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Too few women called to give evidence to parliamentary select committees

New figures from Democratic Audit UK, an independent research organisation based at LSE.


'A European Dream Deferred: how to restore Europe's promise and potential'
This year's Eva Colorni Memorial Lecture with former prime minister of Greece, George Papandreou.


Dr Swenja Surminski
Compost heap expert, penguin collector, online shopping connoisseur - Dr Swenja Surminski's talents are many, but she'd like to have just a few more...

  ...   ...   ...  

- Research


- LSE in pictures



- Events


- Training and jobs



- Contact Maddy


  23 January 2014  

- News


Market Research Society award for LSE academics

Dr Michael Bruter and Dr Sarah Harrison of LSE's Department of Government have been celebrating receiving the Market Research Society's (MRS) award for 'Best International Research' for Dr Bruter's project 'Inside the Mind of a Voter', part of his ECREP electoral psychology research initiative.
The MRS awards are amongst the most prestigious in the world in the field of opinion research.

Using a broad comparative perspective and complex quantitative and qualitative methodologies, 'Inside the Mind of a Voter' looks to understand what goes on in the minds of voters at the time they cast their vote.
It is funded by a European Research Council grant. The award was given jointly to Dr Bruter and Dr Harrison. Dr Harrison also works with Opinium Research which conducted the survey fieldwork. 

The judges explained: “This paper was chosen as the winner both because of the thorough, innovative research approach and because of the useful insights on how to reengage the electorate with the electoral process.”

The picture shows (left to right) Opinium's James Endersby, Dr Michael Bruter, Phyllis Macfarlane, Chair of MRS, Dr Sarah Harrison and Opinium's Paul Crooke.


LSE academic speaks at United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva

Chaloka Beyani, Associate Professor in the Law Department, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday 20 January 2014 on the situation in the Central African Republic in his capacity as Chair of the Coordination Committee of the United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures. More

Dr Beyani also issued a press release and a letter to the parties to the Geneva II talks on the situation in Syria.

    Interfaith Israel/Palestine trip

The New Year saw the LSE’s first interfaith trip to Israel/Palestine for Muslim, Jewish and Christian students, led by the Chaplain the Revd Dr James Walters and School Secretary Susan Scholefield. The trip, sponsored by the Annual Fund, is part of the events surrounding the opening of the new Faith Centre in the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre. The group joined worship in a church, mosque and synagogue and met activists on both sides of the conflict engaged in interfaith projects on the ground. They were invited to Jewish homes in Jerusalem for a Shabbat meal and stayed with Palestinian families in Bethlehem on the feast of Christmas in the Orthodox calendar.

Graduate student Jack Palmer said “What became clear through the conversations we had and the experiences we shared is that interfaith work, reconciliation and peace-making is a long and arduous road. My hope, and where I see this trip being so significant for taking interfaith work forward, is that people in similar situations will trust that the beauty that comes with reconciliation is worth the patience.”
    10,000th open access paper added to LSE Research Online

The end of Michaelmas term saw the 10,000th full text, openly accessible paper added to LSE Research Online. The paper was part of the LSE Health Working Paper Series in Health Policy and Economics, entitled 'Analysis of prices paid by low-income countries - how price sensitive is government demand for medicines?' co-authored by LSE academics Divya Srivastava and Alistair McGuire. There are now 10,251 full text papers in the repository. Last year, LSE Research Online received an average of 76,000 downloads per month- that's roughly 8 downloads per paper.

Divya said of open access: “It has a positive effect on our discipline of health economics and health policy, giving quicker access to our work that could inform related research more easily. I encourage fellow researchers to use LSE Research online as it is an accessible platform to disseminate and promote their work - another outlet to communicate one's research. We're delighted our paper has already had many downloads thanks to being in LSE Research online. It's wonderful news that our paper has reached academic circles both within and outside LSE.”

To deposit your papers in LSE Research Online, email

Dr Alexandros Petersen

The International Relations Department is saddened to learn that Alexandros Petersen, a former MSc and PhD student in the Department, died in Kabul on Friday 17 January 2014.

Alex was killed in an attack on a popular restaurant for which the Taliban claimed responsibility. Alex began work as an Assistant Professor, Political Science, at the American University of Afghanistan just two days before his death.

Alex was a MSc student in the International Relations Department during 2006-07, after which he registered on the PhD programme and obtained his doctorate in 2012. Alex had attachments to many research institutes and wrote the book The World Island: Eurasian geopolitics and the fate of the West. He was popular at the LSE and will be greatly missed.


