The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Thursday 2nd January 2014

Dawn of the dinosaurs: understanding the Triassic world

Dawn of the dinosaurs: understanding the Triassic world
Description
In 1853, the renowned sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins celebrated New Year's Eve in an utterly unique way: he held a lavish dinner party for twenty of the Victorian great and good inside a model of a dinosaur created for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Date:
Thursday 2nd January 2014
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Thursday 17th October 2013

Strategic plant conservation could stave off global hunger

Strategic plant conservation could stave off global hunger
Description
Some may believe plant conservation to be some what esoteric, an occupation for Victorian gentlemen and women gathering orchids on the Downs or more generically maintaining the Amazon rainforest. But the truth today is that more often plant conservation is directly linked to some form of benefit to humankind, the ecosystem services or benefits provided by plants are in fact sustaining our own species – conserving plant diversity now means our children and their children have options for their wellbeing and happiness in the future.
Date:
Thursday 17th October 2013
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences
Thursday 12th September 2013

Fracking: Why the risks of earthquakes or drinking water contamination are minimal

Description
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, reignited the row over fracking this week, when he insisted this method of extracting shale gas was no 'great evil' and could act as a bridge to a 'green future' in the UK so long as it was properly regulated. The UK is thought to have significant reserves of shale gas and the government is encouraging the industry to exploit these resources as our North Sea gas reserves are depleting.
Date:
Thursday 12th September 2013
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences
Friday 26th July 2013

2012 and the 'Legacy' Games: assessing the Olympic Legacy one year on

Description
For many years sport has been viewed by political elites as a panacea of all ills. In particular sports mega-events, such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, are looked upon as opportunities to transform, increase, improve and grow anything from mass participation in physical activity, to urban regeneration, economic growth and a nation's international image. The benefits derived from such events are termed 'legacies,' and the promise of them materialising is often used as the chief justificatory discourse for the investment of large sums of public finance into hosting a sports mega-event at the outset.
Date:
Friday 26th July 2013
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences, Sport
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