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‘Naked intimidation’: how universities silence academics on social networks

When Cardiff University PhD student Grace Krause began getting headaches and back pain after staring at a computer screen for days on end, she decided to speak out online. “Staff are marking hundreds of essays in an impossibly short time. It is exhausting. Everyone is in crisis mode. Stressed, moody, morose, everyone feels like they’re…

UK universities will just lead the world if they keep Erasmus...

Brexit is a sad moment, as is always the case whenever a member of a community leaves. But for European universities, it may be felt as a particular blow. We’ve been overwhelmingly in favour of the UK staying in the European Union because of our strong tradition of working across borders, whether it’s researchers working…

Comprehending Quantum Physics should not be so darn difficult!

I came to Durham University to pursue a PhD in Quantum Physics and Computing. The purpose of this blog is to show that Quantum Physics (and computation!!) doesn’t really have to be as hard as what Scientist are publishing! Let’s just have a look at a famous experiment called the Hong–Ou–Mandel optical effect and try…

Coronavirus and Ebola: could open gain access to medical research study...

In December 2002, a Belfast teenager made world headlines after his father, Don Simms, won him the legal right to access an experimental drug. Jonathan Simms had been diagnosed with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a cruel and fatal neurodegenerative condition that gives sufferers an average of one year to live. After receiving the drug pentosan…

‘How can we take on Google?’: the fight to train quantum...

There is a laboratory deep within University College London (UCL) that looks like a cross between a rebel base in Star Wars and a scene imagined by Jules Verne. Hidden within the miles of cables, blinking electronic equipment and screens is a gold-coloured contraption known as a dilution refrigerator. Its job is to chill the…

Observing far-off galaxies

Cover shot – The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope – with myself barely visible in front. Photo credit: Ugnė Dudzevičiūtė. As a PhD student in astrophysics, an exciting possibility is being sent to a telescope in some exotic, faraway location for observing – making sure the telescope operates properly and getting data for your own research.…

Sir Hans Kornberg obituary

Hans Kornberg became a biochemist just at the point, in the mid-20th century, when methods became available to explore how organisms convert food and oxygen into energy and tissue – the combustion engine of life. He was one of the pioneers who identified key participants in such metabolic reactions and measured their effects, knowledge that…

A week in Arolla, Switzerland– 3rd year BSc Location Fieldtrip

Studying Geography at Durham is the best way to make your friends envy you! The integration of fieldwork into our course provides for amazing trips abroad that not many other degrees can boast about. In my third year studying BSc Geography, I jumped at the opportunity to continue to develop my research skills while in…

‘We’re at breaking point’: will UK researchers’ concepts make it through...

Professor Jurriaan Ton, a Dutch expert in plant science at Sheffield University, feels British. His son was born here, his family love Yorkshire, and after more than a decade of producing highly cited research in the UK he has invested “massively” in the resources needed to make his blue skies research a success. But if…

Can labs suppress their dependency to plastic?

Scientific research is a largely ignored consumer of single-use plastics, with the biomedical sciences a particularly high-volume offender. Plastic petri dishes, bottles of various shapes and sizes, several types of glove, a dizzying array of pipettes and pipette tips, a hoard of sample tubes and vials: they have all become an everyday part of scientific…

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