- Notices


Are you publishing a book in 2014?

The LSE Review of Books publishes daily reviews of academic books across all social science disciplines and reaches an audience of over 6000 visitors a week. If your book is being published this year, be sure to send a review copy to the team who will match it with an external reviewer. Just get in touch with Amy Mollett at You can also see the latest reviews here.

    Sports Ambassador Programme launch invitation

Today at 4pm the Students’ Union is launching their Sports Ambassador Programme on the sixth floor of the new Saw Swee Hock Student Centre. There'll be drinks and nibbles, a short speech from the Deputy Director and a few words from the athletes themselves. This is an open invitation to all LSE staff interested in sport and the development of the SU.

The Sports Ambassador Programme is funded by the Annual Fund to support thirteen incredible students who juggle academic studies with international sporting commitments. Amongst these thirteen there is an Italian hockey player, a Bulgarian tennis player and an England rugby player!

    Holocaust memorial commemoration

Everyone is invited to attend the Holocaust memorial commemoration this Monday 27 January at 12 noon in the LSE Faith Centre in the new Saw Swee Hock Student Centre.

    LSE Chill – calling performers!

The first LSE Chill session of this term is Friday 31 January, in the 4th floor café bar. Acts are still needed for the evening, and for future Chills, so get in touch with the team at if you want to show off your talents and let them know your name and the details of your act. More

    Triple P – Positive Parenting

LSE has received local authority funding to pilot the Positive Parenting Programme. The programme is free to a group of up to 45 employees and partners who are parents of children under 6 years old. It includes a 90 minute seminar on 6 March led by Matt Buttery and online learning. Anyone who attended the 'Balancing work and being Dad' course will know Matt. The programme aims to help raise happy children and manage their behaviour. More

To attend the seminar on 6 March at 12– 2pm in Room NAB 2.06, book here.

More information and other workshops can be found here.
    LSE Photo Prize 2014: LSE Arts first pop up exhibition

Back for its seventh year, LSE Photo Prize 2014 is running alongside the Literary Festival to display submissions across the LSE campus. LSE staff and students are encouraged to submit their best photos demonstrating their interpretations of the Literary Festival theme ‘Reflections’. Submissions will be accepted until 31 January. More

All submitted photographs will be displayed across the LSE campus in a different location every day of the week. Foodie freebies will be up for grabs at each exhibition location, so keep an eye out for hints and clues about the locations and treats on @LSEEvents from 24 February to 1 March.

The three winning photographs, selected by a panel of art professionals and LSE staff, will be announced at the Festival’s closing event on Saturday 1 March. The three winners will then get to see their images printed and displayed at the School.

Each photograph must be 300dpi, no smaller than 2MB as a jpeg file. You can submit a maximum of three images. For more information, email the LSE Arts Team at
    Diversity calendar 2014

The School’s 2014 Diversity Calendar is ready for everyone's desks. The calendar engages with equality and diversity themes and contains School dates. The vibrant images were submitted by LSE staff and students for a competition and selected by a judging panel: as such they are an expression of LSE community’s insight into equality and diversity. Each month, the calendar presents a new and hopefully thought provoking idea. It is available to download here. The Equality and Diversity team wishes everybody a happy new year!

    Equality and diversity Lent term flyer

As we get stuck in to 2014, there are lots of exciting equality and diversity events happening across the School. This term, there is a series of public debates and discussions by the Gender Institute to welcome the Women’s Library@LSE, workshops for staff and students and open monthly meetings hosted by the staff network Spectrum. For details of these events and more, please see the Equality and Diversity Lent Term Flyer here.


New Generation Thinkers 2014 - Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC

This scheme aims to provide development opportunities for early-career researchers
and to find a new generation of academics to bring the latest university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience. The scheme will help cultivate skills to communicate research findings to those outside the academic community. Applications from researchers in all areas of the arts, humanities and social sciences are welcome.  Deadline for applications is Thursday 6 February. For more details email More


More for less - lovely special offers for LSE staff

I love Covent Garden loyalty card
As LSE is within a half mile radius of the Covent Garden Market Building, we are eligible for the excellent Covent Garden loyalty card which gives 10% off at participating shops and restaurants. More

Special weekend rates at Kingsway Hall Hotel
Treat yourself with these special weekend rates for the four star deluxe Kingsway Hall Hotel, which includes 24 hour room service, the Harlequin Restaurant and Lounge Bar, a health club with gym, whirlpool and steam rooms.

for bookings from Fridays to Sundays are:

  • Standard Queen:£148 +VAT

  • Deluxe King: £168 +VAT

  • Executive King: £188 + VAT

Breakfast for single occupancy and wi-fi are included.
Rates are available to book on GDS or directly with the hotel using these codes: Sabre WV43019 Worldspan WV 40195 Galileo WV93746 Amadeus WVLONKHH


    University squash tournament cup - staff invited to pick up a racket and play!

