Why GDPR matters for research

by Sarah Dickson and Maria Sigala

On 25 May 2018 new data protection regulations are introduced in the UK and across the EU. We have been working for many years with the research community and the Information Commissioner’s Office, trying to understand what the new regulations mean for research.

The General Data Protection Legislation and new Data Protection Act, which come into force in the UK, will enable greater accountability and transparency by those who process personal data. The new legislation, GDPR for short, offers enhanced rights to individuals whose data is being processed.  Continue reading

Why people believe in conspiracy theories

by Benjamin Lyons, Vittorio Merola, and Jason Reifler

Conspiracy theories are finally out of the shadows.

While that might be a bit dramatic, it is true that social scientists are beginning to pay more attention to conspiracy theories. As a result, we have an ever improving understanding of who believes in conspiracy theories, and why. Continue reading

AAAS and public opinion about science around the world

by Patrick Sturgis

Next week the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) convenes in Austin Texas for its annual jamboree, showcasing new science for an audience comprising policymakers, journalists, and scientists. AAAS is the largest multi-disciplinary scientific meeting in the world, with this year’s programme covering topics as diverse as gene editing, space exploration, driverless cars, neuroscience, and quantum computing.

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Knocking tones off their perch: investigating how young people learn Mandarin Chinese

by Rob Neal

As China’s economic and strategic importance grows, learning Chinese is becoming an option for school children around the world. Yet despite the hype, there is a long way to go before Chinese enjoys a mainstream presence on the curriculum of British schools. Tellingly, only 3000 pupils took a GCSE in Chinese in 2016 with most of these students coming from Chinese-speaking backgrounds. The profile of Chinese learners overall remains biased towards those from more advantaged backgrounds.

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How tall are you? And what’s that in metric? Introducing CLOSER’S ‘harmonised’ dataset

by Rebecca Hardy

Society has never quite come to terms with the change from imperial to metric measurements, particularly when it comes to weight and height. Ask people how tall they are or how much they weigh and you’re likely to get an answer in feet and inches, or stones and pounds. Ask again what that is in metric and more often than not you’ll get a blank look.

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