms civilian populations, not least children. But research can reveal much more about the nature and scale of those harms and perhaps also about what can be done about them. This week we’re focusing on a new study of the impact of war upon rates of infant mortality. The study is by Rod Abouharb, Associate Professor of International Relations here in the UCL Department of Political Science.

    Mentioned in this episode: Abouharb, M.R. 'War and infant mortality rates.' Journal of Human Rights.

    For more information and to access the transcript: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/war-and-infant-mortality/transcript

    Date of episode recording: 2023-01-12
    Duration: 30:21:00
    Language of episode: English (UK)
    Presenter: Alan Renwick
    Guests: Rod Abouharb
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

  • Mehiyar Kathem interviews Dr Mustafa Doğan of Batman University. Doğan completed a Nahrein Network - British Institute Visiting Scholarship at Reading University. The podcast covers Doğan's research in the UK and his plans to establish an eco-museum in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey.

    For more information and to access the transcript: www.ucl.ac.uk/nahrein/media/podcasts/transcript-conversation-mustafa-dogan

    Date of episode recording: 2020-01-17
    Duration: 25:34
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Mehiyar Kathem
    Guests: Mustafa Dogan
    Producer: Mehiyar Kathem

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  • This week we’re looking at a new way of thinking about the role of the state in our society: the idea of the ‘precautionary state’. What is it? What are its implications? And is it a good thing?

    At a time of breakdown in our public health service, unaffordable childcare bills, and a cost of living crisis, questions over how our society should be governed, and what the state should provide, are pressing. Meanwhile, the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the vulnerabilities in the energy and food supply chains exposed by the war in Ukraine reveal, some think, state failure to plan ahead and make provision, just in case. One person who has thought long and hard about what functions the state should exercise, and how it ought to perform them, is Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy here in the UCL Department of Political Science.

    Longstanding listeners to UCL Uncovering Politics may remember an episode we did with him a couple of years ago on his major book Modern Social Contract Theory, which explored the principles that should guide decisions on the role of the state. Albert is now building on that foundation to develop a new approach to thinking about the role of the state, which he calls the ‘precautionary state’ – one that moves from ‘just in time’ systems, to a ‘just in case’ approach, with ample provision of public goods. Mentioned in this episode: Modern Social Contract Theory. Albert Weale. Oxford University Press.

    For more information and to access the transcript: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/the-precautionary-state/transcript

    Date of episode recording: 2023-01-20
    Duration: 44:21:00
    Language of episode: English (UK)
    Presenter: Prof Alan Renwick
    Guests: Prof Albert Weale
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

  • In this interview from the Department of Statistical Science at UCL, we speak with Sam Tickle who is a Data Science Research Fellow at the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research, based at the University of Bristol. We discuss Sam’s research in changepoint detection, his new method called OMEN and the study of the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) that inspired it, and some milestones of his career path into statistical science.

    For more information and to access the transcript: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/statistics/

    Date of episode recording: 2023-04-27
    Duration: 00:37:05
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Omar Rivasplata
    Guests: Sam Tickle
    Producer: Nathan Green

  • Living on the edge - health inequalities and rising costs with Prof Sir Michael Marmot and Jack Monroe

    Join hosts Doctor Xand van Tulleken and Dr Rochelle Burgess for Season 3, Episode 1 of Public Health Disrupted: Living on the edge - health inequalities and rising costs with Prof Sir Michael Marmot and Jack Monroe
    How does the cost-of-living crisis affect the health of the public? What impact does financial stress have on our physical and mental wellbeing? This episode aims to reshape the narrative and create a clearer understanding of the growing economic and health problems affecting millions of people living in the UK.

    Professor Sir Michael Marmot (Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity) and Jack Monroe (award-winning food writer, TV presenter, and campaigner) explain why there are health inequalities in our society and how the cost-of-living crisis disproportionally affects people on lower incomes. They outline the challenges faced by those living in poverty and what changes are required to safeguard our future against this mounting humanitarian crisis.

    For more information and to access the transcript: www.ucl.ac.uk/health-of-public/transcript-cost-living-crisis-podcast

    Date of episode recording: 2023-02-14
    Duration: 00:40:00
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter:Xand van Tulleken; Rochelle Burgess
    Guests: Jack Monroe; Michael Marmot
    Producer: Annabelle Buckland

  • This week we ask: if the international community can’t make states abide by their human rights obligations, what’s the point of invoking human rights? 

