All features (understanding behaviour)

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Business district

Crisis-proofing the banking system

Are lessons learnt, and can we avoid another global financial crisis in the future? The National Institute of Economic and Social Research/ESRC conference 'Never Again?' has examined whether there has been progress towards a safer banking system.

Burger and fries

'Fat tax' ineffective in countering obesity

Taxing unhealthy foods in a bid to persuade people to eat a better diet would be an ineffective way of tackling obesity. A study of inequalities in diet and health concludes that a so-called 'fat tax' would hit the poor hardest while failing to produce any significant health benefits.

Robin

The tweets of relaxation

In an ESRC CASE studentship, psychologist Eleanor Ratcliffe at the University of Surrey is exploring how listening to natural sounds such as birdsong can improve mood and attention after stress or fatigue.

Charitable giving

Giving away the Christmas spirit

Charitable giving is another victim of the recession, with research from the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy and other surveys showing that the amount of giving has fallen - although the number of donors are the same.

Hands

The challenges of AIDS - past and present

Thirty years after the first reported cases of AIDS, a unique gathering of experts are examining the early response to the epidemic in the lecture series "AIDS @ 30: Three decades of responding to HIV/AIDS".

Man with megaphone

Striking power

Does the widespread strike in the public sector on 30 November herald a new era of industrial action and empowered trade unions? Workers are provoked by proposed cuts in public sector pensions, and the strike enjoys widespread support.

Riots in London

Do wrongs make a riot?

Were the August riots 'simply criminality' or a symptom of a wider malaise? Looking at the key sectors of education, employment and family wellbeing, expert commentators explore whether society actually is 'broken' – and how it can be fixed.

Energy meter

Cutting fuel bills with energy displays

Energy displays and smart meters are useful tools to manage energy use, but no 'magic bullet' against reduced fuel bills, suggests the RCUK-funded study Domestic Energy Feedback.

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