Island cores unravel mysteries of ancient Maltese civilisation

The Ġgantija temples of Malta are among the earliest free-standing buildings known. Image credit - Bs0u10e01, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The mysteries of an ancient civilisation that survived for more than a millennium on the island of Malta – and then collapsed within two generations – have been unravelled by archaeologists who analysed pollen buried deep within the earth and ancient DNA from skulls and bones. It’s part of a field of work that is … Read more

Five things you need to know about: the science of refugee integration

Dr Hangartner says that without at least a working definition of integration, we cannot measure it. Image credit - Mstyslav Chernov, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

In the last few years, the integration of refugees into European societies has become an urgent issue.  Since 2015, nearly 4 million people have applied for asylum in the EU and many are now beginning to make new lives here. What does it mean to become integrated into a new society? How can it be achieved? … Read more

The forensic architects piecing together the story of war

Researchers used forensic architectural techniques to calculate the ‘height of burst’ of a white phosphorus projectile in Rafah, Gaza, on 11 January 2009.

by Caleb Davies Around the world there are 10 wars are being fought, according to recent figures. That covers humanity’s most deadly clashes, but the figure rises to 49 if you count those state-based conflicts where ‘only’ 1,000 people or fewer have been killed in the past year. The captain’s share of all this fighting happens … Read more

Democracy: ‘Inclusion is the future – not exclusion’

Prof. Merkel says that despite the challenges presented by right-wing populists, democracies in Western Europe remain deeply rooted in strong liberal civil societies. Image credit - Prof. Wolfgang Merkel/ David Ausserhofer

by Annette Ekin The rise of right-wing populism is being fuelled by polarisation in society that we must address without resorting to the claim of moral superiority, or protest voters will become the permanent supporters of these new parties, says Wolfgang Merkel, director of the Democracy and Democratisation research department at the WZB Berlin Social … Read more

DNA gives insight into prehistoric bonds between dogs and humans

Scientists believe that modern-day dogs originated from two different populations of wolves. Image credit - Pixabay

Domestic dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but the animals we now regard as man’s best friend may have originated from just two populations of wolves, research suggests. The findings, along with studies on other domesticated animals, are providing new insights into how our ancestors’ lives and movements transformed these creatures forever. The domestication … Read more

Critical, informed citizens crucial for the EU to stay relevant

Image credit - Ilovetheeu, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The upcoming European elections will reveal how recent challenges such as immigration, the financial crisis, Brexit and the rise of populist parties will play out in the political arena. But the elections are also providing an opportunity for researchers to understand how to better engage voters and ensure the European Union remains relevant to its … Read more