Innovation and Technology

The Role of Research in Developing Energy Policy

by Andrew Robertson Decarbonising the electricity sector has been identified as a short-term priority for cutting UK greenhouse gas emissions in response to the risks of climate change. The scale and rate of change in the electricity sector means that there is a strong need for energy research and a big potential for new research to

Continue Reading →

Weighing the Benefits and the Risks: Better Defining Regulation of New Technologies

by Michele Mastroeni Regulation of science and technology is an important factor in how our technological landscape develops, and whether a technology makes it to the end-users. While ideally regulation will be based on broadly accepted values and trusted scientific assessment, the reality is much more complicated. Just as different technologies spur intense debate in society,

Continue Reading →

Pathways for Academic Impact: Biased Towards Commercialisation?

by Tim Guilliams Given the current economic climate it is important to maximise academic impact on society. Measures of academic impact have been dominated by the commercialisation of academic discoveries, thereby failing to capture the complete spectrum of academic activities that lead to societal impact. In fact, universities do not appear to act as a significant

Continue Reading →

Artificial Photosynthesis for Solar Energy Storage: Toward a Sustainable and Equitable Future

by Christina Chang and Rebecca Farnum Our world is running out of fossil fuels to burn for energy. Therefore, even if we were not concerned with climate change, we need to be able to produce and store energy sustainably from renewable sources. Sunlight is an abundant energy supply, and the blueprint for sustainable energy creation and

Continue Reading →

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

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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

Continue Reading →

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

Continue Reading →

Open questions regarding proliferation resistance assessments of future nuclear fuel cycles

by Stephen F. Ashley What stops rogue states or terrorists from acquiring the materials for a nuclear bomb? Stephen explores the different barriers, from material to technological, and describes the categorisation of these barriers from a scientific perspective. He discusses the resistance of technologies to proliferation, raising the issue that such definitions are unknown in

Continue Reading →

The Bright Future of Solar Energy

by Claire Armstrong Claire’s piece addresses the crucial issue of renewable energy, and outlines the potential for solar cells as a viable alternative to replace finite energy resources. The piece describes different kinds of cells and their level of efficiency. Looking specifically at Germany, Claire argues that if a cloudy country in Northern Europe can

Continue Reading →