The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Thursday 2nd April 2015

'Toilet-seat head' amphibian boosts catalogue of Triassic curiosities

Description
The Triassic, which lasted from 252 to 200 million years ago, is not a geological period that looms large in the public consciousness. It lacks the Hollywood glamour of the Jurassic, and sadly none of its cast is as iconic as stars of the Cretaceous such as Tyrannosaurus rex. Yet, among palaeontologists the Triassic is renowned, and with good reason.
Date:
Thursday 2nd April 2015
Categories:
International, Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Thursday 26th March 2015

Methods of poverty assessment must be overhauled if we really want to make a difference

Description
Globally, what percentage of people living in poverty are women? The answer, if we believe some eminent sources, is 70%. In 1995, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for women claimed that 'the great majority' of the world's poor were women, while the 70% figure is still quoted today by UN Women. You will even find it on the occasional bumper sticker.
Date:
Thursday 26th March 2015
Categories:
Arts and Law
Thursday 19th March 2015

Sustainable, clean cold is the paradigm shift the changing world needs

Description
Cooling is a vital foundation of our modern society. Without it, the supply of food, medicine and data would simply break down. As air conditioning, it is also the key enabler for the new urban global hubs such as Dubai. And of course, cold is essential for many super-critical technologies, as well as freezing and powdering materials for recycling and easy disposal.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research
Thursday 12th March 2015

Child protection system does not need a political game of 'tough and tougher'

Description
On 3 March 2015, in the wake of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal, the Prime Minister announced that professionals such as social workers and teachers could face criminal charges for 'wilful neglect' and up to five years in prison if they fail to report child abuse. In a party political game of tough and tougher, Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, also called for a 'crusade' against child abuse and 'mandatory reporting'. But are new crimes really what the child protection system needs?
Date:
Thursday 12th March 2015
Categories:
Social Sciences
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