Social Science in the News

New York Post

In the hard sciences, there’s abundant evidence of progress, though the progress is often not from superstition to science but from bad science to better science. The “science” of human behavior, however, represents something else entirely.

The Guardian

Casual sex, hookups or one-night stands: whatever you call it, more than half of us will have sex with someone we barely know or don’t expect to date in the future.

Popular Science

By now, most of you likely are receiving those energy efficiency reports in the mail from your local utility company — the ones with the colorful bar graphs that show you how your energy use stacks up against your neighbors. This isn’t an idle “FYI’’ exercise, but a carefully designed strategy aimed at encouraging you to cut back on the power.

The Brock Press

A recent study of 82,000 graduates has found that students in the humanities and the social sciences often have more stable careers than their peers.

The Guardian

Ms Rudd was a banker.

University of Cambridge

Can we truly trust computers in ‘high-stakes’ applications such as robotic surgery, terrorism detection and driverless cars?


The influx of young brides presents Germany with a dilemma: whether to protect the girls by separating or preserving these marriages.

The Conversation

Corbyn’s re-election signals a profound departure from the party’s recent past.

The Atlantic

The Muslim world in North Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia has entered a period of crisis and failure. Millions of people have emigrated from this world to the West.

New York Times

Government programs — like Social Security, the earned-income tax credit and food stamps — have kept tens of millions from sinking into poverty year after year.

LSE Politics and Policy Blog

There has been much talk about whether a general election will or should take place before 2020, the key arguments behind it being that Theresa May has no mandate to carry out her programme, while also having no mandate to negotiate the exact terms of Brexit.

University of Oxford

Everyone has heard about Uber drivers but how much do we know about what has been described as the 'online gig economy'?

International Business Times

Lyft CEO John Zimmer says the world would be a lot better off if so much room wasn’t taken up by cars.

University of Sheffield

The value to the economy of the eight most research-intensive universities in the northern powerhouse region is almost double that of the entire Premier League, a report reveals today.

Times Higher Education

Academics frustrated by students who endlessly check their Facebook messages or Instagram likes during lectures might be inclined to blame boredom or downright rudeness on the part of those glued to their smartphones or laptops.

The Local de

In the week leading up to state elections in Berlin, the capital was garlanded with yet another trendy accolade, being named the 'second most liveable city in the world' by New York-based Metropolis magazine.

The Conversation

Japan’s warning that its companies may move their operations outside of the UK if it fails to negotiate favourable Brexit terms is the first major sign of how leaving the EU could affect foreign investment into Britain.


In a recent survey of its members, the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) found that 92 percent of telcos suffered regular attacks, with just under a third facing a daily threat.

British Library

Every day people around the world post a staggering 400 million tweets, upload 350 million photos to Facebook and view 4 billion videos on YouTube.

Brazil’s nature reserves are rapidly being downsized, downgraded or entirely decommissioned as the country develops, researchers have shown.

City University of London

Almost everyone enjoys a bank holiday.

University of Oxford

Researchers have looked at the time spent doing housework by men and women living in 19 countries from the early 1960s up to the first decade of the 21st century.


[Economics] papers are almost always distributed widely and freely long before they are published in journals. This is not standard practice in most other social sciences, or in related fields such as history and philosophy.


It sounds a little creepy, but around the world there are growing numbers of researchers watching people’s every move.


A panel of academic and industrial thinkers has looked ahead to 2030 to forecast how advances in artificial intelligence (AI) might affect life in a typical North American city - in areas as diverse as transportation, health care and education ¬- and to spur discussion about how to ensure the safe, fair and beneficial development of these rapidly emerging technologies.

The Guardian

Theresa May is being urged to consider a policy under which housing rents would be linked to local wage levels.


In India, Delhi was dubbed the equivalent of "living in a gas chamber" by its chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Similar criticism has been levelled at major Chinese cities, with Beijing set to double the number of air monitoring stations to assess the city's air quality.

The Conversation

For years, economists and psychologists have argued about whether the standard model that economists use to explain how people make decisions is correct.

University of Sussex

Cultural psychologists have long argued that people living in Western cultures show a rather distinctive pattern of self-beliefs, compared to those who live in other parts of the world. Westerners, it is claimed, are unusual in that they tend to see themselves as independent from others. A sharp contrast between Western “independence” and non-Western “interdependence” has been at the heart of psychologists’ thinking about cultural diversity for the last 25 years.


Interdisciplinarity is in vogue right now. From policymakers and funders to anthropologists and biologists — everyone seems united in the view that interdisciplinary research will guide the search for solutions to the ‘grand problems’ of our time.

Professor Glen Bramley and colleagues at Heriot-Watt were key contributors to a new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation demonstrating that dealing with the effects of poverty costs the UK £78 billion a year, £1,200 for every person.


