Blog Archives

Challenges to Whole Genome Sequencing in National Healthcare Systems

by Steven Witte Technology for sequencing DNA has advanced very rapidly over the last 15 years, and is poised to become a routine part of clinical evaluation of individuals. The health regulatory agencies in most countries have maintained a conservative position in regards to adopting genetic testing. This is due to several fears, which will be

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Not-so-magic Bullets: Searching for Better Policies to Govern Drug Discovery

by Alexandra Gürel In his upcoming book, Strange Pill: Evidence, Values, and Medical Nihilism, philosopher of Jacob Stegenga charts a history of the term “magic bullet”: a drug that is both specific and effective, curing the patient without side effects. Stegenga argues that the early 20th century was a “golden age” for magic bullets, with the

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Implementing UK Wind Energy: Lessons from Environmental Psychology

by Victoria Plutshack As the UK aims to produce 15% of its energy consumption from renewables by 2020, planning policy becomes increasingly important to facilitate the large-scale implementation of renewable technologies. As it stands, there is great opposition to wind farms across Wales, the North East of England and Scotland. How can we improve the

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Energy Subsidies and the Flawed Dominance of Economics in the UK Energy Sector

by Raphael J. Heffron New economic thinking is needed in the UK energy sector. The mainstream economic approach to the electricity sector needs to be radically altered, and two new approaches are discussed in this article. The first focuses on restructuring the electricity market, and the second on achieving parity for low carbon energy sources

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Son of a gun: military contributions to science

by Zaria Gorvett The race to out-tech the enemy has been fuelling scientific discovery for thousands of years, generating some extraordinary inventions and thrusting humanity forwards into a modern age. In the wake of a succession of defence budget cuts in the UK and abroad, this article considers the legacy of military research.

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Why the dominance of economics will survive the crash, for now

by Mark Goodwin The global financial crisis has resulted in much soul-searching for economists. The discipline has been challenged to revisit its most fundamental principles and practices in the light of the crash. As a result, increasing pressure is being put on economics to modify its teaching curricula and research priorities. Yet in the field

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Business models for electric vehicles

by Claire Weiller Claire’s research focuses on how new business models can help overcome the obstacles typically presented by electric vehicles, including high battery costs, current range limitation, and the lack of infrastructure. The piece highlights the fact that much remains unknown about what business models will look like in future. Will customers even own

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Working across sectors for the good of global health

by Kai Ruggeri What are the policy implications of patients who travel abroad to receive required medical care? Is there the possibility for a coordinated international response? These questions and many more are discussed by Kai, who highlights the clear lack of evidence on what is referred to as Global Health Access Policy (GHAP) to

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Healthcare Costs

by Arnoud Groen As Healthcare costs continue to rise unsustainably in relation to the wider economy, how can we tackle this problem without simply spending more public funds? Arnoud argues that many of the solutions needed to improve healthcare are inexpensive, and rely more on collaboration between academia, industry and entrepreneurs, as opposed to simply

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Encouraging Innovation in Public Sector Employees: The Role of Financial Incentives on Creative Tasks?

by Joe Gladstone Joe asks what are the primary levers available to encourage innovative ideas and behaviours from public sector employees? To answer this, he outlines evidence from behavioural science which suggests that to encourage innovative and creative performance managers must look beyond financial incentives, as monetary rewards may in fact have a negative impact

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