Our flagship report, the POSTnote, is a four-page briefing reviewing emerging areas of research.

  • POSTnote

    Environmental Earth Observation

    Earth observation (EO) is the process of gathering information about the Earth from a range of sensors to provide monitoring data at a range of scales. This POSTnote outlines some of the environmental uses and benefits of EO data, the potential opportunities from advances in relevant technologies and challenges facing the effective use of EO data.

  • POSTnote

    Communicating Risk

    People's responses to risk are shaped by the way that such risks are communicated. Communicating risks effectively can defuse concerns, mitigate disaster situations and build trust with public institutions and organisations. This POSTnote defines the often misunderstood concepts of risk, uncertainty and hazard and describes the key stakeholders communicating it. It examines the factors that shape how people perceive and respond to such risks and summarises evidence on effective risk communication strategies.

  • POSTnote

    Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials

    The unique properties of engineered nanomaterials are beneficial to a range of industries. However, uncertainties in assessing their potential health and environmental risks could hinder their safe use. This POSTnote summarises the current regulation of nanomaterials and highlights potential future directions for regulatory testing approaches.

  • POSTnote

    Migrants and Housing

    Migration is often cited in public debate as a significant factor in the demand for UK housing. This POSTnote provides an overview of available research on migrants and housing. It examines definitions and data sources on migration and its implications. It also outlines the possible impact of migrants on housing, including variation by tenure type, migrant characteristics and region. Finally, it considers the impact of housing on migrants and local communities.

  • POSTnote

    Online Information and Fake News

    Internet search engines and social media platforms are an increasingly popular way of accessing news and information. In 2017, the proportion of UK adults consuming news online exceeded those who watched news on TV (74% versus 69%). This note considers how people access news online, how algorithms (sequences of instructions) and social networks influence the content that users see, and options for mitigating any negative impact.

  • POSTnote

    Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture

    Agricultural practices can reduce water quality, degrade soils and cause biodiversity loss. This in turn can disrupt natural processes that support food production. Environmentally sustainable agriculture seeks to reduce environmental damage and restore such processes. This POSTnote summarises associated land management options, agricultural policies and the constraints imposed by a new trading environment.

  • POSTnote

    Rising Sea Levels

    Sea level rise increases the frequency and severity of coastal flooding and rates of coastal erosion. Sea level rise will continue far beyond the 21st century, even if global temperature increase is limited to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This POSTnote sets out the causes and likely future levels of sea level rise and its implications. It updates POSTnote 363 on Sea Level Rise, published in September 2010.

  • POSTnote

    Cyber Security of UK Infrastructure

    The Government has identified ‘cyber’ as one of six Tier 1 threats to UK national security. This POSTnote focuses on the cyber security of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, describing measures to improve cyber security and challenges in implementing them. It also reviews the new National Cyber Security Strategy, along with international policy and legislation.

  • POSTnote

    Quantum Technologies

    Quantum Technologies use the behaviour of matter and light that is normally only observed at very small scales. This POSTnote introduces recent advances, applications, and UK initiatives to support their development and commercialisation. It also reviews policy concerns such as privacy, access to new technologies and secure communications.