Latest Blogs

  • The genie is out of the bottle – it’s foolish to think encryption can now be banned

    Politicians have turned their sights on encryption once more following terrorist outrages in Paris and San Bernardino, California. A country that once welcomed encryption, France is now considering outlawing it in the wake of the massacre in its capital. In the US, politicians and law enforcement have made similar demands, as has the British prime minister, David Cameron.

  • Prince Charles for Blog masthead

    Who told Prince Charles he could be Head of the Commonwealth?

    Prince Charles is accompanying his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Malta this year. This is not the first time Charles has attended the biennial gathering of the 53 Commonwealth nations, but his appearance is deeply significant.

  • ATM by Tax Credits CC BY 2.0

    Greece is a reminder of the fragility of money and the need to deal with debt

    As the world waits to see the outcome of negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors, our attention has been drawn to the fragility of money by the ATM queues in Greece. The euro project, which has long been under strain, may soon start to irrevocably crack.

  • The wisdom of the crowd can turn into social media mob rule

    When what Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt intended as an after dinner speech was made public he suffered the consequences, as have several others before him, including the loss of his positions at UCL and the Royal Society.

  • Who really benefits from the internet 'space race'?

    In the film Elysium, the ultra-rich have left an apocalyptic Earth ravaged by global warming and overpopulation. Their utopian colony orbits high above Earth which festers below. Science fiction, but Silicon Valley techno-utopians also dream of rising above the planet’s problems.

  • Why new law banning all psychoactive substances will be just another ‘war on drugs' disaster

    The recent passing of a new addition to the British statute books, which will come into effect on April 6th, is the latest in a long line of poorly drafted drug laws. The new law, to act in parallel with the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, effectively bans all substances – with the exception of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine – with a “psychoactive effect” on “normal brain functioning”. The awful irony of a UK government exempting two of the most individually and socially harmful substances has not been lost on concerned commentators.

  • Official statistics mask extent of domestic violence in Britain

    Research has found that the rate of violent crime is 60% higher than official statistics suggest. The Crime Survey for England and Wales is the only source of official statistics on violent crime in the UK. Yet the number of violent crimes published by the Office for National Statistics is capped at five per victim form – even if many more offences were recorded by the survey.

  • Orange is the New Black is fast becoming a feminist classic

    Orange is the New Black is about to return for a third season. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s time to sit up and take note: the Netflix programme looks set to become a classic of feminist television.

  • Baby's first photo call: how the royals learned to act normal

    After a day of waiting, the world’s press got their first look, and first photographs, of the newest member of the royal family at around 6pm on May 2. The picture of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge standing outside the hospital doors, new baby in Kate’s arms, will be one of the defining images of the year.

  • From Tottenham to Baltimore, policing crisis starts race to bottom for justice

    West Baltimore, 8.39 am April 12: Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, stood on the street talking with friends. Police officers approached on bicycles and made “eye contact” with Gray, who then attempted to leave. The police chased him and video footage shot on neighbours’ mobile phones shows police holding Gray face-down on the pavement.