Not displaying correctly? View this email as a webpage
  LSE student News  
Frankie Bennett
  News   Notices   In 60 seconds  

Squabbling meerkats make better decisions

New research finds that conflicting interests within a group can lead to better collective decisions, if you’re a social animal such as a meerkat.


Feel Good Food Day

LSE Catering is holding a Feel Good Food Day on Wednesday 4 December in the Fourth Floor Restaurant, Old Building. Come along and enjoy the ‘feel good’ experience.


Frankie Bennett

Shocked by the number of homeless people in London, law student Frankie has created a short film called The Pavement Perspective to raise awareness about homelessness.

  ...   ...   ...  
  27 November 2013  

- News

  Julia Black   LSE appoints new Pro-Director for Research and Vice-Chair of the Appointments Committee

The School has recently appointed two senior positions.

Professor Julia Black (pictured), Department of Law, has been appointed as the Pro-Director for Research. She takes over this area of responsibility from Professor Stuart Corbridge, who became Deputy Director and Provost earlier this term. Professor Black will be part of the Director’s Management Team and will provide academic leadership for the School’s strategic research ambitions.

LSE Director, Professor Craig Calhoun, commented "I am delighted to welcome Julia to the senior management team at LSE. She has an impressive research record in her own right, good judgment and a clear vision for further strengthening research at LSE."

Professor Eric Neumayer, Department of Geography and Environment, has been appointed as the Vice-Chair of the Appointments Committee, replacing Professor David Stevenson. Professor Stevenson has been the Vice-Chair since August 2010.

Professor Calhoun commented "We are extremely fortunate to have such a strong replacement for David, who has been an extraordinary Vice-Chair. He has been an enormous help to me personally as I learned about LSE and I would like to put on record my appreciation. I am also delighted to welcome Eric, who has been a fine department head and shown already a great deal of wisdom and insight in my dealings with him. I very much look forward to working with him in this capacity."

The role of the Vice-Chair of the Appointments Committee is to act as an independent guardian of academic standards and quality on behalf of the Appointments Committee.

Both posts start on 1 January 2014.

    LSE students help charity develop digital support services for young people

Dr Will Venters, Lecturer in Information Systems, and former LSE student Lotta Holmberg will share insights from a unique collaboration with digital charity YouthNet at an event taking place at LSE today.

In March a group of MSc students embarked on a project with YouthNet, to help the charity develop new digital solutions to support the UK’s young people.

Students were tasked with designing a mobile app to complement YouthNet’s existing digital lifeline, The app, called ‘StepFinder’ pinpoints local services, connecting young people to offline support. The project group created a report with their suggestions on StepFinder’s content, features and the technical specifications alongside implementation and evaluation measures to justify its sustainability.

Dr Venters said: "Working with a charity in this way gives our students experience of the complexity of analysis and design reflecting real world problems, and allows them to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. We hope to provide many more opportunities to our MSc students to explore similarly innovative new territories for their studies."

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to get involved in similar projects, email Dr Venters at


LSE celebrates its entrepreneurial spirit

Last week was Global Entrepreneurship Week, and it was fantastic to see so many students attending LSE Entrepreneurship’s seminars, networking and entering competitions.

In celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit at LSE, we asked some LSE graduates to tell us about their social enterprises.

Sean Farran from GetTWOit, a social platform for students, gives a 60-second glimpse into his journey from student to businessman, thanks to LSE’s Entrepreneurship programme. Sean is the 2013 LSE Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Jonah Brotman, runner-up in the $1 million Hult Prize for his social enterprise Sokotext, explains how LSE’s Entrepreneurship programme has given him the skills to start NEETS Eats, a programme empowering unemployed youth through street food carts.

LSE Entrepreneurship events run throughout the term to help you get your ideas off the ground. Find out more on the LSE Entrepreneurship website.

  Patrick Dunleavy










Jean-Paul Faguet

  LSE academics honoured by the Political Studies Association

Two LSE academics, Professor Patrick Dunleavy and Dr Jean-Paul Faguet, have been honoured for their work in political science at the Political Studies Association (PSA) annual awards ceremony.

Professor Patrick Dunleavy (pictured), Chair of the LSE Public Policy Group (PPG), was selected for a PSA Special Recognition Award due to his unrelenting commitment to stressing the relevance of political science to real world politics. An advocate of greater academic engagement in public life and proponent of the power of new media, Professor Dunleavy was the leading force behind the creation of the LSE British Politics and Policy and the European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) blogs, which are among the most widely read blogs in political science.

