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Thought Leadership

Neanderthals: the oldest art in the world wasn’t made by Homo sapiens

Professor Paul Pettitt, from our Department of Archaeology, sheds some light on Neanderthal art.
Cave paintings

Wind turbines are already skyscraper-sized – is there any limit to how big they will get?

Professor Simon Hogg from our Department of Engineering discusses why are wind turbines increasing in size at such a rapid rate, and is there a limit to how big they can go?
Wind turbine

Medieval great halls were at the heart of the festive season – here the community kept warm by staying together

Giles Gasper, from our History Department, is Professor in High Medieval History. Professor Gasper outlines the importance of food, a shared warm space, and what we have in common with those living in medieval times.
Medieval artwork

Christmas in wartime: how Britain coped with the ‘bleak midwinter’ of 1942

Durham University's Principal of South College, Tim Luckhurst, explains how Britain celebrated Christmas in 1942.
Old Christmas tree and decorations.

Reading our Future in the Bones of Children Past

An interview with Christian Harkensee and Rebecca Gowland discussing what the past can reveal about the social forces that shape modern health crises.
headshots of Christian Harkensee and Rebecca Gowland holding skull

The Controversy over Christmas Carols

Nothing conjures up nostalgic ideas of a wholesome family Christmas more than the idea of loved ones gathering around the piano to sing carols, or indeed voices raised in church in song on Christmas Day. However, Professor Jeremy Dibble, tells us why carols and carol singing haven’t always been seen in such a virtuous light.
Choir singing

The Undercover Elf

Lucinda Murphy, a PhD student in the Department of Theology and Religion, tells us about her research in which she has explored Christmas magic in all its varieties.
Working as an elf in Santa's grotto

Putting Santa (and anything else) on a Timeline

Dr Emily Thomas, Department of Philosophy, writes on space and time in seventeenth to early twentieth century philosophy. She shows us how you can turn any history into a timeline - this one was inspired by a history of Santa Claus.
Santa's outfits through time

Remembering Christmas Past

Simon J. James is Professor of Victorian Literature in the Department of English Studies. This festive season he discusses memory in Dickens’ work, and the importance of remembering past versions of ourselves at Christmas.
A Christmas Carol

Forensic Archaeology and Human Rights: Where the past meets the present

Professor Rebecca Gowland from our Department of Archaeology shares her research insights and reflects on how the deceased are incorporated into discussions of human rights.
Rebecca Gowland

What’s really going on when a child is ‘overtired’ – and how to help them go to sleep

Professor Helen Ball from our Department of Anthropology is also the Director of the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre (DISC). She discusses what 'overtiredness' means for babies, and how help them handle this emotional state.
Baby yawning

COP15: three visions for protecting nature on the table at the UN biodiversity conference

Professor Harriet Bulkeley, from our Department of Geography, describes how COP15 will set new targets for protecting biodiversity.
Frogs on a stem.