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  LSE student News  
Matthew Taylor
  News   Notices   In 60 seconds  

What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth launches

A new project that will analyse and showcase the policies that can help to drive local economic growth has launched.


LSE Careers invites you to….

Don't miss the upcoming careers fairs including the Business and Management Fair on Thursday and International Organisations Day in November.


Matthew Taylor

Matthew, who has been conducting LSE's Orchestra regularly since 2003, plays the piano, used to play the oboe and organ, and has continually struggled to play the violin.

  ...   ...   ...  
  30 October 2013  

- News


Industrial action

Following ballots earlier this year, UCU, UNISON and UNITE have all confirmed that they will hold a joint strike day on Thursday 31 October in relation to their national disputes over pay. UCU has also instructed its members to take action short of a strike (ASOS) from Friday 1 November in the form of working to contract.

The School anticipates that most staff at LSE will continue to work as normal. However, there may be some disruption to teaching. If this happens the lost sessions will need to be rearranged and you will be notified of this.

  The Revolving Shed   Annual Fund backed drama takes to the Fringe

Annual Fund support has enabled the LSESU Drama Society, The Revolving Shed, to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, where it has appeared for the third time.

This year LSE’s talented actors performed Buoy, an East London based comedy, a total of 19 times at Edinburgh’s C Aquila venue, following performances of How To Catch A Rabbit in 2011 and Blake’s Doors in 2012.

"The university’s presence at the festival now rivals other institutions that have had shows there for decades," said project leader Alexander Willett. "The originality of the company, in only presenting new writing informed by the debates presented whilst studying at LSE, has allowed it to be a formidable presence at the Fringe and a favourite amongst critics."

Thanking the Annual Fund for its support, he added: "This opportunity for promising writers, actors, directors and producers is an invaluable start to a career in theatre. Since graduating, individuals have gone on to gain professional acting contracts or produce shows at prominent Off-West End theatres - the experience gained with The Revolving Shed allowing them to stand out within a notoriously precarious industry." More

  Arne Westad  

LSE academic wins the Asia Society Bernard Schwartz book award

Professor Arne Westad (pictured) has won the most prestigious US Asian Studies book prize, the Asia Society’s Bernhard Schwartz Book Award, for his new book on China’s international history.

Professor Westad, Director of LSE IDEAS and Professor of International History, was awarded the $20,000 prize by the Asia Society for his book Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750.

The award recognises the book’s outstanding contribution to the understanding of Asia. Over 100 books were submitted and finalists were selected by a jury composed of a number leading experts in journalism, academia, policy and publishing from Asia and the United States.

Professor Westad said: "I am delighted to have won the Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award for 2013. With Restless Empire I aimed to show how China’s worldview and Chinese attitudes have evolved. It is a great joy to know that the end result is well received." More

  What Works Growth Centre   What 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

    England'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 at 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

    Gentrification plays central role in conservation decisions

There is a strong link between increasing gentrification and the designation of conservation areas, according to research from LSE.

The study, Game of Zones: the economics of conservation areas, by Dr Gabriel Ahlfeldt (LSE), Kristoffer Moeller (TU-Darmstadt, CMS Berlin), Sevrin Waights (LSE, CMS Berlin), and Nicolai Wendland (TU-Damstadt), provides a detailed analysis of restrictive conservation policies within the UK and the associated economic and social costs, and benefits, to local homeowners.

It found that the presence of affluent residents and residents who hold a degree significantly increases the chances of an area being given conservation status. This type of resident is more likely to express a particular appreciation for heritage, and lobby for preservation. More

    What's a little spying between friends? Phone-tapping between allies is nothing new says LSE historian

Evidence that Britain tapped the phone calls of American diplomats in the interwar years has been uncovered by an historian at LSE.

While examining newly released materials at the National Archives over the summer, Dr Antony Best, Senior Lecturer in International History, discovered the transcript of a telephone call between an American official in London and the Secretary of State in Washington.

