Research Division Briefing
 

Welcome to the Research Division e-Briefing

LSEThe Research Division e-Briefing is produced by the Research Division| and the Press and Information Office|. We are back for the 2013-14 academic year, bringing you all the latest research news, findings and funding opportunities.

In recent news, LSE has launched the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth which will analyse and showcase the policies that will help to drive local economic growth. Plus a new LSE study released this week shows that the class structure in England is evolving far more slowly than previously believed.

If you have colleagues who would like to receive this bulletin and may not at present, email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk|. If you would like to feature a research story, award, or opportunity in this newsletter, email David Coombe, Research Division, at d.coombe@lse.ac.uk|.

 
 
 

October 2013

 
 

News

What Works Growth CentreWhat Works Centre for Local Economic Growth launches

A ground-breaking new project that will analyse and showcase the policies that can help to drive local economic growth has been launched at a national event with Kris Hopkins, Minister for Local Growth, Michael Fallon, Minister for Business, and Joanna Killian, Chief Executive of Essex County Council.

The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, a partnership between LSE, Centre for Cities and Arup, will put evaluations of the policies that matter to growth - skills, regeneration, housing and employment - under the spotlight to give local decision makers the evidence they need about which policies work. It will improve evaluation standards so that we can learn more about what policies are most effective and where, and it will work with local partners to set up a series of demonstrator projects to show how effective evaluation can work in practice.

Professor Henry Overman, Director of the Centre said: "The evidence base covering local growth policy areas like skills, housing and employment is huge and this can be overwhelming for policymakers. The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth will help local decision makers use the available evidence to make better informed decisions about which policies are most likely to drive local growth and where." More|

Margot SalomonNew LSE initiative on human rights and the global economy

The Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy|, led by Dr Margot Salomon (pictured) and based at LSE’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights, is a new initiative set up to provide a dynamic hub for work across disciplines on questions of justice under conditions of globalisation.

Innovative scholarship at the Lab will be complemented by projects aimed at fostering dialogue and learning across practitioner disciplines. This is the case with its first major project on Investment and Human Rights|.

The Lab hosts a thriving Discussion Group from across LSE, and will draw on the experience and vision of an outstanding international ‘Sounding Board|’ as it expands.

Dr Salomon said: "The Lab is an exciting and enterprising initiative - it will bring together thinkers undertaking cutting-edge research on the global economic order, initiate and support new paths of investigation from theory to practice, and provide a platform for policy impact. The Lab is open to collaborative engagement as we develop a vibrant multidisciplinary intellectual community. We look forward to the important contribution the Lab will make in addressing inequities of the global economy in their diverse forms."

LSELSE Sustainable Finance Project launches new Conduct Costs blog

On Friday 11 October, LSE’s Sustainable Finance Project launched a new blog, Conduct Costs.

The Conduct Costs blog aims to increase the public understanding of the banks’ conduct costs (e.g. regulatory fines and other sums associated with misconduct paid by banks), which reflect on their disciplinary behaviour.

Its focus is the Conduct Costs Project, which is concerned with the discovery, calculation and analysis of banks’ conduct costs and presenting them to the public in an accessible manner. The blog will feature articles, research developments and other postings that are relevant to the Conduct Costs Project.

For more information, see blogs.lse.ac.uk/conductcosts| or contact Roger McCormick, Director of the Sustainable Finance Project, at r.s.mccormick@lse.ac.uk|. If you are interested in contributing, email Tânia Duarte, at t.m.maia-campos-duarte@lse.ac.uk|.

Bleddyn DaviesLSE professor honoured for his work on social policy

Professor Bleddyn Davies (pictured), Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award of the British Society of Gerontology| for his work on helping to improve the quality of life of older people.

Professor Davies has also been conferred an honorary degree by the University of Kent for his contribution to social policy.

Professor Davies started work at LSE in 1963 as an Assistant Lecturer. In 1974, he set up the Personal Social Services Research Unit| (PSSRU) to research and analyse the economics of social care and related areas. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for contributions to social science and social policy, and given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Public Health Association in 2007 for his contributions to research and policy on care services for older people.

