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The effect social media have on political discourse has been subject of intense discussion, especially since the UK referendum and US elections in 2016. A researcher funded by the European Research Council (ERC) is trying to shed light onto the ways politicians use online social networks and the murky world of political algorithms.
A number of factors have played an important role in the evolutionary success of the human species. One of the undeniably fundamental factors has been our inherent ability to communicate. This capacity to perceive, respond to and coordinate behaviour with others has not only allowed us to survive, but also to thrive. The ERC-funded project SOCIAL ROBOTS headed by Prof. Emily Cross is aiming to gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of how we comprehend and coordinate our actions with other people and with robots to achieve mutual goals.
Comprehensive new databases of migration flows and policy data since World War II highlight how some policies have had unintended effects.
The impact of migration on the economies of receiving countries is a fundamental question in economics. According to Prof. Christian Dustmann, current research is coming to different conclusions about the impact immigration has on wages and employment of native workers.
What do elections mean for citizens? What happens in the voters’ mind in the polling booth? How do elections’ practical arrangements affect the voter's final choice? The results of Prof. Michael Bruter’s EU/ERC funded research could help governments and Election Management Bodies to optimise democratic processes and improve voters’ satisfaction and turnout.
When war displaces large populations, refugees and their descendants form diasporas. They are far from home and spread across countries, but many remain involved in homeland politics. In a comparative study of diasporas and contested sovereignty from the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle East, EU researchers reveal how diasporas can both mitigate and aggravate conflicts.
Professor Ananya Jahanara Kabir is a literary and cultural historian at King's College London. Passionate about music, dance, film, the visual arts, academic discourse and literature, she studies what such forms of cultural production can say about the world we live in. With her ERC grant and interdisciplinary team, she leads research on Afro-diasporic rhythm cultures, examining the history and global popularity of African-derived dance practices and their relation to modernity, post-colonialism and post-trauma.
Originally published in March 2017 as part of the multimedia campaign "ERC - 10 years – 10 portraits."
In an early application of a new discovery in semiconductor physics, EU-funded researchers have developed a silicon infrared detector that is simpler and cheaper than conventional detectors. The ultimate goal is a silicon-based laser.
In just a couple of years, Africa has gone from possessing a total bandwidth availability comparable to that of Norway to having almost one hundred million internet users and seven hundred million mobile users. Could this growth in access to information and communication technologies (ICT) represent an opportunity for economic development? Many have described this moment of transition as "Africa's century", ERC grantee and Oxford scholar Prof Mark Graham, a leading authority on the topic of technology and development, aims to understand this "digital revolution".
A crucial discovery of how the brain functions has been made by EU-funded researchers. ERC Advanced Grant holder Prof. Oscar Marin and his team have shown that brain's 'hardware' - using the computing metaphor - is in fact tuneable and can adapt to internal and external influences. The findings could help develop new therapies for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, which affects around 50 million people globally.