Sociology and Social Policy

A Look at the Attrition of Women in STEM

The loss of skilled women from the STEM workforce in academia has not gone unnoticed…[but] even with policies in place, a change in broader culture will be necessary to precipitate the desired changes. by Sumana Sharma The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is usually attributed to the ‘leaky

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Policy in the Face of Uncertainty: The Smart Meter Dilemma

by Victoria Plutshack Smart technologies, which can communicate and share information, have been hailed as a panacea for a range of our energy problems. The possibilities for energy savings and greater energy efficiency are enormous. The first step in realizing the smart vision of the future is the humble smart meter, which is due to be

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Caught in the Web: The Impact of New Communication Technology on Political Participation

by Declan O’Briain New forms of media, particularly social media, have been hailed as the great new-age tool of democratic participation while simultaneously being derided for facilitating arm chair politicking and ‘slacktivism’. Global movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring have utilized such technologies in what appears to be innovative and unique ways.

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Escaping the Slippery Slope: Freedom of Expression and Cyberspace Regulation after the Delfi Case

by Konstantina Georgaki, Emmanuel Giakoumakis, and Alessandro Rollo In June 2015, the European Court of Human Rights delivered the final judgment in the Delfi case, where it upheld the decision of an Estonian court to fine a news portal for hosting anonymous defamatory comments. This controversial judgment has a chilling effect on freedom of expression in

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Water as a Strategic Tool in Central Asia

by Hannah Smith Limited water resources, weak states and ethnic tensions across Central Asia lead many analysts to believe that the region will bear witness to the world’s first war over water. Through drawing on fieldwork, this study takes the example of the geographically isolated village of Barak (a Kyrgyz exclave) to demonstrate how water resources

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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

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Heritage Science: Neglected but Necessary in Planning for the Future

by Christina Schweitzer While most scientists look to the future, heritage scientists focus on preserving the past. Bridging science and art, this little-known field encompasses the conservation, interpretation and management of cultural assets. The educational and cultural importance of the UK’s historical assets is widely acknowledged, but they also contribute billions of pounds to the economy

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Smart Cities, Digital Connectivity, and Social Inclusion: Paving the way to inclusive urban strategies

by Enora Robin Cities have become key players in the global economic landscape, with only 600 cities contributing to 60% of the world’s economic output. The proportion of world’s population living in urban areas is projected to be rising from 50% today to 75% in 2050. Despite the economic benefits derived from the concentration of economic

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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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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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