The official, Norman Davis, was the leader of the American delegation to a conference on limiting UK, US and Japanese naval forces which took place in 1934. The transcript had clearly been made without the individuals’ knowledge.

Dr Best said: "Britain was clearly tapping the phones of the American embassy in peacetime. And it’s highly likely that we would have been treating other foreign embassies in the same way. So while the current furore over the claims that the US has been spying on its friends is understandable, it’s really nothing new." More


- Notices

    LSE’s Information Security Policy

All LSE students and staff, whether or not you’re aware of it, have ethical and legal responsibilities concerning the data you use as part of your everyday work and study activities. These responsibilities include issues to do with the collection, usage and storage of personal data in its various forms.

LSE’s Information Security Policy forms a part of the School’s ongoing commitment to enhance and clarify the measures you can take to meet these responsibilities and make sure you stay within the data protection laws that govern information use within the UK. It will help you become aware of how to classify your data and take steps to protect it, making sure that, as a community, we safeguard information while still making it available to those who have the right to access it.

Everyone at LSE is encouraged to read and abide by the Information Security Policy in the course of their work and study. To view the Information Security Policy, click here.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding information security at LSE, contact the IT Helpdesk at

    LSE Choir and Orchestra

Just economics and politics? Think again. While LSE does not teach arts or music, there is a vibrant cultural side to the School which includes the LSE Choir and Orchestra, both of which are open to staff and students.

The Choir and Orchestra take part in two official School concerts a year, which take place in the beautiful St Clement Dane's Church in December and March.

For more information on joining, click here.

  LSE Annual Fund  

LSE Annual Fund: deadline for student-led project applications is Friday 1 November

The LSE Annual Fund supports a large variety of projects and initiatives that make a real impact across the School thanks to the unrestricted donations received from alumni and friends.

We invite applications for funding from student-led initiatives including LSE Students’ Union societies and activities. The Michaelmas term round of applications for student-led projects and initiatives closes at 9am on Friday 1 November.

To access the guidance notes for applications, FAQs and the online application forms, click here.

    Last chance to enter the Diversity Calendar Photo Competition

The deadline for submitting your entries for the Equality and Diversity Photo Competition is Sunday 3 November.

The theme for the competition is "redefining difference", urging all participants to demonstrate creative thinking about diversity.

Twelve images will be selected to go into the School’s Diversity Calendar for 2014. This is your opportunity to see your work published and circulated across the School, and to win a prize. If you haven’t already sent in your entries, do it now.

To enter, visit, download and complete the entry form and send it with your photos to by Sunday 3 November.

  Green Impact   Applications for Green Impact Programme Project Assistant roles now open

Green Impact is an excellent opportunity for students to get involved with sustainability here at LSE.

Student Project Assistants help staff teams complete a comprehensive sustainability workbook throughout the academic year. As a voluntary Project Assistant you will gain valuable skills like project management, environmental auditing and boost your awareness and understanding about a wide range of environmental impacts.

How do I get involved?
Look over the role description and find the application information on LSE’s Green Impact webpage. Then send your completed application to Robin Ray, Sustainability Assistant, at by midnight on Friday 8 November.

    Project Support Assistants required for HEIF5 Project: Communicating the Character of Climate Change Uncertainty

LSE's Centre for the Analysis of Time Series is developing a set of online games and a website to communicate the character of climate change uncertainty. This project follows on from the successful exhibit, Confidence from Uncertainty, at the 2011 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

We are looking for an individual to help develop and expand a set of java-script based games which illustrate the type of gamble represented by anthropogenic climate change, and also for web development support. We are also looking for a second project assistant to help with editing a number of short science communication videos.

This is a short term, part-time opportunity (hours will vary, but a rough guide would be approximately 12 hours per month over three to four months) which would suit a student or early post-doctorate with computing skills.