LSE squash club is organising the inaugural LSE University cup on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February. Squash enthusiasts of every level are invited to compete in a tournament that will uncover the best squash players London universities have to offer, including all students, faculty and staff.
Whether you're a squash pro or novice, there will be categories for all, so get involved in the biggest and best university squash tournament London has ever seen!

There are prizes to be won, so don't miss out on your chance to win up to £50 and of course, more importantly, to take the title of LSE University Cup Champion.

Participation costs only £5 for LSE squash club members or £10 for non members and all proceeds go to the Association of International Cancer Research.

Register here or email for further information.  Entries close at 12pm on 25 January and payment deadline is 5 February. Confirmation emails stating participant category, event itinerary and payment links will be sent by 3 February.

    Feel good food day

Come to the 4th floor restaurant on Wednesday 29 January and tuck into feel good food day - good for you, good for the planet, but still filling and tasty!

As well as raising awareness and promoting the sustainable aspects of the food served by the team there, they will be showing that limiting meat in diets and using healthier ingredients, seasonal vegetables, fish from sustainable stocks and higher animal welfare produce can benefit your health, the environment and animal welfare. The ‘Feel Good Food’ world cuisine menu will offer reduced meat and increased vegetarian alternatives, so come along and feel good.
    LSE Entrepreneurship’s Lent term funding competition now open

Whether you have a bright idea, or an already established project, LSE Entrepreneurship wants to hear from you.

LSE Entrepreneurship’s funding competitions help LSE students and staff to boost their business or social enterprise idea by offering funding of up to £10,000. The initial round of the competition is open until 5pm on Tuesday 7 February. Applicants just need to fill in a short form outlining their idea here.

If your initial application is successful, you'll need to submit a detailed business proposal and costings to be assessed by a specialist judging panel. Applicants who make it through to the next round will then pitch their idea to the panel on Friday 7 March to compete for funding. More
    Flat to rent in Crouch End

A lovely two bedroom, two bathroom flat in Crouch End is available to rent this year. 

Technology tip!

Concerned about missing voicemail messages? The new telephone system allows you to easily configure your settings so that you are automatically emailed either a notification of a voicemail, or the voicemail itself as an attachment.

To receive your voicemail as an email:
1. Click on Services on the Telephony Toolbar
2. On the left-hand side menu, click Voice Messaging
3. In the options on the right hand side:
a. Tick Email me a carbon copy of the voice message to: if you wish to receive your voice message as an email attachment
b. Tick Notify me by email of the new voice message at this address: if you wish to receive only a notification of a new voice message
4. Enter your email address in the box provided
5. Click Apply | OK
Note: Your phone will always receive the voicemail, but you can turn the email option on or off as it suits you.

More guides to using the new telephone system here.


- LSE in pictures


This week's picture features the artwork ‘Uplift’, designed by the architects O'Donnell + Tuomey. It is made in vitreous enamel and arranged in a harlequin pattern that wraps around the central lift core in the main stairwell of the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre.
For more images like this, visit the Photography Unit.

  NAB Artwork  

- Research

    Too few women called to give evidence to parliamentary select committees

Women are seriously under-represented among those who give evidence to parliamentary select committees according to stark new figures from Democratic Audit UK, an independent research organisation based at LSE.

Democratic Audit blog managing editor, Sean Kippin, said: “Although we only examined a short period of committee activity, the fact that men were over-represented among the witnesses of almost all committees across both Houses of Parliament and among every type of witness suggests this is an ongoing problem.

“Committees need to consider what steps they can take to address this, beginning with the setting of milestones for increasing the proportion of female witnesses and regular monitoring.” More

- Events

    'A European Dream Deferred: how to restore Europe's promise and potential' - on Monday 3 February at 6.30pm

LSE, the Eva Colorni Trust and Professor Amartya Sen invite all LSE staff and students to attend this year’s Eva Colorni Memorial Lecture with former prime minister of Greece, George Papandreou.

