Our research in the media

Mail Online

Primary school pupils learned 'little or nothing' from online lessons during lockdown and lost a FIFTH of the progress they would have made in the classroom, study finds

Research conducted by Per Engell, Arun Frey and Mark Verhagen found that primary school children learned very little or nothing during lockdown, without face to face teaching. The team studied evidence from the Netherlands, and suggest their findings are applicable internationally.


What we know about when the U.S. may reach herd immunity with COVID
Estimates vary, and some think it's impossible to predict when the country will meet the immunity threshold.

Professor Jennifer Beam Dowd is interviewed in this article. It's impossible to predict when herd immunity will be reached, she says. But if kids are vaccinated in the fall, the difference will be felt by New Year 2022.


The Uncertain Science Behind Vaccine Passports

Professor Mills is interviewed:
“What happens if I’m sitting in another country and my vaccine is paused?” says Melinda Mills, who recently co-led a report on vaccine passports for the Royal Society. “What is a valid vaccine? It’s a moving target.”

BBC Radio 4: More or Less Podcast

Deciding when to suspend a vaccine

Our Deputy Director, Professor Jennifer Dowd talking to presenter Tim Harford about the suspension of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in parts of Europe. The data does not show a link between blood clots and this vaccine at this stage, she says.

Professor Dowd explains and shares the evidence in this 8 min podcast. 

New Scientist

The number of twins in the world is the highest it has ever been

Article about Professor Monden's research, Twin Peaks: more twinning in humans than ever before

The global rate of twin births has risen by a third since the 1980s, from 9 per 1000 births to 12 per 1000. Christiaan Monden at the University of Oxford and his colleagues generated the figures by gathering existing data from 165 countries from 1980 to 2015. Twins are also more likely to survive now, thanks to medical advances. “The rates are higher than they have been for 50 years,” says Monden. “This is likely to be an all-time high.”

The Guardian

Would Covid passports be damaging to public health?

Guardian Health Policy, Head to Head

Would Covid passports be damaging to public health?

Our Director Professor Melinda Mills, author of the Royal Society report on vaccine passports goes Head to Head with Stephen Reicher

Covid passports could be workable, but they’ll need to meet certain criteria, says Professor Mills.

BBC Radio 5

5 Live Drive

Professor Melinda Mills talking about the Govt's possible plan to make presenting a vaccine passport a requirement to enter pubs. Listen at 1.09.

Tech Monitor

Vaccine passports are coming – but they may exclude millions

To be truly safe, “these passports would have to have an expiry date on them”, explains Professor Melinda Mills, director of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science. “You’d also have to be able to revoke them” in extreme cases.

Science Magazine

EDITORIAL: COVID-19 vaccination passports

Professor Melinda Mills, lead author of the Royal Society report Twelve criteria for the development and
use of COVID-19 vaccine passports, writes this editorial on the issue.

She says: The choice about how passports are used should be guided by exemplary science, appropriate technologies, and fair use for all.

BBC News

Twins peak with more born than ever before

Article on Professor Monden's research Twin Peaks: more twinning in humans than ever before

Prof Christiaan Monden, the study's author from the University of Oxford, said there was a reason for that.
"The twinning rate in Africa is so high because of the high number of dizygotic twins - twins born from two separate eggs - born there," he said.
"This is most likely to be due to genetic differences between the African population and other populations."

National Geographic

Why bad moods spread more easily than good moods – and how children read emotions

Research conducted by Dr Per Block showing that moods are contagious, is reported in this article. It's hoped the findings will lead to improved understanding of mental health in teenagers.


LBC with Iain Dale

Professor Melinda Mills discusses the ethics of vaccine passports with presenter Iain Dale and Dawn, a pub landlady from Norwich. Listen at 0.22



Our Director, Professor Melinda Mills on BBC Newsnight sharing her views on what the new normal might look like. 

People understand more about virus transmission now, she says. Wearing a face covering on buses to protect yourself from someone coughing might be common.  

To watch the interview, scroll to 21.


Professor Mills interviewed about vaccine passports

Professor Melinda Mills, lead author of the Royal Society report, Twelve criteria for the development and
use of COVID-19 vaccine passports was interviewed about the EU Digital Green Passport plan.

France 24

More twins are being born than ever before, researchers say

Article on Professor Monden's research Twin Peaks: more twinning in humans than ever before

The rise of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in developed countries since the 1970s contributed to the rise in multiple births, they said, as did mothers giving birth at an older age, when twinning rates are higher.

Research Impact


The Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science is at the forefront of research relating to COVID-19. Research into the demographics of COVID-19 mortality rates, the effectiveness of face coverings and social bubbles has helped shape policy-making in response to the virus, both in the UK and internationally, as well as raising public awareness of measures to stop the spread of the virus. The research has also led to the development of a Coronavirus Hotspots Dashboard which helps local authorities to predict areas at risk of an outbreak. The initiative Dear Pandemic, co-founded by Jennifer Dowd, has disseminated the research results to a wide public audience, focusing on practical recommendations.


Gene-environment dependencies lead to collider bias in models with polygenic scores

Scientific Reports

Evelina T. Akimova, Richard Breen, David M. Brazel, Melinda C. Mills


Learning loss due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic

PNAS (Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America)

Per Engzell, Arun Frey, Mark D. Verhagen


Behaviours and attitudes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: insights from a cross-national Facebook survey

EPJ Data Science

Daniela Perrotta, André Grow, Francesco Rampazzo, Jorge Cimentada, Emanuele Del Fava, Sofia Gil-Clavel & Emilio Zagheni


Mexican mortality 1990‒2016: Comparison of unadjusted and adjusted estimates

Demographic Research

Dana Glei, Andres Barajas Paz, Jose Manuel Aburto, Magali Barbieri


Health and inequality: the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

The British Academy

Jennifer B. Dowd, Xuejie Ding, Evelina T. Akimova and Melinda C. Mills FBA


COVID-19 vaccination passports

Science Magazine

Christopher Dye and Melinda C. Mills


An audit experiment to investigate the “war on cops”: a research note

Journal of Experimental Criminology

David S. Kirk and Marti Rovira


Twin Peaks: more twinning in humans than ever before 

Human Reproduction

Christiaan Monden, Gilles Pison, and Jeroen Smits


The distributional impact of Covid-19: Geographic variation in mortality in England

Demographic Research

Richard Breen, John Ermisch


Uneven state distribution of homicides in Brazil and their effect on life expectancy, 2000–2015: a cross-sectional mortality study

BMJ Open

José Manuel Aburto, Julia Calazans, Bernardo Lanza Queiroz, Shammi Luhar, Vladimir Canudas-Romo




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