The pay will be £11.80 per hour. Anyone interested in either of these positions should email Lyn Grove at with a short summary of your skills and experience in this area. Please include your name, department and programme/year of study. The deadline for applications is Sunday 3 November.

  LSE Careers  

LSE Careers invites you to….

LSE Careers Business and Management Fair
Taking place on Thursday 31 October, this on-campus careers fair offers you the chance to meet a variety of organisations offering roles as varied as general management, internal finance, supply chain management and marketing.

Attending organisations include Amazon UK, Bloomberg LP, British Airways, Dropbox, Lloyds Banking Group, Procter & Gamble, Shell, and many more. Find out more and book on LSE CareerHub.

LSE Careers Law Fair
If you’re interested in taking your career forward in law, come along and discover more about the opportunities available. From top firms to legal training providers, this is a one-stop shop to answer all your questions on training contracts, vacation schemes, first year taster schemes, the LPC and GDL, and much more.

This is a two night fair on Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 November and different organisations will be attending on each night, so book a place for both nights to make the most of this opportunity. Booking is now open.

International Organisations Day
For more information about the day, the international organisations attending, and the topics they will be discussing, visit the International Organisations Day website.

Booking for this event will open at 9.30am on Friday 8 November and places usually fill up very quickly. This event is best-suited to Master's and PhD students as many of the attending employers will require this level of experience.

    Training and development opportunities for students

Courses scheduled for next week include:

  • Using EndNote to Manage your References
  • English Through Role Play
  • Excel 2010: logical and look up functions

Undergraduates: Track skills you develop by taking part in activities beyond academic studies using PDAM.

These are just some of the events running next week. To receive a monthly summary of all training courses, subscribe to the email list by clicking here and pressing send. To find out more about training and development across the School and for links to booking pages, see


Teaching and Learning Centre training events

  • Adapting to Life at LSE
    Wednesday 6 November from 12-1.45pm in room CLM 4.02, Clement House
    What were your expectations of life at LSE and how has it worked out so far? This is an opportunity to get together to share experiences and reactions to student life. It will include sharing tips and ideas about how to get the most out of this time.
  • Good Writing Psychology
    Friday 8 November from 3-4pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
    This presentation will look at ways of overcoming psychological issues involved in the task of writing, with advice and tips to help manage blocks and unhelpful fears. It will include a range of management techniques for dealing with common writing difficulties, such as procrastination and perfectionism.

All sessions can be booked via the Training and Development System, which is recommend, but if that's not possible or if an event is fully booked, you can just turn up on the day.


Computer tip of the week

Save PowerPoint as a slideshow

A common way to run a PowerPoint presentation is in the familiar PowerPoint environment. This is actually the development area and though it does no harm to run a presentation here, it does look unprofessional to an audience when they see the ribbons and other tools you use to create your presentation.

A way to run your PowerPoint presentation and not see these elements is to save it in a slightly different way. First ensure you have saved your presentation in the usual way; it will have .pptx at the end. Then, to save as a slideshow, click File - Save As - PowerPoint Show(*.ppsx). Give your presentation a new name if you wish, but this is not necessary. Then try your show. You will see it open immediately and it will work in just the same way as usual.

A huge range of additional computer training resources, including our "Tip of the Week" archive, is available via the IT Training website. Subscribe to the IT Training mailing list to stay informed of upcoming courses and workshops.

    Halloween cupcake sale

Sara Masry, Centre Administrator at LSE’s Middle East Centre, will be selling Halloween-themed cupcakes on Thursday 31 October at a stall on Houghton Street, to raise money for Cycle4Schooling.

Cycle4Schooling is an initiative from the Al-Madad Foundation that is raising vital funds for essential education projects, including building schools in Syria. Cakes will be on sale from 12.30pm.

  EUI   European University Institute Doctoral Programme Presentation

The European University Institute (EUI) is organising a presentation on Wednesday 6 November to introduce its Doctoral Programme for the 2014-15 academic year.

