The Birmingham Brief

Intelligent thought on policy issues.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Birmingham.

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Thursday 12th January 2017

Does the PM want hard or soft parity for mental health?

Description
In recent years mental health has moved from the margins to the heart of government thinking. The discourse has matured, reflecting a growing awareness that mental distress is not an issue that impacts a few – it affects us all.
Date:
Thursday 12th January 2017
Thursday 5th January 2017

Is the humble fridge the key to meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals?

Description
The clock is ticking on the most ambitious set of international development targets ever conceived. By 2030, the UN's Global Development Goals ('Global Goals') promise to banish hunger, poverty and inequality; ensure universal access to safe water, education, health care, clean energy and decent work; and secure peace, justice, economic growth and sustainability. Achieving all this and in the timeframe set will be a monumental challenge. What is not yet widely recognised is that one critical factor will be the development of clean cooling.
Date:
Thursday 5th January 2017
Thursday 15th December 2016

Why do we love or hate Christmas?

Description
Christmas is a time of joy, celebration and love for many across the world. However, these feelings are not universally shared, and like a festive Marmite others find the obligatory decorations, mulled wine and mince pies a bit of a humbug! So, what might lead to such different opinions? We can perhaps provide an explanation based upon learned experiences that change how much we like and want something.
Date:
Thursday 15th December 2016
Thursday 8th December 2016

Why leadership matters

Description
In order to avoid the anxiety of wondering about the 'what ifs' in life, humans have a tendency to think that things will carry on much as they did before. It's what psychologists term 'continuity bias'. However, 2016 is testimony to the fact that this assumption is not always reflective of events. This year, 'change' was the watchword and changes in political leadership characterised 2016.
Date:
Thursday 8th December 2016
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