Professor Davies said: "It has been a great privilege to have been able to work on issues of such significance for the common good, and to do so as a member of such an able and helpful community."

LSESkills Development Programme

The Research Division's Skills Development Programme|, delivered in partnership with the Teaching and Learning Centre, consists of a series of workshops, panel and information sessions to help research staff develop the skills needed to achieve their research funding goals.

Starting with the 'Starting with Research Funding Workshop'| on Wednesday 6 November, the programme is a part of the Division’s Development Initiative aimed at improving and increasing our externally-funded research activity.

LSEFreedom of Information and academic freedom

For the first time, the Information Tribunal (the first court that judges the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) decisions) has directly and specifically mentioned the duty of the ICO to uphold academic freedom.

If the School or a researcher has evidence that an FoI request relating to research is being used to impose the views of the requester or to impede research rather than being used purely to request information, it may be possible to point to this freedom to refuse the request. For more information, click here|.

LSEResearch collaboration with Brazil

The Research Division participated in the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Week in London. FAPESP funds independent research in all areas of knowledge.

It has a bilateral funding agreement with RCUK| to jointly support applications that involve collaboration between UK and researchers in São Paulo. Please contact us to find out more.

Wellcome Trust seeks social scientists

The Wellcome Trust’s Grants Advisers will be visiting LSE in 2014 to talk about the opportunities that are available across their programmes for social scientists.

The Trust has recently expanded the scope of the Medical Humanities| and the Society and Ethics| programme to attract more researchers in the social sciences and humanities.

LSE Research OnlineTop downloads on LSE Research Online for September

Most downloaded peer-reviewed articles in LSE Research Online| in September:

1. Livingstone, Sonia (2008) Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers' use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression|. New media & society, 10 (3). pp. 393-411. ISSN 1461-4448 (901 downloads).

2. Lever, Annabelle (2010) Compulsory voting: a critical perspective|. British journal of political science, 40 (4). pp. 875-895. ISSN 1469-2112 (559 downloads).

3. Coyle-Shapiro, Jacqueline A-M. and Shore, Lynn M (2007) The employee-organization relationship: where do we go from here?| Human resource management review, 17 (2). pp. 166-179. ISSN 1053-4822 (515 downloads).

4. Beauregard, T. Alexandra and Henry, Lesley C. (2009) Making the link between work-life balance practices and organizational performance|. Human resource management review, 19 . pp. 9-22. ISSN 1053-4822 (431 downloads).

5. Hook, Derek (2001) Discourse, knowledge, materiality, history: Foucault and discourse analysis|. Theory & psychology, 11 (4). pp. 521-547. ISSN 0959-3543 (371 downloads).

Total downloads for September: 86,653

ESRC‘The UK in a Changing Europe’ - call for a research coordinator

The ESRC has released initial details about ‘The UK in a Changing Europe’ initiative. As a first step, they are looking to appoint a research coordinator for this initiative.

Click here| for details on the themes this initiative seeks to address along with the role specification for the research coordinator. If you have any enquiries about this initiative, email ESRCeuropeinitiative@esrc.ac.uk|.

UK/US research collaboration

Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Social, Behavioural, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States have entered into a new agreement to help support international research partnerships between the two countries.

The agreement enables a simplified and flexible process for researchers wishing to apply for UK-US collaborative research funding|, using the usual systems and processes of the respective funding agencies.

British AcademyBritish Academy sets out priorities for 2013-18

The British Academy has recently published Strategic Framework| setting out its mission, roles and values, and the priorities over the next five years.

The Academy’s responsive-mode programmes| will continue to promote and support high-quality research in UK and internationally; develop research capacity, facilitate the work of small networks of scholars; and encourage pilot studies and speculative research.

Open Research Area in Europe for the social sciences

The Open Research Area (ORA) partners are expected to announce their fourth joint call for proposals early in 2014. This scheme allows researchers in France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK and the US to collaborate.