Professor Dunleavy said: "I'm most grateful to the PSA for this award - yet I feel that it really reflects the achievements of the LSE PPG staff as a whole. Creating LSE's successful School-wide blogs has been a huge collective effort. And a lot of modern research requires large teams. I'd like to thank all my PPG colleagues for their great work."

Dr Jean-Paul Faguet (pictured), Reader in the Political Economy of Development, received the WJM Mackenzie Book Prize for his publication Decentralization and Popular Democracy: governance from below in Bolivia.

Dr Faguet said: "I am greatly honoured by this award, and also completely surprised. Past winners are an incredibly impressive list, but had not previously included an international development book so I feel very fortunate indeed." More

    Policing for a better Britain

Police and Crime Commissioners should be abolished and replaced by a new system, an independent review of policing in England and Wales has recommended.

Policing for a Better Britain, the final report of the Independent Police Commission launched on Monday 25 November, presents a bold and radical vision of how to deliver fair and effective policing in these economically difficult times.

The Independent Police Commission, which was initiated by Labour’s Yvette Cooper in 2011, is chaired by Lord John Stevens, former Head of the Metropolitan Police, with Professor Jennifer Brown, Co-Director of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at LSE, as Deputy Chair.

The report aims to provide a roadmap for the professional evolution of the policy force and sets out 37 recommendations covering eight key themes: A social justice model of neighbourhood policing; Creating effective partnerships; Achieving better democratic governance; A new deal for police officers and staff; Building a police profession; Raising standards and remedying misconduct; A structure fit for purpose; and making savings and efficiencies. More

    New Field Research Method Lab blog launched

On Wednesday 20 November, a new blog was launched to act as an online platform to share field research experiences.

The Field Research Method Lab blog aims to bring together both established and early career researchers to appraise various constraints that they have encountered in the field, and reflect upon how they have successfully or unsuccessfully addressed those constraints.

The blog requests that each contributor draw some lessons, both practical and academic, which can be shared with others. Wherever possible each post accompanies a research outline as well as details of research outcomes, so that readers can better understand how the researcher’s experiences in the field have fed into the final research outputs.

The first series of posts will be focused on addressing field research constraints in China, but the aim is to expand the blog’s coverage to other regions.

For more information, see If you’d like to know more, or are interested in contributing, contact the editor, Dr Hyun Bang Shin, at


Squabbling meerkats make better decisions

Conflicting interests within a group can lead to better collective decisions - if you’re a social animal such as a meerkat - according to new research by a team of political scientists and biologists from LSE and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

The research, published in the November issue of the journal The American Naturalist, shows that far from hampering decision-making, conflict can lead to better results. However, this depends on individual animals sharing the group’s overall goal to, for example, search for food, avoid becoming prey, shelter or rest.

The researchers developed a decision-making model which demonstrates that if individuals in a group have slightly different small-scale goals they are less likely to make the same mistake as another individual in the group, than would be predicted by ‘chance’. The differing goals within a group are a result of animals trying to optimise their own personal gains from a decision.

Professor Christian List, one of the researchers from LSE, said: "Collective decisions in groups where there are lots of minor disagreements actually offset errors made by individuals. Counter-intuitively, this means that the ‘quality’ of a decision for a group as a whole may improve with the number of differing decision-makers within it - although this plateaus at a certain number of animals." More

    Future Living: bin-less homes, nanoscopic robots and ultrasonic baths

A new report from LSE and Veolia Environnment, the environmental services company, envisages the home of the future with nanoscopic robots sorting materials, self-cleaning bathrooms and ultrasonic baths. But it also contains stark warnings with two contrasting visions of urban living in 2050.

The report, Imagine 2050, outlines two scenarios where environmental technology will transform the home of the future - one in the context of a circular economy, the other in the context of a linear economy.

The report describes one future city in which system-level planning has created a dense, resource-efficient society characterised by collaborative consumption, shared ownership and local self-reliance. It also models an alternative scenario in which disparate and unregulated development has led to a resource-hungry urban sprawl where private consumption and ownership is prioritised over long-term communal thinking. More

    Many Brazilian children are going online without adult guidance

More than two-thirds of Brazilian children (68-78 per cent depending on socio-economic status) surveyed for the first comprehensive study into Brazilian children's online experiences believe they know more about the internet than their parents or guardians, with over half (53 per cent) living in families where the adults responsible for them are not internet users.

This is a stark comparison with children across Europe, where only 28-46 per cent report that they know more than their parents about the internet.