When presented with the same figures, social scientists are likely to caution that the quality of a conclusion is only as good as the quality of the data, whereas computer scientists — often called data scientists — are likely to warn against perfection standing in the way of information.

Science Daily

Economic and social divergence between London and the North of England continues to grow, according to new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and University of Manchester.

The Conversation

In the tense atmosphere since the UK’s vote to leave the EU, the publication of the government’s new hate crime action plan has come at a crucial time.


Entrepreneurs often struggle to capture lightning in a bottle by trying to create a product today that anticipates tomorrow’s trends.

The Conversation

Each time the Olympic and Paralympic Games come around, a small minority of nations tend to do well. On average, only 25% of competing nations at the Olympics will win a gold medal – and they’re pretty much the same ones year in, year out.

University of Cambridge

When it comes to the subject of intelligence, which today includes behavioural genetics research into “g (a measure of intelligence commonly used as a variable in research in this area) and cognitive ability, the nature-nurture debate becomes that much more heated.

Huffington Post

Finally, things are moving. Internationally, last year’s Paris accord was a remarkable statement of government concern over climate change. Nationally and locally, individuals, organizations, and industries have been mobilizing to do their part.

Washington Post

We’ll soon learn more about the life and motivations of the Nice truck driver.

Huffington Post

The last couple weeks has caused quite a stir in British politics. Theresa May’s baffling decision to dissolve the Department of Energy and Climate Change has driven environmental groups into a state of panic as they ponder what on earth is going to happen to Britain’s beautiful landscape and fresh clean air.

Times Higher

The annual statistics relating to scientific procedures performed on living animals are published today.

The Conversation

We have all heard complaints that young people are spending too much time online and not enough time in the “real world” – with studies showing that nearly three quarters of 12 to 15-year-olds in the UK have a social media profile and spend an average of 19 hours a week online.

City Metric

When it comes to the environment, it’s hardly unusual for us to say one thing and do another. We may profess, when asked, that we care about recycling, pollution, climate change or wasting energy. We may have access to plenty of information about the environmental consequences of our actions. Yet often we fail to change how we act.

University of Bristol

A report published today by Save the Children highlights the scale of the gender gap in literacy and language development before children begin school, and the consequences for subsequent literacy attainment.

How would you feel if, by living with your partner, you lost your financial independence and were obliged to ask him (or her) for money?


Concerns have been raised over yesterday’s departmental reorganisation that will split up responsibility for universities and research, while Theresa May’s focus on an “industrial strategy” for the UK could also have implications for universities and academics.

The Guardian

I love numbers. They allow us to get a sense of magnitude, to measure change, to put claims in context.

Science Daily

Social media sites obstruct children's moral development, say parents.


Everyone has a story like this by now, but here’s mine: I went downtown to my small-town main street and found dozens of people outside, walking around, chatting with each other, laughing, and having an all-around good time.

Russia Today

A new survey claims that the UK’s decision to quit the EU has led to catastrophic consequences for science, as British researchers are now viewed as financial risks and consequently forced to leave EU-funded projects and step down as leaders from studies.


A NYU Steinhardt study finds a startling scarcity of children’s books in low-income neighborhoods in Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Plymouth University

Outdoor learning can have a significant and positive impact on children’s quality of life but needs to be introduced more formally into global school curricula in order for its potential benefits to be fully realised, a new report suggests.

The Conversation

Eeminent scientists appear to have learned little about opposition to GM crops over the last 20 years.

Daily Mail

At this time of political turmoil, who to believe, back or vote for is more confusing than ever.

Japan Times

The report was so “seismic” — Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s word — that Lyndon Johnson’s administration released it on the Fourth of July weekend, 1966, hoping it would not be noticed.

The Independent

Even the best social science experiments are bit contrived and false, necessarily so.


In January, NPR's news assistant Max Nesterak made a resolution to quit smoking.

The Guardian

Big data is a term we hear being bandied about more and more.


Young people in the United Kingdom were shocked and dismayed when the Brexit vote came in last week.

The Guardian

In social science theory, referendums are supposed to make people feel happier. But for reasons that go beyond political divisions, Brexit is making many Britons everywhere glum.


The worst thing about Brexit is a key reason Brexit gained so much support: opposition to immigration. Advocates for the UK leaving the European Union were not shy about pointing to opposition to immigration as a key to their success.

Daily Mail

England's players failed at Euro 2016 because of a lack of team direction and clear instruction, a leading psychologist believes.


A leading scientist has said UK science will suffer unless any post-Brexit agreement allows the free movement of people.


Poor pupils are still being let down by the English education system, Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned.


Autonomous robots have been the focus of interest of the French commission of reflection on the research ethics related to digital science and technology, CERNA, since 2013. Some private companies have been looking into this as well.

The Guardian

Far from being less valuable than those with technical degrees, arts and humanities students develop key skills.

Ars Technica

Reproducibility of findings has been a hot-button issue in social science over the last year, and as the election approaches, the reproducibility of findings related to voting is especially relevant.