Proposals will be accepted for research projects in any area of the social sciences involving researchers from any combination of three or more of the participating countries. More|

LSEPrivate Enterprise Development in Low-income (PEDL) Countries

This major grants call will open soon and we expect that it will run from late November to early February 2014. PEDL is a joint research initiative by DfID/CEPR that supports approaches promising to produce credible research results relevant for policy-making and promotes research related to private enterprises of all sizes. The research must be relevant for policies in low-income countries.

Projects carried out partly or entirely in middle-income countries will be considered if a convincing case is made that the results are applicable to LIC policy. Each of the last two rounds (in 2012 and 2013 respectively) resulted in five awards, with the grants averaging around £300,000. For more information, visit pedl.cepr.org|.

ESRC Big Data Network

The University of Essex is hosting the UK’s administrative data service, which began on Tuesday 1 October and is intended to act as a single point of entry for researchers looking to access administrative data or improve their analytical skills. The data service will also help coordinate the four administrative data research centres that will be hosted by the universities of Edinburgh, Queens, Southampton and Swansea.

Together the service and centres will receive a total of about £34 million from the ESRC. This grant comes as the first phase of the ESRC’s planned £64 million investment in big data. For more information, click here|.

 
 
 

Funding opportunities

Candidates interested in applying for any of the opportunities below should email rescon@lse.ac.uk| (unless otherwise stated).

LSEEmpathy and Trust in Communicating Online (EMoTICON) Commissioning Sandpit, 6-10 January 2014

Deadline: 11 November 2013
The ESRC, in partnership with a number of other funders, is commissioning new research to develop a greater understanding of how empathy and trust are developed, maintained, transformed and lost in social media interactions.

In order to develop innovative approaches and stimulate genuinely transdisciplinary collaborations, the ESRC is commissioning projects via a sandpit. The aim of the sandpit is to bring together researchers and other partners to create projects that will develop theoretically-informed and empirically-derived understandings of the workings of empathy and trust in online contexts and communities.

This call is intended to attract participants from across the full range of social sciences, arts and humanities, and engineering and physical sciences. If you are unsure if your expertise is relevant to the research themes, email theresa.osman@esrc.ac.uk|. The ESRC is specifically looking for people with particular personal attributes - creativity, openness, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team. Full-time and part-time scholars at UK-based research organisations can apply.

The sandpit is aimed at early- and mid-career researchers as well as those in senior academic posts. PhD students and scholars based overseas are not eligible to participate. The sandpit is an intensive residential event and participants must attend all five days of the event. Applications from interested candidates should be submitted via the electronic application form|. For more information, email theresa.osman@esrc.ac.uk|.

LSEJoseph Rowntree Foundation: does money matter more for people on lower incomes?

Deadline: 19 November 2013
This seeks to examine whether additional resources have more of an effect among people on lower incomes than on those with middle or higher incomes. Up to £80,000 is available for one project lasting 12 months. More|

BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships

Deadline: 20 November 2013
These awards provide a period of research leave for one year for established scholars to enable them to concentrate on bringing a major piece of research towards completion while their normal teaching and administrative duties are covered by a full-time replacement. More|

LSEBritish Council Call for International Research Placements

Deadline: 24 November 2013
The British Council has launched a call for early-career researchers to propose an international research placement. Researchers who reside in the UK can apply for funding to spend up to three months at a university or research institution in one of the nineteen partner countries, and those residing in one of the partner countries can apply for funding to come to the UK.

All research areas are covered, including the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, but some countries have priority areas. The countries involved in this call are: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Morocco, Egypt, Qatar, South Africa, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh and the United States of America. More|

Bank of England, Houblon-Norman Fund Fellowships

Deadline: 24 November 2013
Applications are invited for Houblon-Norman/George Research Fellowships to engage in full-time research on an economic or financial topic of the candidate's own choice, preferably one that could be studied with particular advantage at the Bank of England. More|

LSEESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative Phase Two

Deadline: 26 November 2013
The purpose of the initiative is to deliver high quality and high impact research through the deeper exploitation of the major quantitative and qualitative data resources created by the ESRC and other agencies. It is a requirement of the call that proposals include non-academic partners to ensure the co-production of knowledge and to directly address the wider impact aims of the Initiative. Proposals utilising international datasets and/or with an international comparative focus are also encouraged. Funding of up to £200,000 (fEC) is available for projects with a maximum duration of 18 months. More|