These are some of the findings published by EU Kids Online, a research project based at LSE. The report uses data from the first wave of the ICT Kids Online Brazil Survey on children's online use by the Centre for Studies on Information and Communication Technologies in Brazil alongside previous EU Kids Online research to compare European and Brazilian children's online experiences.

The researchers find that children across Brazil and Europe reveal many similar patterns of use and activities. More

    EU enlargement isn't working - new report from LSE IDEAS

The Eurozone crisis, enlargement fatigue within EU states and a loss of confidence in the European project have made the prospect of EU membership much less attractive for neighbouring countries.

Forty years after the accession of the UK, enlargement, once seen as the EU’s most effective foreign policy tool, is in peril. This is the argument made in a new special report launched by LSE IDEAS.

The report, The Crisis of EU Enlargement, features contributions by leading academics and practitioners including former EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Günter Verheugen, and former LSE Philippe Roman Chair and Pulitzer Prize winner, Anne Applebaum. The report examines the historical development of the EU’s enlargement strategy and the internal and external challenges facing the policy today. More


- Notices


Library Christmas vacation opening times

Over the Christmas vacation period, the LSE Library will be open from:

  • 14 December 2013 to 12 January 2014 (with exceptions)
    Monday-Friday 9am-10pm
    Saturday and Sunday 11am-10pm

Please note the Library will be closed from Saturday 21 December to Wednesday 1 January inclusive.

    Feel Good Food Day

LSE Catering is holding a Feel Good Food Day on Wednesday 4 December in the Fourth Floor Restaurant, Old Building.

As well as raising awareness and promoting the sustainable aspects of the food served, LSE Catering aims to demonstrate that limiting meat in our diet 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 world cuisine menu will offer reduced meat and increased vegetarian alternatives. Come along and enjoy the ‘feel good’ experience.

    32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields: post occupancy survey

The refurbishment of 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields (32L) was completed in December 2013 and the building welcomed its occupants in January 2013.

In line with good practice, the design and operation of 32L has been subject to a formal Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) and occupants and users were asked to feedback to an independent company, appointed to produce an unbiased report.

A summary of the POE, together with LSE Estates follow-up actions, are detailed in the latest newsletter.

    Training and development opportunities for students

Courses scheduled for next week include:

  • News Resources
  • Communicating Assertively
  • Keeping Up to Date With Research

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

  • Thinking Laterally about your PhD Thesis
    Thursday 28 November at 3pm in room KGS.1.02, King's Chambers
    This session, from the Dean of Graduate Studies, will outline techniques for thinking laterally about your dissertation, namely, how the research question, literature review, conceptual framework and argument are linked. The aim is to provide a more holistic way of thinking about your dissertation.
  • Creating Short Films from your Research
    Friday 29 November at
    10am in room OLD.3.21, Old Building
    If you have recorded video footage over the course of your research project but are unsure how best to turn this into something presentable, this workshop will offer the perfect opportunity to learn some basic principles. You will be shown examples of how best to use this medium to get your message across most effectively and what pitfalls you should avoid.
  • Research Posters
    Monday 2 December at 10am in room OLD.3.21, Old Building
    Posters are an increasingly popular way of illustrating research, and are a great method for presenting complex information succinctly. At this workshop, you will discuss the ‘mechanics’ of poster design, learning how choice of layout, typeface and image can impact on the success of a poster’s ability to communicate to an audience. You will then have the chance to try out some of these techniques on your own poster.
  • Understanding Research Degree Regulations
    Monday 2 December at
    12pm in room KSW.1.04, 20 Kingsway
    This Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Degrees Unit briefing will cover aspects of LSE’s Research Degrees Regulations pertaining to students who are yet to upgrade from MPhil to PhD. It will cover issues such as interruptions, conversion from full-time to part-time, courses for research, information literacy and the use of iThenticate. The aim of this session is to make first and second year pre-upgrade students aware of the regulations pertaining to them.
  • Getting Started with the MSc Dissertation
    Wednesday 4 December from 1-2pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building
    A session for MSc students who have to write qualitative dissertations. As many students often ask, "Why didn't I start earlier?" at the end of the Summer term, this session offers some advice on what you should be doing/might do before and during the Christmas break.
  • Your PhD and the Research Process and Impact PhD
    Thursday 5 December from 12-1.30pm and 2-5pm respectively in room OLD.3.21, Old Building
    Lunch will be provided between sessions.

