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The Conversation in the UK celebrates its first year

May 16, 2014

Independent news analysis and commentary site The Conversation celebrates its first birthday in the UK today and also welcomes Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science, as a Patron.

The Conversation was launched in the UK on 16 May 2013 as a collaboration between professional editors and academics. It provides the public with rolling coverage of news and access to new information about cutting-edge research as it becomes available.

Since launch, The Conversation in the UK has featured articles by more than 2,500 academics from more than 250 institutions. Its content is now being read by approaching three million people each month and its audience is international.

The website, which is updated around the clock, has a bumper supply of high-quality, reliable and ethical journalism aimed at the general public and also available for reuse by the media. Established publications including the Washington Post, the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Hindu, the New Zealand Herald, the Independent, the Daily Mail now regularly publish, link to, and feature work produced by The Conversation. Exciting new media such as Ars Technica and Quartz also republish Conversation content.

Operated as a not-for-profit and registered as a UK charity, financial support for The Conversation comes from the UK higher education sector, with 20 Founding Partner universities, several foundations, and other funding bodies including the Research Councils and the Funding Councils. As The Conversation moves into its second year it is opening up its partnership opportunities to all UK universities and higher education institutions.

Stephen Khan, editor of The Conversation in the UK, said: “In our first year we have carried riveting content by big names of academia as well as introducing new voices to the public. Going forward we will introduce even more brilliant minds to readers. A year ago much of this expertise was locked away. Now it is on the crest of the rolling news wave; commenting, analyzing and explaining events as they happen.

“I am also thrilled that Alice Roberts, a pioneer of communicating academic thought is joining us as a patron. Her mission and ours is perfectly aligned and we look forward to collaborating on some great explanatory journalism together.”


  • All academics registered at universities and independent research institutes are eligible to write for The Conversation.
  • Founding Partner universities: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, City, Durham, Glasgow Caledonian, Goldsmiths, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, The Open University, Queen’s Belfast, Salford, Sheffield, Surrey, UCL and Warwick. Academics from all higher education institutions are able to write for us regardless of whether their institution is a partner.
  • The Conversation UK has received financial assistance from the Higher Education Funding Councils for England and Wales, the Scottish Funding Council, Research Councils UK, the Nuffield Foundation, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, Nesta, SAGE and the Alliance for Useful Evidence.

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