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 30th June 2016

Understanding why elite sportspeople turn to doping

Description
Why do so many elite sportspeople turn to doping?The frequency of doping scandals in sport shows that testing appears to be an insufficient deterrent against doping for many athletes, and there may be a case to be had that they dope simply 'because they can get away with it'.
Date:
Thursday 30th June 2016
Thursday 16th June 2016

Should we stay or should we go? The food industry might like to let us know

Description
There have been many calls on the UK's food industry and grocery supermarket leaders to give a steer, but in the main no leading retailer executives are prepared to go on record regarding a possible Brexit and the impact on consumer prices on the high street. In a statement, supermarket chain Tesco said: 'The referendum on EU membership is a decision for the people of Britain. Whatever that decision is, our focus will continue to be on serving customers.' But how can consumers weigh up the options, when the cost of their grocery shopping basket will be affected either way?
Date:
Thursday 16th June 2016
Thursday 9th June 2016

Funding and finding films: British cinema and Brexit

Description
So many books with 'European cinema' in their titles have excellent chapters on Spanish, German, Italian, French and even British cinema, but say nothing about the subject that their covers promise. European cinema denies any hierarchy of its many languages, mixes and matches its stars and treats genres like play-doh.
Date:
Thursday 9th June 2016
Thursday 26th May 2016

Understanding how chimpanzee behaviour in zoos differs from their natural environment

Description
Going to see great apes in the zoo has been part of UK culture since 1835, when the first chimpanzee arrived at London Zoo. But our understanding of great apes' natural behaviour, and thus their welfare needs while in captivity, has changed radically following decades of field studies on wild apes. This includes our own five-year study on orangutans in Indonesia. This improved knowledge has led some to question if we should continue to keep great apes in captivity.
Date:
Thursday 26th May 2016
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