All sessions can be booked via the Training and Development System, which is recommended, 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

Outlook out of office

Out of office messages are automatic replies to emails you receive which lets the sender know: you are away; when you will be back and able to reply; and also might include details of other people who can be contacted in your absence.

To set up an out of office:

1. Click File - Info - Automatic Replies
2. Click Send automatic replies (replies will be sent until you turn them off)
3. To set a date/time range for automatic replies, click Only send during this time range and set the details you need
4. Enter the message you want to be sent out. You can have different messages for inside and outside the School. Each recipient will receive just one copy of your out of office for each new message you create.

Note: you do not need to explain the reason for your absence.

If you have an IT question, check out our online guides and FAQs or attend our weekly Software Surgeries. Alternately, enrol for a one-to-one IT Training session or contact to book a consultation with a training specialist.

    LSE Perspectives: call for submissions

Taken some artistic photos of London? Have impressive holiday snaps or pictures from abroad that you’d like to share?

Send them to LSE Perspectives and your photos could be displayed on the LSE website. The next issue for the monthly gallery will go live on Sunday 1 December so get clicking and send your pictures before then.

For more information and to submit your images, click here. Previous galleries can be found here.

  London Globalist   Want to write for an international affairs magazine?

The London Globalist, published by the LSESU Global 21 Society, is calling for submissions for its annual magazine.

This is your chance to write for a student-run international affairs publication in a network of leading universities around the world. The theme of this year's edition is security but stories related to other topics are welcomed too.

Pitch your story idea to The deadline for article submissions is Friday 20 December.

For more information, visit Facebook or

  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 10 December, Tuesday 7 January, Tuesday 21 January, and Tuesday 28 January.

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

For more information, email Daniel at


- What's on

  Sunder Katwala







Risa Goluboff


Boris Johnson


Forthcoming LSE events include....

Is there a Progressive Case for National Identity?
On: Tuesday 3 December at 6.30pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Sunder Katwala (pictured), Director of the identity and integration think-tank British Future and former General Secretary of the Fabian Society.

Efficiency, Legitimacy and Political Expediency: Japan's trade governance dilemmas
On: Wednesday 4 December at 6pm in the New Theatre, East Building
Speaker: Mireya Solis, Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Centre for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.

Constitutional Interpretation in the USA
On: Thursday 5 December at 6.30pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speakers: Professor Risa Goluboff (pictured), Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia and Visiting Professor in LSE’s Department of Law, and Jacco Bomhoff, Lecturer in Law at LSE.

The Future of London within the UK
On: Monday 9 December at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Boris Johnson (pictured), Mayor of London
This event is free and open to all but a ticket is required. Tickets will be released on Monday 2 December.

LSE Choir and Orchestra Christmas Concert
On: Tuesday 10 December at 7.45pm at St Clement Danes, Strand, London WC2R 1DH
This event is open to all but a ticket is required. Tickets cost £6 and are available to purchase via LSE E-Shop.

    Towards Sexually Progressive Religion

On: Monday 2 December from 6.10-8pm in room CLM7.02, Clement House
Speakers: Rev Sharon Ferguson, CEO of LGCM (Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement), Tehmina Kazi, Director of BMSD (British Muslims for Secular Democracy), and Adam Knowles, Chair of GALHA (Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association).

This event, organised by the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society, moves past ideas about whether being gay and religious is 'possible' or 'allowed'. Rather, the discussion will focus on explaining how to make the two apparently contradictory identities work, exploring the challenges for particular religions and discovering how religions can become more inclusive.

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

  Christian Emery  

US Foreign Policy and the Iranian Revolution: the dynamics of engagement and strategic alliance

On: Monday 2 December from 6.30-8pm in the Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Dr Christian Emery (pictured), University of Plymouth.

During this talk, Dr Christian Emery will discuss the main findings from his new book US Foreign Policy and the Iranian Revolution: the Cold War dynamics of engagement and strategic alliance. He will show that, contrary to the claims of Iran's leaders, US diplomats tried in good faith to build bridges with the new regime.

Dr Emery will also discuss how Cold War dogma and a range of misperceptions undermined America’s 'new' policy, providing a fresh perspective on the origins of one of the most bitter and enduring confrontations in international relations.

This event is free and open to all on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email Sara Masry at More

  Iannis Mourmouras   Hellenic Observatory Research Seminar: On the Limits of Fiscal Consolidation within a Monetary Union - how to resolve the austerity puzzle at the Europeriphery

On: Tuesday 3 December from 6.30-8pm in the Thai Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Iannis (John) A Mourmouras (pictured), Chief Economic Adviser to the Greek Prime Minister and former Deputy Finance Minister of Greece.

