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Global responsibilities

I was recently invited to address a meeting of the International Alliance of Research Universities at the University of Cape Town. The theme was Global transformation, and I spoke about global...

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Opinion: More accountability needed in how drugs are priced and reimbursed

Approving new medicines that hit the market is the responsibility of the EU, but it is left up to individual member states to decide which ones they wish to subsidise. New prescription medicines can...

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Opinion: Speaking dialects trains the brain as well as bilingualism does

There has been a lot of research to back up the idea that people who use two or more languages everyday experience significant advantages. The brain-training involved in having to use a different...

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Study finds little change in the IMF’s policy advice, despite rhetoric of reform

A new study, the largest of its kind, has systematically examined International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies over the past three decades. It found that – despite claims to have reformed their...

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Urgent action needed to close UK languages gap

The findings are included in a new report, The Value of Languages, published by the University of Cambridge this week, after wide-ranging consultation with government bodies and agencies including the...

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Opinion: The flower breeders who sold X-ray lilies and atomic marigolds

The Chelsea Flower Show, one of the biggest and best known horticultural shows in the world, is now open. In the coming days, some 150,000 visitors will make their way to the Royal Hospital Chelsea,...

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Opinion: GM crops already feed much of the world today – why not tomorrow’s...

My parents researched malnutrition and under-nutrition in India, especially among children, and found that many diets recommended by Western nutritionists were in fact completely inapplicable to the...

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Opinion: How does a bike stay upright? Surprisingly, it’s all in the mind

It’s as easy as riding a bike … or so the saying goes. But how do we manage to stay upright on a bicycle? If anyone ventures an answer they most often say that it’s because of the “gyroscopic effect”–...

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A 100 million-year partnership on the brink of extinction

A relationship that has lasted for 100 million years is at serious risk of ending, due to the effects of environmental and climate change. A species of spiny crayfish native to Australia and the tiny...

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Landscapes from other worlds

What can a picture tell us about our world - and our universe? Astronomer Professor Paul Murdin says images from outer space can give scientists useful information which they can use to infer what...

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Female meerkats compete to outgrow their sisters

Meerkats live in groups of up to 50 individuals, yet a single dominant pair will almost completely monopolise reproduction, while subordinates help to raise offspring through feeding and babysitting....

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Cambridge App maps decline in regional diversity of English dialects

The English Dialects App (free for Android and iOS) was launched in January 2016 and has been downloaded more than 70,000 times. To date, more than 30,000 people from over 4,000 locations around the...

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On the life (and deaths) of democracy

Following the history of democracy from its invention in 508 BCE to the 21st century, Democracy: A Life traces the development of political thinking over millennia. It also examines the many sustained...

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Sixth formers see the future in ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia

Fifty students from 24 schools from across the UK attended the inaugural, all-day conference at The British Museum in London.   The students heard experts from the Museum as well as the Universities...

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Grand designs: the role of the house in American film

The Lonely Villa tells the story of four women subjected to a terrifying break-in by intruders. A woman barricades herself and her daughters into the house as her absent husband, alerted by a phone...

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Lines of Thought: Communicating Faith

As part of its 600th celebrations, the University Library has made a series of six films – one for each of the six themes explored in Lines of Thought – with the latest film: Communicating Faith...

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The myth of quitting in anger

Anger at the workplace is commonly associated with employees storming out of the office and quitting their jobs, but a new study from the Cambridge Judge Business School suggests that the picture is...

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What birds' attitudes to litter tell us about their ability to adapt

The study led by Gates Cambridge Scholar Alison Greggor and published in the journal Animal Behaviour, shows that corvids - the family of birds which includes crows, ravens and magpies - are more...

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The illiterate boy who became a maharaja

In May 1875, an illiterate 12-year-old boy was chosen by the British to become the Maharaja of Baroda, the most important princely state in western India. He left his village and travelled some 300...

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Innovating for the future of cities

There is a clear line of sight on the broad features of the cities of the future. They will be large, with significantly more than half of the world’s growing population crammed into them. They will...

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