The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Tuesday 8th October 2013

What has the Higgs Boson ever done for me?

What has the Higgs Boson ever done for me?
Description
Nobody working in the subject was really surprised that this year's Nobel prize for physics was awarded to Peter Higgs; most of the speculation was over who he would share it with. Yet when Higgs and others first put forward their ideas in the mid 1960s, even specialists could have been forgiven for thinking that they were just plain crazy.
Date:
Tuesday 8th October 2013
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research
Thursday 5th September 2013

Chemical warfare: It's nothing new

Chemical warfare: It's nothing new
Description
As millions flee Syria and the international community continues to consider its response to claims that chemical weapons may have been unleashed on civilians there; it is worth reflecting that in the science of modern warfare, truly, there is nothing new under the sun.
Date:
Thursday 5th September 2013
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Wednesday 14th August 2013

Social media: why the case for teaching digital literacy is so compelling

Description
As a parent, I can only start to imagine the pain, grief and suffering of the family of Hannah Smith, who committed suicide recently after being bullied on the ask.fm website. Almost daily, fresh headlines emerge about social media sites like Twitter being used to issue threats of rape, violence and murder. My visceral, emotional, immediate reaction is much like everyone else: something must be done.
Date:
Wednesday 14th August 2013
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research
Thursday 31st January 2013

The HS2 Rail Proposal: a difficult political decision

Description
Many years ago a British politician, on learning that he was about to be appointed Minister for Transport, exclaimed: 'Some enemy hath done this!' It is not hard to see why he might have said this. The transport portfolio is often brimming over with some extremely difficult issues; and the HS2 (High Speed Rail 2) proposal is certainly no exception.
Date:
Thursday 31st January 2013
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research, Social Sciences
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