Considering as a case study that of Europeriphery today, this seminar will examine the seven key pillars of bail-out programmes - namely the issues of internal devaluation, expansionary austerity, growth-enhancing reforms, the frontloaded nature of the adjustment, the nominal targeting, the (wrong) values of the fiscal multipliers, and the concept of conditionality.

For more information, click here. Hellenic Observatory seminars are open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

    Lunchtime film screening for Disability History Month

On: Wednesday 4 December from 12.30-2pm in 32L.B.09, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields.

To mark Disability History Month, LSE Equality and Diversity is screening Mary and Max.

Mary and Max is a tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a 44 year old, severely obese man with Asperger's Syndrome living in New York.

All LSE staff and students are welcome. Places are limited so to book your ticket, click here.

  Madawi Al-Rasheed  

Protest and Revolution in the Arab World: reflections three years on

On: Wednesday 4 December from 6.30-8pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speakers: Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed (pictured), LSE, Dr John Chalcraft, LSE, and Dr Ewan Stein, University of Edinburgh.

Three years after the Arab uprisings started in Tunisia, a panel of academics will reflect on the causes and drivers behind these seminal events, how they have transformed countries like Egypt; but also why they have had less impact in other countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

This event is free and open to all on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email Sara Masry at More

    The Yugoslav Tribunal 20 Years On: lessons for international justice

On: Thursday 5 December from 6.30-8pm in TW1 G.01, Tower One
Speakers: Natasa Kandic, Founder of the Humanitarian Law Centre in Belgrade and Regional Coordinator of the RECOM initiative, Iavor Rangelov, Global Security Research Fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, LSE, Wolfgang Schomburg, Honorary Professor of Law and Chair of the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at Durham University and former judge at the Yugoslav Tribunal, and Ruti Teitel, Ernst C Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law at New York Law School and Visiting Fellow at LSE.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, this panel will consider its record and the questions it raises for the future of international justice.

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

    LSE Chill

Looking for a relaxing way to end your week? Join us for the last LSE Chill of term.

Come watch three musical acts perform from 6pm on Friday 6 December in Fourth Floor Café, Old Building. This session is open to all, with a time-limited free bar at the start of the night. Be sure to take a break and chill.

    LSE Christmas Carol Service

On: Wednesday 11 December at 5.30pm in the Shaw Library, Old Building.

End the term on a festive note with traditional carols and readings. Featuring the LSE Choir.

Free and open to all students and staff. The service will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies.


- 60 second interview

    Frankie Bennett  

with..... Frankie Bennett

I'm a law student at LSE. Originally from Devon, I was struck by the huge numbers of homeless people living on the streets in London in contrast to my rural roots. Throughout my three years in the capital, I have watched the numbers of individuals sleeping rough steadily rise. So I decided to take action by making a short film called The Pavement Perspective to raise awareness about homelessness both on campus and beyond.

Tell us about the homelessness awareness campaign you plan to launch on campus this year and the associated events.

The first event to kick off our campaign will be a sponsored sleep-out on Houghton Street, organised by LSESU RAG, in aid of the Lambeth-based homeless charity Spires. This will take place on Thursday 28 November so be sure to show your support. This will be followed by a 'Great Debate' about homelessness at LSE during Lent term.

Beyond campus, you can attend The Pavement Perspective's first screening at the Amnesty International auditorium in Shoreditch on Tuesday 28 January, and why not volunteer with one of a range of voluntary placements available too? Email for more information.

If you could experience a month studying in another LSE department, which one would you choose and why?

I'd probably have to choose Anthropology. Not only do the courses sound really interesting but they also have a band which surely gets them some brownie points.

Which is your favourite museum/gallery in London?

The National Portrait Gallery - it spans all centuries, styles and mediums. Plus, I am incredibly nosey and like the intimate insight portraiture can give you into the subject.

Do you have a tattoo and, if not, what would you get if you had to have one?

No way, I'm too much of a wimp. But if I were ever feeling brave, I'd like a little apple tree on my ankle.

If you had to choose a personal theme tune, what would it be?

Etta James Something's Got A Hold On Me - real feel-good.

What, or who, makes you laugh?

My flatmates, they're a constant source of entertainment. And anything with David Mitchell or Robert Webb.


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 4 December. Articles for this should be emailed to me by Monday 2 December. Student News is emailed on Wednesdays, on a weekly basis during Michaelmas and Lent term and fortnightly during Summer term.

Nicole Gallivan