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Open Access to Research Publications: Accessing Research Online by Emily Nunn

Have you ever looked for an academic research article online? A clinical trial for a new drug, for instance, evidence for the effects of climate change, or a study into the experiences of young LGBTQ people attending secondary school? If you study or work at a university, you may take access to this research for granted, but if not, you will often encounter a “paywall”; a screen that asks you to sign in to read further, or to pay a one-off charge. Read more

Welfare Reforms and United Nations Report: Grave and Systematic Violations of Human Rights by UK Government

This is a video of the Inclusion Scotland launching their alternative report on the ‘Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Great Britain.  This work has been led by Inclusion Scotland, Disability Rights UK and Disability Wales gathering together information and evidence to be presented at the United Nations council in Geneva. Read more

Interview with an Activist: Mike Cormack and Welfare Reforms

Mike Cormack is involved in Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. This is an interview with him discussing his work and the issues which he sees at stake particularly as the current welfare reforms are pushed through in the UK. Offering counsel and support to people who receive benefits to understand their rights and resist unfair sanctions, Mike has been involved in activism for many years. Read more

One Day Without Us Edinburgh: A Celebration of Migrants and Standing up to Xenophobia by Alex Dunedin

Concerned with some of the messages which I have encountered recently which are xenophobic and racist I found myself going along to the event staged on the mound to see and hear other people who felt strongly about some of the nasty rhetoric which is on the rise. I suspect it is connected with the insecurities which people are feeling in the general day to day lives of so many who live financially precarious existences and are also confronted with such a lot of media which is frankly poisonous. Read more

Thoughts on the Structure of Language by Alex Dunedin

In the writings of Gottfried Leibniz can be found many elements relating to the possibility of a universal language. Specifically he was working on a constructed language as a concept which would gradually come to replace that of rationalized Latin as the natural basis for a projected universal language. Leibniz conceived of a ‘characteristica universalis’, an “algebra” capable of expressing all conceptual thought. This kind of algebra would include rules for symbolic manipulation, which he called a calculus ratiocinator. Read more

Security, Privacy, Information and Surveillance Discussion by Prof William Webster, Prof Charles Raab and Dr Andrew Neil

We live in a surveillance age where digital technology has become ingrained in almost every part of our lives, and the personal data is collected, pooled and examined by various commercial and political agencies.  With such developments we are yet to find our feet with how information should be regulated and in what ways it should flow from one system to another.  Privacy seems to be traded off with security in many dichotomous statements made around who gets to do what, but are these helpful or correct ways of perceiving the issues at stake ? Read more