AHRC Call for Expressions of Interest to Present Virtual Exhibitions of Images on the AHRC Website

Deadline: 29 November 2013
The AHRC is offering opportunities for researchers in the arts and humanities to submit ideas for display or ‘virtual exhibitions’ on the new AHRC website of between 12 and 15 images, with a new display being added to the website each month and highlighted on the front page of the AHRC site. More|

LSEESRC call for European-Chinese Joint Research Projects: societal challenges - green economy and population change

Deadline: 3 December 2013
The research funding organisations of China (NSFC), France (ANR), Germany (DFG), the Netherlands (NWO) and the UK (ESRC) have announced a call for collaborative projects between European and Chinese researchers in the areas of ‘The Green Economy’ and ‘Understanding Population Change’. Proposals should include leading European researchers wishing to develop contacts with leading researchers in China, and involve participation from at least two different participating European countries and a Chinese consortium. More|

BA JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers

Deadline: 5 December 2013
This scheme is for researchers in the UK who are at an early stage of their career and wish to conduct research in Japan for a period of 12-24 months. Applicants must have received their PhD within the last six years prior to their application and must be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. They must have a research proposal agreed with a Japanese host researcher employed at a Japanese university/research institution. More|

LSEEU Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion: proposals for social policy experimentations supporting social investments

Deadline: 16 December 2013
The present call focuses on the methodological aspects of the different phases of social policy innovations, policy reforms or policy adaptations. Consequently, particular attention should be given to the evaluation and dissemination. This approach is consistent with the emphasis on good governance of the European Union, the increased need to ensure quality of public spending while responding to citizens' needs and expectations. This is reflected by the principle - from both a social and budgetary perspective - that the impact, adequacy and effectiveness of social reforms should be tested before their generalisation. More|

ESRC Transformative Research Call

The aim is to provide stimulus for transformative research ideas at the frontiers of the social sciences, enabling support and development of research that challenges current thinking. Proposals will be funded up to £250,000 at 100 per cent full economic cost, of which the ESRC will pay 80 per cent.

The deadline is 15 January 2014. Please note LSE’s internal deadline for selecting the two applications for submission is Monday 2 December. Contact the Research Division for assistance and information. More|

LSEHealth Systems Research Initiative Call One: providing evidence to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes

Deadline: 14 January 2013
Target Locations: low- and middle-income countries

This call is the first of three annual health systems research initiative calls, jointly supported by the Department for International Development, the ESRC, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. The aim is to fund rigorous, high quality research that will: a) Generate evidence on how to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries; b) Inform the delivery of evidence-based interventions or structural changes; and c) Provide evidence that is of direct relevance to decision makers and users in the field. More|

 
 
 

Recent awards

Chaloka BeyaniDr Chaloka Beyani (pictured), Department of Law, has received teaching buy-out funding of £17,696 from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to enable him to spend time during the 2013 Michaelmas term and 2014 Lent term undertaking the role of United Nations Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons.

Dr Erika Mansnerus, Department of Social Policy, has been awarded £32,321 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to study modelling processes in the policy context through several case studies that cover both emergency responses (e.g. plant modelling in relation to ash dieback) and long-term planning (e.g. foot-and-mouth disease modelling; climate modelling). Questions of model validity and reliability, models’ dependency on data and issues around robustness and sensitivity analysis will also be addressed.

Henry OvermanProfessor Henry Overman (pictured), Spatial Economics Research Centre, has secured funding of £3 million from the ESRC to establish the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth at LSE. The Centre aims to significantly improve the use of evidence in the design and delivery of policies for local economic growth and employment leading to more effective policies and policymaking in these areas. The Centre will be led by LSE and will also bring together leading experts from the Centre for Cities and Arup.