    Human rights atrocities make headlines around the world and are usually followed by a national and international debate over how the perpetrators should be punished, and how these events might be prevented in the future. The government of the country where such human rights violations take place often comes under intense criticism and is pressured into creating processes of enquiry or passing legislation. And yet, often, little seems to change on the ground, and victims of human rights violations are rarely, if ever, are satisfied with the outcome. This begs the question: what is the point of these international calls for justice, if justice is rarely forthcoming?

    A new book dealing with these questions and the contradictions in the international human rights order was released this year. Its author is Dr Kate Cronin-Furman, Associate Professor in the UCL Department of Political Science. Mentioned in this episode: Hypocrisy and Human Rights: Resisting Accountability for Mass Atrocities. Cornell University Press.

    For more information and to access the transcript: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/hypocrisy-and-human-rights-around-the-world/transcript

    Date of episode recording: 2022-12-08T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 00:32:04
    Language of episode: English (UK)
    Presenter: Dr Emily McTernan
    Guests: Dr Kate Cronin-Furman
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

  • Intro to MBA Major Infrastructure Delivery - Join us on this podcast as we explore the thinking that shaped this new MBA and why it is an important and timely development for the industry.

    For more information and to access the transcript:

    Date of episode recording: 2023-02-23
    Duration: 00:08:54
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Katharina Burger
    Guests: Juliano Denicol; Peter Hansford; Sue Kershaw; Tim Broyd
    Producer: Katharina Burger

  • An interview with Professor Nasser Jassem of the University of Mosul. Professor Nasser Jassem, previous head of Mosul University Library (2003-2011) and former director of the Unit for the Study of Orientalism, completed a scholarship at University College London in 2019. Professor Nasser Jassem speaks about Edward Said and Orientalism, the future of scholarship in Iraq and life under the Islamic State in Mosul.

    Date of episode recording: 2020-07-31
    Duration: 01:05:59
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Mehiyar Kathem
    Guests: Nasser Jassem
    Producer: Mehiyar Kathem

  • Join Dr Michael Spence (UCL President & Provost) and Professor Li Wei (Director & Dean, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education & Society) as they discuss their shared love of languages: from raising bilingual children and language learning mishaps, to preserving heritage languages and the importance of supporting language teaching in schools.

    Find out about learning languages at UCL’s Centre for Languages & International Education www.ucl.ac.uk/languages-international-education/ucl-centre-languages-international-education

    To find out more and access the transcript: www.ucl.ac.uk/global/news/2023/feb/celebrating-international-mother-language-day

  • Date of Lecture: 31 January 2023

    About the Lecture:
    The UCL Energy Transitions Modelling Lab has developed a series of energy system models over the last 20 years that have had a profound impact on UK energy policy. The most recent model, UK TIMES, was used by the UK Government to develop scenarios for both the Clean Growth Strategy and the Net Zero Strategy. These models straddle the boundaries between economics, engineering and the natural environment. In this lecture, we will dissect the UK TIMES model to explore how it works, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it can be used (and misused) by policymakers and researchers. We will then consider future developments of the model and how it could help us to plan a low-carbon transition where you live.

    About the Speaker:
    Paul Dodds, Professor of Energy Systems at UCL Energy Institute

  • Mehdi Baghdadi talks about alternative materials and power sources for electric vehicles, while Yuanchang Liu discusses methods for testing autonomous boats and ships in the lab.

    For more information and to access the transcript:

    Date of episode recording: 2022-02-01T00:00:00Z
    Duration: 00:31:40
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter:Cassidy Martin
    Guests: Mehdi Baghdadi; Yuanchang Liu
    Producer: Cassidy Martin

  • Date of Lecture: Tuesday 24 January 2023

    About the Lecture:
    Ukraine’s Jewish history has come into focus in multiple ways since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022. Russia has abused the history of World War II and the Holocaust in justifying its aggression, while the fact that Ukraine has a wildly popular Jewish president challenges notions of the country as antisemitic. Meanwhile, Russian bombs have fallen on important Holocaust memorial sites inside Ukraine. To better understand the significance of all this, it is important to examine the long, rich, and often difficult history of Ukrainian-Jewish cultural interaction and tension that lies behind it. The lecture will outline how Ukrainian and Jewish cultures, as they struggled to assert themselves within repressive imperial contexts, grew apart, yet also managed to find surprising moments of dialogue. This history, if it is recovered with sensitivity and openness, can be a great cultural resource in forging a new Ukraine after the ongoing war.
    About the speaker:
    Uilleam Blacker, Associate Professor of Ukrainian and East European Studies at UCL SSEES.

