University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Teaching has taken place at Oxford since 1096. Oxford has the largest volume of world-leading research in the country, rating top in the REF power rankings published by Research Fortnight. Oxford’s research involves more than 70 departments, almost 1,800 academic staff, more than 5,000 research and research support staff, and more than 5,600 graduate research students. The University has 38 independent colleges to which undergraduate and graduate students belong. Oxford has the highest research income from external sponsors of any UK university: £478.3m in 2013/14. The University has pioneered the successful commercial exploitation of academic research and invention, creating more than 100 companies, and files more patents each year than any other UK university.

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Too much information could be a recipe for disaster. Abode of Chaos

The next pandemic could be downloaded from the internet

Last October, scientists in California sequenced the DNA for the “type H” botulinum toxin. One gram of this toxin would be sufficient to kill half a billion people, making it the deadliest substance yet…
Evidence of empire’s murky history hides in the FCO. Cmglee

Public interest demands the release of hidden colonial files

The past is constantly being re-considered, revised and rewritten. As new evidence appears – new sources or files are unearthed – historians are given the chance to measure what they know about an event…
Not bad, but have you seen the Whitechapel job centre? Chiugoran

Hard Evidence: does ‘benefits tourism’ exist?

For all of the changes to the UK over the last century, the ideal of “fair play” still seems to be a pretty fundamental part of Britain’s national self-image. The concept that anyone – especially anyone…
The former 100m world record holder tested positive for a banned stimulant last June. Matt Slocum/AP

Asafa Powell may be guilty of doping but he’s also a victim

As Asafa Powell faces the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, we already know his defence – that he was given a supplement called Epiphany D1 by his former physiotherapist, Chris Xuereb, without his…
Woods today, firewood tomorrow? Chris Ison/PA

Justified and ancient: our best woodland is irreplaceable

The threat to Britain’s ancient woodland has been much discussed recently, the suggestion being that where they are lost to housing development they might be replaced with new woods through biodiversity…
Make the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns known and we’ll all be better off. David Shankbone

Make surveillance work for the people: let them spy back

Privacy – in our bedrooms, at work, on the street and on the internet – is important to everyone. But every week brings another story demonstrating the ongoing shredding of privacy that undermines those…
Advert for a bus company, Tineghir, southern Morocco Hein de Haas

Explainer: what makes people migrate?

Why do people migrate? At first glance it seems reasonable to assume that most people move hoping to find better conditions or opportunities elsewhere, such as jobs, higher wages, safety or freedom of…
You’re producing a lot of useful data but would you know what do with it? altemark

The trials and tribulations of giving back your data

Living in the age of data – whether big or small – certainly has its benefits for businesses and governments. Consumers, however, might be excused for feeling like they are being carried along without…
The smiling face of mundane government. mrlerone

Mundanarchy: the insidious rule of inanimate objects

Popular conceptions of government tend to derive from media representations of politicians in action, political speeches, yesterday in parliament, elections, scandal, controversy and so on. And the politics…
Where are the other 384,999? Vadim Ghirda/AP

Pseudo-research pulls 385,000 migrants out of a hat

The immigration debate isn’t a great place to look for rational or factual arguments at the best of times, and new rules concerning Romania and Bulgaria have spurred a new round of evidence-free speculation…
Who said there was no elixir of youth? Kelly B

The seven deadly sins of health and science reporting

Benjamin Franklin said two things are certain in life: death and taxes. Another one we could add to this list is that on any given news website and in almost all print media there will be articles about…
Bali: no smoke grenades in sight. Tanti Ruwani

Even protesters don’t bother with the WTO these days

Politicians from around the world are gathering in Bali for the ninth World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting. The atmosphere is likely to be a far cry from that of the big meetings in the late…
If this isn’t acceptable, why would gender segregation on campus be?

Segregation on campus is never OK, whoever makes the rules

I don’t like to take off my shoes in the house. Where I grew up, this was considered “uncultured”. These days, with clean, fragrant carpeting and super-polished hard wood floors, or for reasons of culture…
Using less energy costs less. urbansolar

High bills? The cheapest energy is energy we don’t use

What’s the world’s most important fuel, as we head into the 21st century? Oil, coal, gas, renewables? A recent International Energy Agency report stated the most important fuel for the future is energy…

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