Immediate priorities are to identify key policy interventions where there is sufficient evidence to properly assess effectiveness, undertake systematic reviews to rank these interventions and ensure that the findings are accessible to policy makers. In the medium term the Centre will focus on developing effective knowledge exchange and capacity building, using the evidence base and engagement tools. The longer term aims of the Centre are to ensure that evidence is widely used in the development of policy, to ensure that new policies are effectively evaluated and that individuals and organisations have the capacity to feed the findings back into future policy development.

Professor Anne Power, LSE Housing, has been awarded £10,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to undertake a programme of research into the added value that housing associations can bring to disadvantaged communities as part of, and an extension to, their social landlord role.

PSSRU has been awarded £3,318,568 from the ESRC for a large research project on dementia, entitled ‘Comprehensive Approach to Modelling Outcome and Cost Impacts of Interventions for Dementia.’ The project, which is led by LSE alongside Newcastle University, University of Southampton, University of Sussex and ILC-UK, began on Tuesday 1 October.

Erica ThompsonMs Erica Thompson (pictured), Centre for Analysis of Time Series, has been awarded £21,451 from the NERC to hold a three-day workshop at LSE on Understanding Uncertainty in Environmental Modelling. The workshop will focus on three themes: evaluating model performance; statistical methods and traceability; and the use of models for decision-making.

Dr Gillian Wyness, Centre for Economic Performance, has been awarded £253,000 from the ESRC to investigate the impact of higher education bursaries on the educational outcomes of undergraduate students in terms of their annual academic performance, drop-out rates and final degree classification.

 
 
 

Findings

See LSE Research Online| for more LSE research outputs and deposit your work to lseresearchonline@lse.ac.uk|.

LSEEngland's social classes slow to evolve

New research from LSE shows that the class structure in England is evolving far more slowly than previously believed.

A study of surname distributions over the past 800 years reveals it takes at least half a millennium for the UK’s elite class to shake off their lineage and converge with the average members of society - at least 400 years slower than economists had earlier predicted.

Dr Neil Cummins, an economic historian from LSE, says that despite significant political, industrial, social and economic changes over the past eight centuries, social mobility in England has been much slower.

"Just take the names of the Normans who conquered England nearly 1,000 years ago. Surnames such as Baskerville, Darcy, Mandeville and Montgomery are still over-represented at Oxbridge and also among elite occupations such as medicine, law and politics," Dr Cummins says. More|

LSERaise household income to improve children's educational, health and social outcomes

Children in lower-income households do less well in school and have worse health than their better-off peers in part because they are poorer, researchers from LSE have found.

While it is well established that children in lower-income households do less well than their more wealthy peers, it has to date been unclear whether low income is itself a cause of lower achievement, or simply correlated with other key factors such as lower parental education. The report, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on Tuesday 22 October, finds that low income directly affects measures of a child’s wellbeing and development.

Kerris Cooper and Kitty Stewart from LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion reviewed 34 studies from OECD and European Union countries with strong evidence about whether money affects children’s health, social, behavioural and cognitive outcomes. All the studies use methods that allow researchers to be confident that they are investigating causal relationships, not just associations. More|

LSENet Children Go Mobile releases first report

The first report of Net Children Go Mobile (NCGM) was published on Thursday 17 October. NCGM is a European research project and researchers from LSE’s Department of Media and Communications were involved in designing the project proposal, choosing research questions, designing the survey and commenting on the report during its drafting

Net Children Go Mobile: mobile internet access and use among European children, authored by Giovanna Mascheroni, Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, and Kjartan Olafsson, a visiting fellow at LSE, investigates how, where, and at what age children go online, and which activities they engage in on the internet. The report shows that in the countries surveyed on average 53 per cent own a smartphone (58 per cent in the UK) and 48 per cent (56 per cent in the UK) use it daily to go online.

Internet use is increasingly becoming private, the report finds. Despite the fact that smartphones are the devices most likely to be used on the move, smartphone use itself is mainly domestic: on average across the countries surveyed 39 per cent of children use smartphones every day in the privacy of their own bedroom, 37 per cent in another room at home, 23 per cent in schools and 26 per cent when out and about.

