News from the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

Human Rights in the United Kingdom: Where Now?

22 May 2015

Prior to the 2015 general election, the Conservative Party undertook in its manifesto to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and to enact a British Bill of Rights. In this video, Mark Elliott addresses three key questions raised by these proposals.

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What goes up must come down: a brief history of the codpiece

30 Apr 2015

Only briefly in vogue, the codpiece has left a rich legacy in art, literature and – most recently – in televised costume drama. In focusing her attention on this ostentatious male accessory, PhD candidate Victoria Miller has developed some new ideas about its evolution (and demise) as a symbol of virility.

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Distance running may be an evolutionary ‘signal’ for desirable male genes

08 Apr 2015

New research shows that males with higher ‘reproductive potential’ are better distance runners. This may have been used by females as a reliable signal of high male genetic quality during our hunter-gatherer past, as good runners are more likely to have other traits of good hunters and providers, such as intelligence and generosity.

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Spatula to poison darts, Malaysia

Poisons, plants and Palaeolithic hunters

21 Mar 2015

Dozens of common plants are toxic. Archaeologists have long suspected that our Palaeolithic ancestors used plant poisons to make their hunting weapons more lethal.  Now Dr Valentina Borgia has teamed up with a forensic chemist to develop a technique for detecting residues of deadly substances on archaeological objects.

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