  • Date of Lecture: Thursday 19 January 2023

    About the Lecture:
    After the Second World War new international rules heralded an age of human rights and self-determination. Supported by Britain, these unprecedented changes sought to end the scourge of colonialism.
    Yet in the 1960s, a secret decision was taken to offer the US a base at Diego Garcia, one of the islands of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, create a new colony (the ‘British Indian Ocean Territory’) and deport the entire local population.
    For four decades the government of Mauritius fought for the return of Chagos. In 2019, the World Court in The Hague, which ruled that Britain illegally detached Chagos, that the islands belonged to Mauritius, and that the UK must end its illegal occupation.
    For three years Britain resisted the ruling. A few weeks ago, however, it changed its mind, and began negotiations with Mauritius to return the islands and allow the Chagossians to resettle.
    Philippe Sands shares a story about the making of modern international law and the fight for justice, as told in his new book The Last Colony.

    About the speaker:
    Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law at University College London and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard.

  • Date of lecture: Thursday 12 January 2023

    About the Lecture:
    UK science has chronic diversity issues and shortages of specialist teachers in schools. Orbyts is a multi-award-winning movement founded at UCL, and now running across the UK, that creates partnerships between scientists and schools that are proven to address these issues. The programme provides school students with relatable science role models while empowering them to conduct original research projects. This structure of regular interventions, inspirational role models and active ownership of research is proving to be transformative; dispelling harmful stereotypes and profoundly shifting perceptions of science and scientists. It is particularly impactful for groups historically excluded from science. For example, our partner schools report 100% increases in girls uptake of A-level physics, following participation in an Orbyts project at GCSE. The programme has enabled more than 220 school students to become authors of scientific papers in the last 5 years.
    This year, Orbyts researchers will partner with schools to support research projects on: medical physics, exoplanets, aurorae, AI and machine learning, plasma, space weather and quantum physics. Dr William Dunn will showcase a whistle-stop tour through some of last year's Orbyts projects, where possible letting recorded presentations by the schools do the talking.

    About the Speaker:
    Dr. William Dunn, Ernest Rutherford Fellowship at UCL Astrophysics group

  • This week we ask: How should politicians’ behaviour be regulated? How, that is, can we best ensure that politicians are honest, play fair, and do a decent job?

    Questions about politicians’ behaviour have been high on the political agenda here in the UK in recent months and years. Boris Johnson’s premiership was dogged – and ultimately ended – by allegations that he was serially dishonest and tolerated bullying and other misconduct from his inner circle. Liz Truss sidelined independent sources of expertise and presided over catastrophic policy failure. And Rishi Sunak – though he entered Downing Street promising integrity, professionalism, and accountability – appointed a Home Secretary who only six days previously had left government for breaching the Ministerial Code, installed two other ministers against whom there are allegations of bullying, and (at the time of recording) yet to appoint an Ethics Adviser. So how can we ensure high standards of behaviour from our politicians? Can we rely simply on political accountability, and the disciplining role of the ballot box? Or do advisers, regulators, and perhaps even judges need also to play a role?

    This week our host Professor Alan Renwick is joined by two real experts: Professor Robert Hazell, who founded the UCL Constitution Unit in 1995 and remained its Director until 2015. Sir Peter Riddell, Honorary Professor in the UCL Department of Political Science, ex- Political Editor of the Financial Times and Chief Political Commentator at the Times, Director and Chief Executive of the Institute for Government between 2012 and 2016, and Commissioner for Public Appointments from 2016 until 2021. Related reading: Parliament’s watchdogs, Robert Hazell, Marcial Boo and Zachariah Pullar, UCL Constitution Unit report. Constitutional standards matter: the new Prime Minister must not forget that voters care about the honesty and integrity of their leaders, Peter Riddell, UCL Constitution Unit Blog.

    For more information and to access the transcript: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/how-should-politicians-behaviour-be-regulated/transcript

    Date of episode recording: 2022-11-24
    Duration: 00:35:54
    Language of episode: English (UK)
    Presenter: Alan Renwick
    Guests: Peter Riddell, Robert Hazell
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

  • Tobias Hauser talks to Steve and Caswell about common misconceptions around OCD, what the "computational" means in computational psychiatry, and the reasons why teenagers might hold the key to understanding the origins of mental health problems.

