Posts

May 02, 2015

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3:36 PM | It’s politics, stupid!
It’s election time in the UK, time to write down a handy little heuristic rule that I apply to guide my voting habits. The following will draw from Britain-centric examples, because that’s the milieu I’m immersed in, but the conclusions…Read more ›

May 01, 2015

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3:25 PM | Black lives matter: premature deaths skew US election results
Not only do black people die sooner than whites in the US, but the premature deaths of these would-be voters affect election results
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8:23 AM | The Labour vote in Scotland and the SNP effect
With the election less than a week away, I have been thinking about what may or may not happen in Scotland regarding the Labour vote and the possibility that the SNP will take Labour seats. I say the ‘possibility’ because I don’t take opinion polls too seriously, as discussed in my last post! Just over … Continue reading The Labour vote in Scotland and the SNP effect →
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5:01 AM | Linkage
Some good discussions this time over on G+, especially for the vote-off-the-island post but also on the golden spiral, P=NP counterexample, and election-system posts.3d rendered art by Joey Camacho (G+)Rivers don't actually approximate semicircles (G+)Intimidating researchers from discussing known vulnerabilities in fly-by-wire systems (G+)ICALP accepted papers (G+)Animations of mechanical linkages (G+)If impact factors are so obviously irrelevant, why do we still use them? (G+)California MOOC […]

April 30, 2015

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5:15 PM | The Love Vote - How Your Partner Swings the Election
Which single individual is going to influence you in how to vote in the general election more than any other? Recent research suggests voters will be most swayed by a spouse.
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3:13 PM | We need good pharmacists if the NHS is to survive
With funding for the NHS taking centre stage in the election campaigns, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are being pushed to generate savings that will make up the estimated £22bn NHS shortfall. Quite how they can achieve financial efficiencies on this scale is anyone’s guess, but much of the focus is on new models of care […]

April 28, 2015

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5:15 PM | UK's political parties offer little on climate and renewables
In the run up to the UK general election, a review of climate pledges shows that all major parties offer unspecified promises rather than concrete policies
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6:00 AM | Who has a real vision for science in Britain’s general election?
The run-up to the general election has seen campaigns such as Science Matters attempting to put science firmly on the election agenda. But is anyone listening?This piece was first published on The ConversationAs the general election draws ever closer we all wait anxiously to see what complexion government we end up with; scientists are no different from anyone else in this respect. Graeme Reid recently described how government protection of the science budget had come at a cost over the last […]

April 27, 2015

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12:18 PM | the travelling politician problem
Filed under: pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life Tagged: Bill Cook, constituencies, Great-Britain, The Guardian, travelling salesman Concorde, UK Elections 2015
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10:49 AM | 5 things politicians can learn from Scientists:
On the 7th of May 2015 the United Kingdom will hold a general election and party political campaigns are now in full swing. As a voter who is currently undecided, I’m fervently rifling through political literature and attempting to navigate … Continue reading →

April 26, 2015

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11:42 AM | Staten Island Candidates Avoid Talk Of Eric Garner Case
In the New York Congressional district where an an unarmed black man died at the hands of police last year, neither candidate for a special congressional election is using the death to score points.

April 24, 2015

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12:30 PM | Has UK Renewable Electricity Really Tripled?
Renewable electricity has nearly trebled under this government.said Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat energy and climate change minister, during an environment debate held by the Daily Politics show. Amid the climate of mistrust about claims made by politicians that tends to accompany election campaigns, it is reassuring to report that the evidence supports the minister’s statement. read more
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11:29 AM | Should science be on the agenda for the general election?
Those of you who live in the UK will by now be unable to move without seeing some reference to the looming election. This year’s ballot results are thought to be amongst the most contentious in recent history. The hot-button … Continue reading →
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9:44 AM | How to tell if a politician is lying by Dr Raj Persaud FRCPsych
How to tell if a politician is lying   Raj Persaud   There is an old joke which asks – how to tell if a politician is lying? The answer – if they are moving their lips.   In the midst of an election campaign a more scientific answer to this vital question may be […]

April 23, 2015

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7:13 PM | How the Truth About Palestine Won Netanyahu the Israeli Election
Omri Boehm in The Boston Review (Image: Wikimedia commons): The universal deceit exposed by Netanyahu just before Election Day had two main lies for pillars. First, of course, his own lie, the 2009 “Bar Ilan Speech,” in which the Prime...
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12:18 PM | I give an X
Filed under: Travel Tagged: elections, UK Elections 2015, United Kingdom, vote, voters apathy

