Social Science in the News

The Herald

Data is an enabler.

The Irish Times

Despite the perception of poor job prospects, Tony Donohue, head of education and social policy at employers’ group Ibec, says arts, humanities and social science degrees are highly valued by employers.

Paste Magazine

Depression makes it hard to focus.

The Telegraph

Michael Gove had a point, up to a point. People don’t trust all experts the way they once did, and can be suspicious of their role in public policy.

Pacific Standard

The modern notion of scientists as disinterested, non-partisan figures arose (perhaps counterintuitively) during the Cold War, according to many historians.

Science Mag

For months after the United Kingdom voted last June to leave the European Union, many British scientists clung to hopes of a “soft Brexit,” which would not cut them off from EU funding and collaborators.


The rise of fake news has dominated the world of politics since the last U.S. election cycle.

The Conversation

Country rankings in international education tests – such as PISA and TIMSS – are often used to compare and contrast education systems across a range of countries.

International Business Tribune

Deadly viruses that cause panic and epidemics are becoming more common because of deforestation the depletion of natural habitats for wild animals.

The Conversation

It may seem that new relationships are entirely fuelled by dreams and hopes for a perfect future. But the past can have a powerful influence too – often more so than we would like to admit.

Washington Post

In early February, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he would not be making any changes to Canada’s electoral rules.

Public Finance

Last week the NHS released its latest monthly statistics on the number of patients facing delays in their transfers to care services. They make for grim reading.

The Financial Express

A 2014 Pew Research Center study also indicates that a majority of people in all of the forty-four countries polled described the gap between rich and poor as a problem for their country.

The Daily Mail

In today's digital age, they are relied upon by many people looking to find the best buy. But internet reviews can be wildly misleading, a study has found, because they are usually created by people who exaggerate how good a product is.

Ars Technica

To determine if new vaccines are effective, researchers often closely monitor trends in disease rates for a city or community. However, these observations can be confounded by changes in the health or behavior of the population, so a better “control” comparison is needed.

Research has shown that students' learning and cognitive performance can be influenced by emotional reactions to learning, like enjoyment, anxiety, and boredom. Most studies on this topic have been done in labs.

The Conversation

At an EU summit in Malta on February 3, Theresa May announced Britain would help support the resettlement of refugees who arrive in Europe to Latin America and Asia.

The Telegraph

The level of tax in Britain has reached the highest level as proportion of national income for 30 years, a respected think tank has found.

University of York

A legally regulated cannabis market would result in more effective strategies aimed at helping drug users to access the right support and guidance, say researchers at the University of York.

Science Daily

If you want to win an Oscar it is best to be an American actor in a film that portrays American culture.

HC Online

Employees working more than 39 hours a week are putting their health at risk, according to new research by The Australian National University.

University of Cambridge

Ancient DNA analyses show that – unlike elsewhere in Europe – farmers from the Near East did not overtake hunter-gatherer populations in the Baltic.

The Conversation

The use of body cameras by front line police and other uniformed enforcement agencies is increasing at an unstoppable rate both in the US and UK.

It is a utopian idea, literally, but is enjoying a renaissance as politicians and policy wonks grapple with technology-driven changes that could redefine our very understanding of work.

King's College London

Where people die is often important to them and their families, as well as being important for planning health care services.

Project Syndicate

Scientists continue to surprise us with amazing discoveries, and billions of people around the world have been lifted out of poverty.


The Government’s new industrial strategy focuses on STEM. This is welcome – we need knowledge and skills in this are.

The Daily Mail

After decades of picking up towels and washing dishes, many women might not believe it.


Does taking your husband's last name mean you're "more committed" as a wife? Depending on who you talk to, the answer may be yes.

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

The article is about the importance of large birth cohorts, such as MoBa.

Religious education is key to community cohesion finds new research following a survey of nearly 12,000 13- to 15-year-old students attending schools across the United Kingdom.

The Washington Post

Social science research demonstrates that militant groups with a consistent revenue stream are better equipped to facilitate and sustain rebellions. Illicit trade in diamonds, narcotics and timber, for example, provides rebel leaders with funds to assemble fighting forces capable of confronting the government.

University of Manchester

The Supreme Court has ruled by a majority of eight to three that an Act of Parliament is necessary to trigger Article 50 and the formal Brexit process, and this judicial disagreement reflects the highly technical and complex nature of the issues at stake.

University of Cambridge

As convenient shorthand for a brand of politics that has stolen the headlines, ‘populism’ has been used by academics and journalists to describe a host of movements and their leaders at different times and in different parts of the world that appear, at first glance, to have little in common.


