Opinion

Comment and analysis on today’s biggest issues from Edinburgh's world-leading experts. The views expressed in this section are those of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent those of the University.

OpenAI corporate chaos reveals the war between AI ‘doomers’ and ‘boomers’

Dr Gina HelfrichNov 27, 20236 min read
Creating two camps in discussions of AI's future - those seeing opportunity versus those seeing a threat - is overly simplistic and could actually be a distraction.

Will selling Covid boosters on the high street improve uptake?

Neil MabbottOct 4, 20235 min read
Next year Covid boosters will be available to buy from pharmacists and private healthcare providers. The potential effect on the the virus's spread is unclear.

Is compassion something we can ever expect in the economy?

Dr Katherine TrebeckSep 28, 20236 min read
Corporate scandals make greed seem an inevitable outcome of the economy. Can compassion take root in such a hard-nosed system?

The history behind Orkney’s vote to ‘join Norway’

Mathew NicolsonJul 20, 20236 min read
By flirting with joining a North Sea neighbour, the islands are drawing upon a millennia-old connection worthy of a Nordic saga - and for political attention.

Why we need to SHAPE innovation

Professor Christina BoswellApr 12, 20236 min read
For technological innovation to be our salvation, we need to bring social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy (SHAPE) into research much earlier on.

Beyond football’s elite, survival can seem like success

As Europe’s top clubs take time out for the World Cup, most of Scotland’s professional teams – financially, on a different planet – will keep playing regardless.

Are some languages more difficult than others?

Antonella SoraceApr 4, 20234 min read
The level of similarity between adopted and mother tongues governs how tricky a new language is to learn. But there's good news for babies with bilingual aspirations.

The unfinished business of colonialism

How do you return ancestral remains looted during the height of the British Empire in a way that brings genuine healing? A project involving Naga artefacts is underway to do just that.

Culture is bad for you

Nick BarnesApr 4, 20238 min read
Research conducted at the University of Edinburgh is helping challenge inequalities in the creative and cultural industries (CCIs).

How Chagos Islanders are fighting to keep their culture alive in…

Laura JefferyApr 4, 20236 min read
After the forced removal of the inhabitants of the Chagos Islands in the 1960s and 1970s, displaced Chagossians have sustained their culture by sharing their music, dance, and cuisine – and created a rallying call in their fight to return.

When women modernised the military

Jeremy CrangApr 4, 20237 min read
The courage and sacrifice of the women drafted into the armed forces during the Second World War changed the military forever. Their wartime heroism opened the door to a vocation that was historically a no-woman's land.

Revisiting the crucifixion

Edd McCrackenApr 4, 20239 min read
Two thousand years of retelling the Easter story may have obscured some fascinating details. Is it time to reassess the archvillains of the crucifixion and see Jesus’ women followers as the key to this pivotal historical event?

Kids awaiting neurodivergent diagnoses need more help

Dr Sinead RhodesMar 20, 20234 min read
Many neurodivergent children across the UK are waiting for up to three years for assessment and diagnosis. More must be done to provide early support for these children.

Russia’s war against its own future

Professor Luke MarchFeb 20, 20236 min read
One year on from its invasion of Ukraine, how has the conflict affected Russia's view of its leaders and place in the world? Disinterest is rife, dissent is scarce, and a dictatorship is settling in.

Food price rises could see millions go hungry in 2023

Dr Peter AlexanderFeb 9, 20235 min read
Soaring fertiliser costs could see food prices rise further in 2023, leading to millions more people being undernourished. Is this the end of an era of cheap food?