The Conversation

The Conversation

The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.

12.07.2020

How literary censorship inspired creativity in Victorian writers

How literary censorship inspired creativity in Victorian writers

In an open letter published in Harper’s Magazine, 152 writers, including JK Rowling and Margaret Atwood, claim that a climate of “censoriousness” is pervading liberal culture, the latest contribution to an ongoing debate about freedom of speech online. As we grapple with this issue in a society where social media allows… »

08.07.2020

How drones and aerial vehicles could change cities

How drones and aerial vehicles could change cities

Drones, personal flying vehicles and air taxis may be part of our everyday life in the very near future. Drones and air taxis will create new means of mobility and transport routes. Drones will be used for surveillance, delivery and in the construction sector as it moves towards automation. The… »

30.06.2020

Coronavirus: Germany’s new local lockdown is a warning not a disaster

Coronavirus: Germany’s new local lockdown is a warning not a disaster

German authorities have had to take the difficult decision of reimposing a pandemic lockdown in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia after a resurgence of the coronavirus. This comes after the country’s R number, a measure of how quickly new cases of the disease are emerging, almost tripled over the course of few… »

27.06.2020

Hajj 2020: coronavirus pandemic frustrates Saudi vision for expanded religious tourism

Hajj 2020: coronavirus pandemic frustrates Saudi vision for expanded religious tourism

Saudi Arabia has finally clarified that due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic only very limited numbers of local pilgrims will be allowed to perform Hajj in 2020. During the past decade, the kingdom has typically welcomed between 1.9 to 3.2 million pilgrims per year from across the Muslim… »

24.06.2020

Contact-tracing apps: Apple dictating policies to nations won’t help its EU anti-trust probe

Contact-tracing apps: Apple dictating policies to nations won’t help its EU anti-trust probe

There’s a growing problem with Apple’s role in the contact-tracing apps that countries are developing to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. This has been underlined by the UK’s announcement that its long-awaited NHSx app is being parked in favour of a different model recommended by Apple and Google. Apple is effectively… »

22.06.2020

Slavery reparations: there’s little legal basis to make companies pay for historic actions

Slavery reparations: there’s little legal basis to make companies pay for historic actions

Two major British businesses have said they will make undisclosed payments to black and minority ethnic groups to atone for their past owners’ involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. Pub group Greene King and insurance broker Lloyd’s of London have both apologised for what they respectively call “inexcusable” actions and “indefensible… »

18.06.2020

One metre or two? The science behind social distancing

One metre or two? The science behind social distancing

What constitutes a safe distance when it comes to the spread of COVID-19? The answer depends on where you live. China, Denmark and France recommend social distancing of one metre; Australia, Germany and Italy recommend 1.5 metres, and the US recommends six feet, or 1.8 metres. The UK, meanwhile, is… »

17.06.2020

China’s quantum satellite enables first totally secure long-range messages

China’s quantum satellite enables first totally secure long-range messages

In the middle of the night, invisible to anyone but special telescopes in two Chinese observatories, satellite Micius sends particles of light to Earth to establish the world’s most secure communication link. Named after the ancient Chinese philosopher also known as Mozi, Micius is the world’s first quantum communications satellite… »

13.06.2020

Charles Dickens and the push for literacy in Victorian Britain

Charles Dickens and the push for literacy in Victorian Britain

Such is the aura still surrounding Charles Dickens that it is no surprise readers want to mark the 150th anniversary of his death in June 1870, even in the middle of a desperate global public health crisis. While this impulse to show one’s admiration of – and gratitude to – deceased… »

10.06.2020

Neoliberalism is in critical condition

Neoliberalism is in critical condition

Now is the moment to transition away from an economic system that thrives on exploitation. The Covid-19 pandemic is tearing the neoliberal playbook apart as politicians and citizens realise that, in times of pandemic, markets won’t save the day. The privatisation-deregulation-austerity recipe is becoming obsolete, leaving ways for a diversity of interventionist… »

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