Since the early 2000s, a growing movement of social science researchers have been pushing policy-makers to do “impact evaluations” of their programs.

The Washington Post

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on saving American jobs and, since the election, has targeted automakers on Twitter, urging them to keep production domestic or face steep border taxes.

Science Daily

Researchers have written computer programs that found patterns among anonymized data about web traffic and used those patterns to identify individual users.

The Guardian

In theory, statistics should help settle arguments. They ought to provide stable reference points that everyone – no matter what their politics – can agree on.

Times Higher Education

Some social scientists, including us, will tell you that they thought Donald Trump could win the US presidential election. But few expected he really would.

University of Manchester

Psychologists from The University of Manchester have shown how difficult it is for us to guess the true intention of each other’s behaviour.

The New Yorker

In recent years, behavioral science has become a voguish field.

The Guardian

Like some of its rich-world peers, Britain has entered the age of the aged.

Washington Post

California Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D) introduced a bill Wednesday that would require the state to establish curriculum standards and frameworks to teach “civic online reasoning” to middle- and high-schoolers.

Irish Times

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for a maximum wage for Britian’s highest earners, an ostensibly draconian measure necessary to stop the UK becoming a grossly unequal, bargain basement economy.

The Conversation

The future of higher education is back in the spotlight as the controversial Higher Education and Research Bill enters the next stage of scrutiny in the House of Lords this week.


Digital technology puts a world of information at our fingertips, but it also allows bosses to reach into their workers' personal time with unprecedented ease.


When did electricity take over from steam in the UK? When did football replace cricket as the most popular sport? And what year did women start to become more frequently mentioned in the press?


As smartphones have proliferated, so have questions about their impact on how we live and how we work.

The Independent

Society could come to an end in less than a decade, a “mathematical historian” has predicted.

The Guardian

Even today, more than fifty years after its first edition, Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions remains the first port of call to learn about the history, philosophy or sociology of science.


Politically correct. Political correctness. Using the biggest bully pulpit there is, Trump has wielded the phrase and its variants like a club some days and a shield on others.


Recent reports that Russia hacked into the emails of Democratic Party officials to interfere with the U.S. presidential election have rightly set off alarm bells around Washington about the need for improved digital defenses.

Washington Post

Donald Trump has apparently chosen Rex Tillerson, chief executive of ExxonMobil, to be secretary of state. John R. Bolton, a hawkish Bush administration official and fierce supporter of the 2003 Iraq War, is in line to become the deputy secretary.


Researchers who study the spread of misinformation say they’d like to help Facebook get to grips with its fake news crisis.

The Washington Post

President-elect Donald Trump said Sunday that “nobody really knows” whether climate change is real and that he is “studying” whether the United States should withdraw from the global warming agreement struck in Paris a year ago.

The Conversation

Social scientists routinely promise confidentiality to those who participate in their research. They tell participants that they will not inform anyone else about their involvement with the research or they will not reveal what they have said. This is done to encourage and ensure frank participation.

University of Cambridge

Cutting welfare and social care budgets during times of economic hardship is an “historically obsolete” strategy that ignores the very roots of British prosperity, a group of Cambridge academics have warned.


The head of the schools watchdog has linked the Brexit vote to the failure to raise education standards in parts of England.

LSE British Politics and Policy Blog

The now century-old decline of religiosity in England, Scotland and Wales is often measured by indicators such as church worship, denominational identity and membership as well as Sunday school attendance.


It's the fifth annual #Giving Tuesday — a holiday marketing tradition inspired by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but with a twist.

'English votes for English laws' (EVEL) has not enhanced England's voice in the UK Parliament, according a 12-month study by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

The Guardian

f there was Oppenheimerian self-criticism from the scientific culture it was based on the certainty of technology’s supremacy – with science, after all, you could flatten a city by dropping a single bomb.

New Scientist

There are 7.4 billion people on the planet – nearly three times as many as there were 60 years ago. The UN estimates that in another 60 years we will be approaching 11 billion. Others say that population will peak soon, then fall gradually as we hit resource limits.


In the week since Donald Trump’s victory, debate has raged over the role played by social media in the US election.

The Times

One of Scotland’s leading academics has launched an attack on a key Westminster policy, condemning plans to curb the number of foreign students to reduce immigration as “deeply impoverishing”.