The findings reveal that children are increasingly using smartphones for social activities such as social networking, entertainment on media sharing platforms, and sharing content. Children’s preferences did vary according to country, with fewer children in the UK having social network site profiles (58 per cent) when compared to the other participating countries (average 70 per cent). This, in large part, reflects the fact that the UK has fewer underage users when compared to other European countries.

For more information, visit www.netchildrengomobile.eu/project|.

LSELSE counselling report launched in parliament

More funding directed towards counselling and psychotherapy services in the UK could help curb escalating costs in public and mental health and ensure the country’s future wellbeing.

This is the consensus of an independent report by LSE launched at the House of Commons on Tuesday 15 October.

Commissioned by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the report looks at the economic benefits of therapy in the wake of increasing healthcare costs, as well as ongoing constraints on health spending.

Professor Martin Knapp, Director of the Personal Social Services Research Unit and Professor of Social Policy at LSE, who authored the BACP commissioned report, says: "A therapeutic treatment that improves health will often have economic benefits. Partly, this is because healthier individuals make fewer demands on the health care system, and partly because healthier individuals are economically more productive, either through paid work or through their non-work activities such as caring for someone else, volunteering or studying."

It is intended that the policy paper will provide an evidence-informed perspective to demonstrate the contribution of counselling and psychotherapy to improving public health across all age ranges and across a range of physical and mental health conditions. More|

LSEEurope needs to pull together, says former foreign policy chief

A report launched at LSE by former foreign policy chief Dr Javier Solana argues for a revival of the European spirit.

The report, A Strategy for Southern Europe, also calls on Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal to develop common policies with the rest of Europe on migration, maritime security, energy and defence.

Prepared by LSE IDEAS, the report analyses the economic, political and social upheavals experienced by Southern Europe in the past five years.

Professor Michael Cox, Founding Director of LSE IDEAS, said: "Southern Europe is pivotal to contemporary economic and security debates, yet its regional identity and integration are under-acknowledged. This report, and the establishment of the Southern Europe International Affairs Programme at IDEAS, seeks to redress that by highlighting the importance and potential of the region." More|

LSEMonetary policy is less powerful in recessions

Changes to key interest rates by central banks have a significant impact on economic activity during periods when the economy is expanding. Unfortunately, they seem to have virtually no effect during recessions - the time when the stimulus of monetary policy is most needed.

These are the central findings of research by Professor Silvana Tenreyro and Gregory Thwaites, published by the new Centre for Macroeconomics at LSE.

The study focuses on the Fed Funds Rate, the main monetary policy instrument used by the US Federal Reserve and the counterpart of the Bank Rate set monthly by the Bank of England. The researchers explore the effect of changes in this ‘policy rate’ on US macroeconomic activity over a 40-year period - from 1969 until 2008. Whether central bank interventions of this kind can stimulate activity is a key issue for policy.

The analysis shows that nearly all of the effect of the policy rate on economic activity over the business cycle is attributable to changes made during good times - and it is particularly driven by the responsiveness to rate changes of business investment and consumer spending on durable goods. More|

LSELSE report calls for a Digital-Age Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and children’s charities need to rethink how digital technology and communications are affecting the rights of children around the world, according to a new report from LSE.

The report, A Global Agenda for Children’s Rights in the Digital Age: recommendations for developing UNICEF’s research strategy, by Professor Sonia Livingstone and Dr Monica Bulger of LSE, argues that UNICEF should adopt new research methods in order to get robust evidence on how children are using information and communication technology (ICT), and how this may affect their rights and wellbeing.

Even though children’s digital activities are growing quickly, many of the creative and interactive features of the internet remain substantially underused, especially in lower-income countries and among marginalised children. The growth in ICT around the world is also increasing ‘offline risks’ such as bullying, exposure to pornography and unwanted sexual solicitation. More|

Meena KotechaA world full of data statistics

Meena Kotecha (pictured), a teacher in the departments of Management and Statistics at LSE, was invited to contribute to new research which looks into the changing environment of data statistics and how this can be better reflected in A-level classrooms across different subjects.

The report, entitled A World Full of Data Statistics: opportunities across A-level subjects|, is the outcome of round-table discussions and research seminars organised by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS).