April 22, 2015

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8:00 AM | Forensic Science in the General Election 2015
With only a few weeks to go until the General Election 2015 in the UK, I thought I would look at the major party manifestos and see if there were any hints […]

April 21, 2015

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11:28 AM | Opinion polls – don’t overhype them!
As the election campaign continues (with just over two weeks to go before polling), the media continually report the latest opinion polls, which mostly show Labour and the Conservatives at both around 33-34%. Conclusions and predictions are being made on the basis of these results, but do they actually mean anything? An opinion poll is … Continue reading Opinion polls – don’t overhype them! →

April 15, 2015

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10:46 AM | Do our genes tell us how to vote? Study of twins says they might
Findings indicate that voting Conservative (or not) is strongly influenced by genetics, whereas voting Lib Dem is affected by environment aloneThis piece was first published on The ConversationAs a society we believe that our political allegiance depends on which party best marries up with our needs and values – and that these are shaped by our life experiences. But research with twins suggests picking who to vote for in an election might have more to do with your genes than the policies […]

April 14, 2015

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4:11 PM | The psychology of voting, digested
The UK General Election is weeks away and the political parties are doing all they can to attract our votes. Psychology tells us that not only are the parties competing with each other, they also have to contend with the foibles of human nature. Many of us like to think that we vote according to sound reason, perhaps for the good of the country, our own family's best interests, or by selecting the most fair and competent candidate. In fact, there's evidence that our votes are frequently […]

April 13, 2015

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1:19 PM | A Far-Right Family Feud In France Appears To Claim Movement's Icon
National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen won't run in the upcoming regional elections after his daughter and political successor criticized his remarks about gas chambers being a "detail" of history.
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8:00 AM | Genes May Tell Us How To Vote
As a society we believe that our political allegiance depends on which party best marries up with our needs and values – and that these are shaped by our life experiences. But research with twins suggests picking who to vote for in an election might have more to do with your genes than the policies of the parties. read more
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7:50 AM | Britain Backs Away From World Stage In Lead-Up To Elections
As the U.K. heads into elections, its role on the world stage is shrinking. Foreign policy is barely an issue for British voters, as the country remains focused almost entirely on domestic issues.
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6:06 AM | Lords Reform: An unnecessary procedure?
As the election looms, what might various parties' plans for reform of the House of Lords mean for the scrutiny of health and health care related legislation? Conor Farrington, a medical sociologist at CCHSR (but we stole him from political science), raises some concerns.

April 12, 2015

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6:27 PM | The campaign rumbles on
This election campaign already seems to be dragging. With the election itself more than 3 weeks away, the party manifestos are only just appearing, and all that seems to have happened so far is that the rival parties are making claims about what they would do if elected, claims are often completely unsubstantiated. For example, … Continue reading The campaign rumbles on →

April 10, 2015

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2:41 PM | What are parties saying about science policy ahead of the election?
If you’re struggling to form a view on what’s on offer for science at the general election, these interviews with six major parties are a starting pointVoters with an interest in science may be struggling to form a view on what’s on offer at the general election, if two recent public debates are anything to go by.A few weeks ago, the Society of Biology brought together science representatives from six leading parties, but little emerged to differentiate them. Consensus seemed […]

April 06, 2015

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9:13 PM | What did democracy really mean in Athens? While we might...
What did democracy really mean in Athens? While we might consider elections to be the cornerstone of democracy, the Athenians who coined the term actually employed a lottery system to choose most of their politicians. Melissa Schwartzberg describes the ins and outs of the Athenian democracy, and addresses some ways in which a lottery system might benefit us today. View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-did-democracy-really-mean-in-athens-melissa-schwartzberg Lesson by Melissa […]
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5:36 PM | Political Parties Win More When More Women Are On Ballots
It may be sexist but when more women are on ballots, political parties do better, according to a new paper.Whether or not that is because women will vote for gender over the best candidate is unclear, but it does mean that the belief that people will not vote for women is  not true. The authors analyzed changes on municipal election laws in Spain which instituted a quota for female candidates. With other factors being equal, the scholars found that parties that increased their share of […]

April 05, 2015

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9:06 PM | After Nigeria's Election, A Call For Unity
Following a bitterly contested election, outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan offered congratulations to his successor, Muhammadu Buhari, who said, "We must begin to heal the wounds and work towards a better future."
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