Tickets can be requested online from Monday 27 January. LSE ID required. More
    LSE IDEAS public lecture series - Asia Rising

LSE IDEAS has announced its new public lecture series - Asia Rising. Speakers include: Prof John Ikenberry, Prof Arne Westad, Prof Michael Cox, Prof Simon Hix, Mr Jonathan Fenby, Ms Isabel Hilton and Ambassador Wu Jian Min. Look out for #LSEasiarising on Twitter. More
    The LSE Summit: Risk Sharing and Managed Entry Agreements

Uncertainty identified during health technology assessment of innovative new medicines is increasingly being addressed through a managed entry agreement (MEA) / risk-sharing agreement between the manufacturer and the payer. Over time, there has been a proliferation of managed entry schemes focusing, among other things, on price, utilisation and outcomes.

An LSE Health Summit hosted by the Medical Technology Research Group will feature speakers from national competent authorities on pricing, reimbursement and HTA, pharmaceutical manufacturers, international organisations, patient representative organisations and academia. They will debate the latest MEA developments and reflect on future prospects and policy options.

The Summit will take place on 14 February 2014, 9am-5pm, at the Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Please visit for details.

    ‘The Rise of Euroscepticism: causes and prospects’ - on Thursday 30 January at 6.30-8pm in the Old Theatre, LSE

The LSE European Institute and the European Parliament Information office in the UK invite you to this panel discussion with
Dr Matthew Goodwin, Associate Professor of Politics at
University of Nottingham and Peter Kellner, President of YouGov since 2007, chaired by Prof Maurice Fraser, Head of European Institute here at LSE. A reception will follow the discussion.

Dr Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, where his research focuses on radical right parties, immigration and Euroscepticism. He is co-author of the new book, Revolt on the Right: explaining public support for the radical right in Britain (with Robert Ford). Peter Kellner has been President of YouGov, the opinion research agency, since 2007 and is a former political editor of New Statesman. More


Inform Anniversary Conference

'Minority Religions: Contemplating the Past and Anticipating the Future'
  - from Friday 31 January to Sunday 2 February in the New Academic Building

Inform is celebrating over a quarter of a century of providing reliable and relevant information about minority religions with an Anniversary Conference. Speakers will address a range of perspectives and topics about minority religions and include academics and government representatives
Registration for the full conference (including Friday Ashgate-Inform book launch and reception with refreshments, Saturday and Sunday tea/coffee/lunch) is £120 standard and £85 concession for students and unwaged. We are offering single day registrations for £55. More information and registration here.

    Why experiment with social policy?

Dr Simona Milio of LSE Enterprise and Arnaud Vaganay of the Department of Methodology are speaking at the launch of the new European-based network for Social Policy Analysis for Robust Knowledge (SPARK). The session will cover social policy experimentation - the practice of testing new ideas and policies and collecting evidence about the real impact of measures on people. The event will take place on 12 February in London. Find out more and book a free place here.

    'Emerging ethnic economies at times of crisis: socio-economic and spatial dimensions of migrants’ entrepreneurship in Athens' - on Tuesday 28 January at 6-7.30pm in the Cañada Blanch Room, COW 1.11, 1st floor, Cowdray House

Dr Panos Hatziprokopiou from the Department of Spatial Planning & Development at the School of Engineering at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will be speaking. The Hellenic Observatory gratefully acknowledges the National Bank of Greece for the funding of this research project.

Hellenic Observatory Seminars are open to all. No tickets are needed - entry is on a first come first served basis. More
    Events this week

European Parliament Elections 2014: issues and stakes

'The Ethics of 'Nudge'' - on Monday 27 January at 6.30pm
in the Old Theatre in the Old Building with Professor George Loewenstein, Samuel Nguyen and Professor Drazen Prelec.

'The Next Crisis' - on Tuesday 28 January at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre in the Old Building with Professor Julia Black, Dr Jon Danielsson and Professor Charles Goodhart. More

'Pride and Propaganda: LGBT rights in Russia today' - on Wednesday 29 January at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre in the Old Building with Jonathan Cooper, Kseniya Kirichenko, Peter Tatchell.