The Guardian

The number of workers in the UK in precarious positions where they could lose their jobs at short or no notice has grown by almost 2 million in the past decade, as businesses insist on using more self-employed workers and increasingly recruit staff on temporary and zero-hours contracts, analysis for the Guardian has revealed.


The mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani was a proponent of a controversial policing philosophy known as "broken windows." It calls for police to go after small crimes, in hopes of preventing bigger problems.

Washington Post

The election of Donald Trump has revived parallels between the United States and the precarious condition of European democracies in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Civil Service World

Too little use is made of the UK’s academic research base when government comes up with new legislation and policies, members of the House of Lords Constitution Committee have been warned.

The Guardian

Over the past months senior politicians in the UK have called into question the role of experts in politics.

Back Channel

The logic of ‘moneyball’ has been applied to elections.

Huffington Post

The Secretary of State for Justice Liz Truss presented her Prison Safety and Reform White Paper this week.


Prisons in England and Wales are to see their biggest overhaul in a generation, Justice Secretary Liz Truss has said.

The Conversation

People are generally optimistic that regulators and broadcasters feel the responsibility to protect more “vulnerable” audience members, such as children – but they do want greater clarity and communication when making complaints.

Inside Higher Ed

“The Missing Women in STEM? Assessing Gender Differentials in the Factors Associated With Transition to First Jobs,” published in Social Science Research, analyzes data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.


The House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee recently published a report on this issue, which can be found here (the “Commons Report”).

The Guardian

Last week, Michael Gove returned to the theme that he pursued with vigour during the EU referendum campaign, arguing in his Times column that “those who consider, or declare, themselves experts are actually more likely to err than the rest of us.”

Daily Mail

Babies begin to "talk" at just a few months old using gestures whose meaning is often overlooked by parents, say scientists.

University of Cambridge

Many of us see our privacy as a basic right.

The Guardian

If you were to be presented with a scene of unimaginable gore, where several of your fellow-humans were being hacked to death and their entrails and vital fluids scattered liberally around the room, your immediate reaction would presumably be to run away from this horror, and try to find safety (assuming you weren’t busy vomiting).


Halloween ignites the American economy—and this is never more true than in an election year.

University Affairs

Undergraduate education in the social sciences is anything but a simple proposition in the current climate for higher education.

The Guardian

Zika, and before it Ebola, have driven home to the scientific community that technology is not the whole answer to pandemics.

The Guardian

You can see the recruitment of international students as the practical application of a challenge thrown down by the great American social anthropologist Clifford Geertz.

University of Bristol

According to research published today, those admission rates could be reduced if GPs were better supported to provide more specialist care for chronic conditions and difficult-to-reach groups.


As the Pirate Party continues to pick up steam both in Iceland and across the globe, it reveals what people are beginning to value when it comes to their political systems.

The Guardian

Social science can provide a better understanding of why different perspectives disagree – and help (when possible) to identify common ground.

Japan Times

Promoting humanities and social sciences will contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of Japan’s industries during and after the fourth industrial revolution, and enable liberalism and democracy to function efficiently.

Pacific Standard

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

University of Cambridge

In 2015, computer scientists, criminologists and legal academics joined forces to form the Cambridge Cybercrime Centre, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Mother Nature Network

For most of history, the majority of people were so busy trying to survive, they didn't worry all that much about how happy they were.

The Guardian

he study of psychology is facing a crisis. A lot of research doesn’t show the same results when the experiment is repeated, and it is critical we address this problem.

Pew Research Center

As the news media cover the turbulent 2016 presidential election, there’s been considerable debate around how much emphasis they should put on inaccurate or potentially offensive statements made by candidates.

Wall Street Journal

The increasingly sophisticated ability of political consultants to identify and target persuadable voters is playing out on the doorsteps and in the mailboxes of nearly 300,000 voters here in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Social Science Space

The annual frenzy of responses from higher education institutions to the release of the “big three” higher education rankings which include the QS, Association of Research World Universities and most recently The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is winding up.

Psychology Today

Donald Trump has formally apologized. Both in video, and in person on the debate stage Sunday night.

LSE British Politics and Policy Blog

Support for a universal basic income – the payment of a regular and guaranteed income to a country’s citizens as of right – is beginning to gather pace. Trials are being planned in several countries while Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator is to test a scheme in California.

Times Higher Education

The “big data” revolution has already transformed fields such as biology, astronomy and physics, but its impact has been much more patchy in the social sciences.


Artificial intelligence has the potential to fundamentally alter how we live and work but government lacks any sort of coherent strategy for responding to the social and ethical dilemmas posed by the rise of intelligent machines.