    For more information and to access the transcript: www.ucl.ac.uk/research/domains/neuroscience/brain-stories-podcast

    Date of episode recording: 2023-01-13
    Duration: 00:42:17
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Caswell Barry; Steve Flemming
    Guests: Tobias Hauser
    Producer: Patrick Robinson

  • This week we’re talking about climate change. The COP27 climate conference is about to begin in Egypt. But what will be the conference’s own carbon emissions? And can the event deliver for Africa? Leaders from the worlds of politics, industry, activism, and academia will gather again – for COP27 – in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt.

    A COP taking place in Africa underlines many of the pressing issues that delegates will face. How can justice be achieved for those countries that are least responsible for CO2 levels, but often the most damaged by climate change? And how can such a large-scale event, bringing people together from around the world, be run without in itself creating more environmental damage?

    This week we are joined by Dr Simon Chin-Yee, Lecturer in International Development in the UCL Department of Political Science and Professor Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science in the UCL Department of Geography.

    Mentioned in this episode: Jonathan Barnsley, Jhénelle A Williams and Simon Chin-Yee et al. Location location location: A carbon footprint calculator for transparent travel to COP27. Jhénelle Williams, Simon Chin-Yee and Mark Maslin et al. Africa and Climate Justice at COP27 and beyond: impacts and solutions through an interdisciplinary lens.

    For more information and to access the transcript: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/the-road-to-cop27-HCYTW9XM/transcript

    Date of episode recording: 2022-11-03
    Duration: 00:36:31
    Language of episode: English (UK)
    Presenter: Alan Renwick
    Guests: Simon Chin-Yee, Mark Maslin
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

  • Safina Projects Director, Rashad Salim, provides an insightful overview of Iraq's water based heritage, his Ark Re-Imagined project, and the role of local agency in revitalising the country's heritage and connections to the environment. For further information on Safina Projects go to www.safinaprojects.org

    To access the transcript: www.ucl.ac.uk/nahrein/media/podcasts/transcript-conversation-rashad-salim

    Date of episode recording: 2018-09-17
    Duration: 44:05
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Mehiyar Kathem
    Guests: Rashad Salim
    Producer: Mehiyar Kathem

  • In this two-part interview from the Department of Statistical Science at UCL, we speak with Tim Swartz who is a Professor of Statistics at Simon Fraser University.

    We discuss a variety of topics including: synchronicity in cricket, pulling the goalie in ice hockey, and horse racing.

    For more information and to access the transcript: www.ucl.ac.uk/statistics/episode-7-transcript

    Date of episode recording: 2022-04-12
    Duration: 16.24
    Language of episode: English
    TAGS: stats_UCL
    Presenter:Terry Soo
    Guests: Tim Swartz
    Producer: Nathan Green

  • This week we ask: What has been the role of global tech companies during the war in Ukraine? And is better regulation needed?

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year has created Europe’s largest refugee crisis in a generation and caused major disruption to the world’s economy and energy systems. In Ukraine itself, civilian life has been transformed and, in many cases, destroyed by the conflict.

    One notable dimension of the war has been the intervention of major tech companies, including Facebook, Google, and SpaceX. Through multiple rapid responses they have successfully inhibited Russia’s information warfare strategy. These steps include a targeted digital blockade of Russia and ensuring Ukraine’s internet infrastructure is protected from online and offline attacks.

    A new report published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change analyses what the tech companies have done, explores implications for power and democracy, and makes recommendations for how states and tech companies should change their approach.

    This week we are joined by one of the authors, Dr Melanie Garson. Melanie is both Cyber Policy Lead and acting director of the Internet Policy Unit at theTony Blair Institute for Global Change and Associate Professor in Conflict Resolution & International Security in the UCL Department of Political Science.

    For more information and to access the transcript: https://ucl-uncovering-politics.simplecast.com/episodes/global-tech-companies-and-the-ukraine-war/transcript

    Date of episode recording: 2022-11-10
    Duration: 00:31:16
    Language of episode: English
    Presenter: Dr Emily McTernan
    Guests: Dr Melanie Garson
    Producer: Eleanor Kingwell-Banham