    ‘Towards a new Organisational Theory of British International Business: the Selection Trust as a distributed firm, c.1930-79’ - on 27 January at 5.30pm in 3.02, Tower Two with Simon Mollan and Kevin Tennent from York Management School. More
    Podcasts of public lectures and events

The Reproduction of People by Means of People
Speaker: Professor Nancy Folbre
Recorded: Wednesday 15 January, approx. 70 minutes

In Conversation with Joshua Rozenberg
Speaker: Joshua Rozenberg
Recorded: Thursday 16 January, approx. 87 minutes

The true story about the geopolitical role of Cyprus: David or Goliath?
Speaker: Nicos Anastasiades
Recorded: Thursday 16 January, approx. 42 minutes

- 60 second interview

      with.....Dr Swenja Surminski

I joined LSE as a Senior Research Fellow three years ago, working on climate risk and the role of the private sector at the Grantham Research Institute. Prior to that I worked for 10 years in the insurance industry - not selling car insurance, but advising on flood, windstorms, climate change and how to prepare for disasters. Unfortunately once you start working on these issues you see risks everywhere - I find it hard to enjoy river views unless I am on the top floor of a building. I am from Hamburg in Germany, and although my four kids were all born in London they definitely know which football team to cheer (although our little 2 year old boy usually supports the referee...). London is a great city. While clearly LSE is the main attraction for me I love the cultural diversity and the mix of people, the parks and online grocery shopping!

Forget about daily complaints and little frustrations, what do you actually love about LSE and what would make it an even better unique institution?

Of course the people at LSE - it is hugely stimulating, although interacting across departments is quite difficult. On a more personal level: the LSE Christmas party for children is fantastic. With regards to improvements - how about a nice hot tub on the roof of Tower 3?

Which is your favourite LSE sculpture?

Definitely the Penguin. My family collects penguin–related items – and a picture of the LSE sculpture has made it onto our collection shelf at home!

What have been the most extreme weather conditions which you have personally experienced?

Temperature –wise: - 23 C while dog sledding in Ontario, Canada and + 44 C when camping in the Lybian desert. Fortunately I have not had to endure many natural disasters. My most recent encounter was Hurricane Sandy. I was taking the kids to enjoy a proper Halloween on the US East Coast and see the final stage of the 2012 presidential campaign and I ended up studying the disaster preparedness levels of the friends we visited.

What is your preferred form of exercise?

Running – not just as exercise, but also my preferred form of commuting in London (time spent in my office counts as ‘resting period’ between the morning to LSE and evening run home). It's very reliable and much safer than cycling. Not sure about air pollution, but I hope the health benefits outweigh the risk. If not running then I go to the gym - reviewing papers on a cross trainer is good fun, or I play tennis.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.

One of my favourite hobbies is compost heaps. I am the proud developer of a number of compost heaps in Germany. Wielding a large manure fork is actually the best part of it – unfortunately space constraints in central London have somewhat limited my activities in this area…

Is there anything you cannot do and would like to learn?

Where to start? There is so much – play the saxophone, manage a proper 200m butterfly swim race (even 10m would be nice!), walk on my hands, speak Arabic – and the list goes on and on....


- Training and jobs

    A problem shared - telling your manager about your mental health

Erik Baurdoux and Tara-Lee Platt will share their experiences of mental health issues in the workplace during an informal session on Friday 31 January at 12:30pm which will include:
  • how processes in different departments vary
  • how to prepare for telling your manager
  • tips on what to do if you are concerned about a colleague's mental wellbeing

Book here.

This session follows last month’s successful ‘Promoting Staff Disability Equality Conference’, which included Susan Scholefield signing the ‘Time to Change’ pledge. More 

  HR   Jobs at LSE

Below are some of the vacancies currently being advertised to internal candidates only, as well as those being advertised externally.

  • Employer Engagement Adviser, LSE Careers Service
  • International Growth Centre Communications Officer, International Growth Centre
  • International Growth Centre Contracts Administrator, International Growth Centre
  • Fellow in Behavioural Macroeconomics, European Institute
  • Programmes Co-ordinator, Management
  • Research Officer, EPSRC Statistics
  • Space Planning Manager, Estates Division
  • Undergraduate Admissions Manager, Academic Registrar's Division

For more information, visit Jobs at LSE and login via the instructions under the 'Internal vacancies' heading.


- Get in touch!

  Nicole Gallivan   If you have some news, an achievement, or an aspect of LSE life that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. Do get in touch at or on ext 7582.

The next edition of Staff News is on Thursday 30 January. Articles for this should be emailed to me by Tuesday 28 January. Staff News is emailed every Thursday during term time and fortnightly during the holidays.

Thanks, Maddy