Meena said: "I was delighted to be invited by the RSS to contribute to this research, as one of six subject advisors, on the role of statistics in A-level economics curriculum.

"I am passionate about enhancing undergraduates’ learning experience, which can be achieved by exploring and optimising the enormous potential of A-level courses to equip students with basic statistical concepts. I would argue that this would better prepare students to tackle statistical challenges in higher education degree programmes.

"Our collaboration commenced at the RSS on 6 March as we worked on our individual contributions. The launch event consisted of presentations and panel discussions focused on statistics teaching across a wide range of A-level courses."

LSEHome workers "happier and more productive"

Employees who are able to work from home are more productive than their office-bound colleagues because they are less distracted, grateful for the flexibility and the time they save on commuting is ploughed back into work.

These findings, from LSE, endorse a general move towards more flexible working practices in the UK, although the private sector is lagging behind in this respect.

Dr Alexandra Beauregard from LSE’s Department of Management says working from home does not suit everyone, however.

"The happiest employees are those who can work partially from home and partially in the office. They report the highest levels of work/life satisfaction because they can juggle personal responsibilities yet are not socially isolated," Dr Beauregard says.

The arrangement does not work as well with extroverts who are better suited to the social interaction an office usually provides. More|

LSEExercise "potentially as effective" as many drugs for common diseases

Physical activity is potentially as effective as many drug interventions for patients with existing coronary heart disease and stroke, a review of evidence suggests.

The report by Huseyin Naci, a researcher at LSE and a fellow of Harvard Medical School, and Professor John Ioannidis, director of Stanford University School of Medicine, is published on bmj.com|.

The researchers argue that more trials comparing the effectiveness of exercise and drugs are urgently needed to help doctors and patients make the best treatment decisions. In the meantime, they say exercise "should be considered as a viable alternative to, or alongside, drug therapy."

Physical activity has well documented health benefits, yet in the UK, only 14 per cent of adults exercise regularly, with roughly one third of adults in England meeting recommended levels of physical activity. In contrast, prescription drug rates continue to skyrocket, sharply rising to an average of 17.7 prescriptions for every person in England in 2010, compared with 11.2 in 2000.

But there is very little evidence on how exercise compares with drugs in reducing the risk of death for common diseases. More|

CopyrightCreative industries not harmed by digital sharing, report finds

A report released by LSE's Department of Media and Communications contradicts widespread claims about the decline of creative industries as a result of copyright infringement.

The report shows that the gaming, film and publishing industries are growing and new business models are emerging based on digital sharing.

For some in the creative industries, copyright infringement may actually be helping boost their revenues, the report finds.

Industry data shows that while the music industry has stagnated somewhat in the last four years, since 1998 it has experienced overall growth with internet-based revenues as a significant component since 2004. In the UK, online sales now exceed CDs or vinyl as a percentage of total revenue for recorded music.

Dr Bart Cammaerts, Senior Lecturer in LSE's Department of Media and Communications and one of the report’s authors, said: "Contrary to the industry claims, the music industry is not in terminal decline, but still holding ground and showing healthy profits. Revenues from digital sales, subscription services, streaming and live performances compensate for the decline in revenues from the sale of CDs or records." More|

LSELSE and Kids Company launch new report on vulnerable children

A leading UK psychologist has compared London’s most vulnerable children - those living in violent cultures - to the children residing in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.

"For many children who live in London, violence and criminality are a way of life. They witness shootings, stabbings and even killings of friends and relatives," Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch said at the launch of the report on the work of UK charity, Kids Company.

"Many of them have been shot or stabbed and suffer emotional and sexual abuse. They live in one of the most cosmopolitan and rich cities in the world, but their situation is comparable to that of children in Rio’s slums."

Professor Jovchelovitch said this environment led to long-term physical and mental health damage, but the work of charities such as Kids Company gave "visibility" to their plight and filled gaps left by the government sector. More|

 
 
 

Information

To find out more about research opportunities, contact the Research Development Team at rescon@lse.ac.uk|.

If you would like to feature a research story, award, or opportunity in this newsletter, email David Coombe, Research Division, at d.coombe@lse.ac.uk|.

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