The meeting, which will take place at 1pm at the Senate House of the University of London, will present PhD programmes in economics, history and civilisation, law and political and social sciences.

The EUI is located in Florence, Italy, and offers a structured doctoral programme with close supervision and opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research. The Institute is looking for highly motivated and qualified researchers to further complement the already outstanding quality of our current scholars. Grants for doctoral candidates are available.

For more information about the EUI’s PhD programme, click here. To register for this event, email

  Skip Fit Lessons  

Skip fit lessons

Security officer and former boxer Daniel Beckley is running skip fit lessons for all students and staff at LSE. Build up your fitness, burn calories and increase your stamina, all within an hour.

The next lessons will take place from 1-2pm at the Badminton Court, Old Building, on Tuesday 5 November, Tuesday 19 November, Tuesday 26 November, and Tuesday 10 December.

Just turn up on any of these dates with your own skipping rope. All lessons are free.

For more information, email Daniel at


LSE Treatment Clinic

The LSE Treatment Clinic, which welcomes LSE students and staff, is on the first floor of Tower Two (enter from the Tower One/Tower Two reception, first floor and follow the signs to the LSE Treatment Clinic).

The clinic offers professional treatments at reduced rates for LSE including acupuncture, osteopathy and sports massage from practitioners with over 20 years of experience between them. Their combined expertise is effective in the treatment of pain, including musculoskeletal pain, repetitive strain injury, tension headaches, posture advice, sports injuries, anxiety, insomnia, migraine, among many other ailments.

The practitioners are:

  • Hanya Chlala
    Acupuncture available in a dual bed setting on Wednesdays and Fridays

  • Laura Dent
    Sports massage available on Mondays

  • Tim Hanwell
    Osteopathy available on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Appointments are available Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm and can be booked online at All consultations are strictly confidential and sessions will last between 30 and 60 minutes depending upon the treatment.


- What's on

  George Loewenstein   New LSE events

Behavioural Economics and Diet
On: Tuesday 12 November at 5.15pm in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor George Loewenstein (pictured), Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dirty Wars
On: Wednesday 27 November at 6pm in the New Theatre, East Building
Speaker: Jeremy Scahill, award-winning investigative journalist.

  Richard Dyer  

Other forthcoming LSE events include....

Only White Men: serial killing in European cinema
On: Monday 4 November at 6.30pm in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Richard Dyer (pictured), Professor of Film Studies at King's College London.

The Great Tamasha: cricket, corruption and the turbulent rise of modern India
On: Tuesday 5 November at 6.30pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: James Astill, political editor of The Economist.

  John Doris   Talking to Our Selves: reflection, skepticism, and agency

On: Tuesday 5 November at 2pm in room CLM.3.02, Clement House.
Speaker: Professor John Doris (pictured), Professor of Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology at Washington University in St Louis.

At this event, which is co-organised by the LSESU Philosophy Society and the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, Professor Doris will explore the intricate relationship between philosophical ethics and social psychology.

The event is free and open to all. For more information, email or visit

  George Kassimeris   Greece: the persistence of political terrorism

On Tuesday 5 November from 6-7.30pm in the Cañada Blanch Room, Cowdray House
Speaker: Dr George Kassimeris (pictured), Reader in Terrorism Studies at the University of Wolverhampton.

Greece has one of the most sustained problems of political terrorism anywhere in the world. From the mid-1970s to the present, the country’s political and socio-economic institutions have been confronted by systematic terrorist violence mainly at the hands of revolutionary guerrilla groups.

This seminar will place Greek extremist violence in a broader political and cultural perspective and will explain why it has become a permanent fixture of national public life.

All Hellenic Observatory seminars are open to everyone. No ticket is required - entry is on a first come, first served basis. More

    Lunchtime film screening to mark Trans Day of Remembrance

To mark Trans Day of Remembrance, LSE Equality and Diversity are screening Tomboy on Wednesday 6 November from 12.30-2pm in room B.09, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Tomboy is a film about a 10 year old girl, settling into her new neighbourhood outside Paris, who is mistaken for a boy and has to live up to this new identity since it’s too late for the mistake to be clarified.