According to an exclusive YouGov poll for TES, 70 per cent of teachers want to stay in the European Union and more than half think that a Brexit would damage their pupils’ futures.

The Christian Science Monitor

You know who’s really happy about the way Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is going? Political scientists.

The New York Times

THIS was an important and even revelatory week in American politics, and we should take note of it.


Philadelphia has introduced a levy on carbonated sugary drinks, despite a multimillion-dollar campaign by the beverage industry to block it.

University of Oxford

A wave of disruption has hit news organisations around the world, with potentially profound consequences both for publishers and the future of news production, according to a report by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

The Guardian

The Age of Em is a fanatically serious attempt, by an economist and scholar at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, to use economic and social science to forecast in fine detail how this world (if it is even possible) will actually work.

The New York Times

The ancient Greeks had different words for different kinds of love — like Ludus (playful love), Pragma (longstanding love) and Agape (universal love).


We are the distracted generations, wasting hours a day checking irrelevant emails and intrusive social media accounts.

Science Daily

Researchers found demand for sugary cereals fell by 48% if consumers knew a tax was being applied and consumers purchased healthier alternatives.

According to a new study published today in the journal Population Development and Review, 61% of citizens within the EU-15 see themselves as European in addition to or in lieu of their national identity in 2013, compared to 58% on average from 1996 to 2004. The largest increases were seen in Germany, Austria, Sweden, and Finland, and surprisingly also in Greece.

Washington Post

Political pundits and pollsters expected Britain’s 2015 general election to be a tight race.


Kenneth Bunker looks at the state of the major parties as they head into the EU referendum campaign, and assesses what different results might mean for each of them.

University of Oxford

An international research team has identified that ancient crop remains excavated from sites in Madagascar consist of Asian species like rice and mung beans: the first archaeological evidence that settlers from South Asia are likely to have colonised the island over a thousand years ago.

Daily Mail

The truck-size metal container sitting in a downtown park here isn't meant to raise awareness about the global shipping industry, though it may nudge some people's curiosity in that direction.

Washington Post

The journal Political Analysis has recently published a “virtual issue” on “Recent Innovations in Text Analysis for Social Science.”


Booze will forever be in headlines.

Cambridge University

The English Dialects App (free for Android and iOS) was launched in January 2016 and has been downloaded more than 70,000 times.

Media Post

Marketers love Malcolm Gladwell. They love his pithy, reductionist approach to popular science: his tendency to sacrifice verity for the sake of a good "just-so” story. And in doing this, what is Malcolm Gladwell but a marketer at heart? No wonder our industry is gaga over him.


The Chinese government is paying its employees to generate positive comments on blog posts, and those positive comments totaled about 488 million from 2013 to 2014, a study from Harvard University researchers revealed last week.

Science Daily

The rise of User-Generated Content (UGC) -- information submitted by members of the public or posted on social media -- has changed journalism forever, according to a new study in Digital Journalism.


WHEN A ROGUE researcher last week released 70,000 OkCupid profiles, complete with usernames and sexual preferences, people were pissed. When Facebook researchers manipulated stories appearing in Newsfeeds for a mood contagion study in 2014, people were really pissed.

The Guardian

A new report this week revealed that every day, 15 babies are stillborn or die within four weeks of being born.

The Conversation

Terrorism is a threat everywhere. According to a Foreign Policy report, the worst terrorist events in 2015 occurred in Cameroon, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Syria and Yemen.

Bristol University

Despite their obvious differences, the UK and Brazil face stark similarities in the urban challenges they face.

Cambridge University

Preliminary results from eight UK and US police forces reveal rates of assault against officers are 15% higher when they use body-worn cameras.


ON MAY 8, a group of Danish researchers publicly released a dataset of nearly 70,000 users of the online dating site OkCupid, including usernames, age, gender, location, what kind of relationship (or sex) they’re interested in, personality traits, and answers to thousands of profiling questions used by the site.

Washington Post

Over the last few decades, the world has witnessed the proliferation of a new type of revolution.

Wide variations can be seen in how far citizens from different countries evade tax. While this can be attributed to how well institutions deter tax avoidance through audits and fines, cultural differences may also play a part.

Gender equality in work-family roles has not yet been reached in Britain, with a fifth of families still relying on the father being the sole full-time breadwinner despite a significant growth in dual earning households, according to new research.


Gender politics and science have never gotten along very well.

Carnegie Mellon

Researchers have identified a powerful human motive that has not been adequately appreciated by social and behavioral scientists: the drive to make sense of our lives and the world around us.

Economic Times

Tablet and laptop users, take note! Using digital platforms for reading may change the way you think, making you more inclined to focus on concrete details rather than interpreting information more abstractly, a new study has found.


Major changes are coursing through France’s research and higher-education system, many of them intended to simplify bureaucracy and promote research excellence.