The screening is free and open to all but places are limited - book your ticket at

  Ali Mirsepassi   The "Human Sciences'' on Trial in Iran

On: Thursday 7 November at 6.30pm in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Ali Mirsepassi (pictured), Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Sociology and Director of the Iranian Studies Initiative at New York University, and Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology at LSE during Michaelmas term.

Why the "human sciences" have become the target of a major government crackdown in Iran today. This talk will focus thematically upon a specific conceptual shift.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. More

  Calliope Spanou   The 13th Hellenic Observatory Annual Lecture: The Greek Ombudsman and Public Administration during Challenging Times

On: Monday 25 November from 6.30-8pm in the New Theatre, East Building
Speaker: Professor Calliope Spanou (pictured), The Greek Ombudsman.

This event will focus on the establishment, 15 years ago, of the Ombudsman institution in Greece, highlighting its place and role in the political-administrative system of the country.

Professor Spanou will also present current challenges in the context of economic austerity, lack of trust in institutions, as well as demands for a new relationship between citizens and the state in Greece.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. More

    Greek Politics in Crisis: challenges to the open society

On: Friday 29 November from 9am-5pm in the Shaw Library, Old Building

This one day conference, organised by LSE's Hellenic Observatory and the Open Society European Policy Institute, Brussels, features an ambitious and exciting programme, bringing together eminent speakers to debate and discuss the major challenges facing Greece and all of Europe.

For more information, visit the Hellenic Observatory's event page. Click here for the conference programme.

This event is free and open to all, but a ticket is required. Registration is through LSE's E-shop and must be completed by Friday 22 November.


- 60 second interview

    Matthew Taylor  

with..... Matthew Taylor, Conductor of LSE's Orchestra

I studied music at Queens' College Cambridge but have always held a strong interest in English literature from those days. I am a conductor and composer and have studied with Leonard Bernstein. My music is published by Edition Peters and is available on Toccata Classics CDs.

My works have been performed by many orchestras, most recently the BBC Symphony Orchestra. As a conductor I work with professional orchestras in the UK and overseas and have conducted many student and amateur orchestras in and around London.

How long have you been involved with the LSE Orchestra and how does it compare with others you have conducted?

I have been conducting LSE's Orchestra regularly since 2003, though I also conducted them for a period between 1992 and 1999.

The Orchestra has steadily developed into one of the most dynamic non-professional groups in London, giving premieres of works by many British contemporary composers whilst also programming lesser known works by the Great Masters.

LSE's is a unique orchestra. Not only is it known for the high standard of performances but by definition it brings together students and LSE alumni from all over the planet, thereby demonstrating the universality and power of great music.

Who is your favourite composer and why?

Beethoven, because I sense more life force in his music than any other composer, though I have always had a massive affinity with Schumann since childhood.

Do you play any instruments?

I play the piano, used to play the oboe and organ, and have continually struggled to play the violin.

Have you kept any toys from your childhood? If so, what and why have you kept it?

Yes, Old Ted. He is almost as old as me. He presides in a proud position on my eldest daughter's bookcase as a benign influence keeping all the other younger toys in check. Ted seems part of the family I suppose.

What are your top tips for enjoying life in London?

Enjoy the cultural life, the magnificent array of concerts, recitals, theatres and art galleries, and some of the London pubs are real historical sites!

For more information on joining the LSE Orchestra or Choir, click here.


Nicole wants to hear from you!

Do you have some news, an achievement, or an aspect of LSE life that you would like to share? If so, then I would love to hear from you, contact me at or on ext 7582.

The next edition of Student News is on Wednesday 6 November. Articles for this should be emailed to me by Monday 4 November. Student News is emailed on Wednesdays, on a weekly basis during Michaelmas and Lent term and fortnightly during Summer term.

Nicole Gallivan