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
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
Friday 19th July 2013

Gum disease – a silent killer?

Description
Healthy nutrition may be key to helping fight gum disease, which is not only important to oral health, but also to general health and wellbeing. Gum, or periodontal, diseases are ubiquitous long-lasting inflammatory diseases of humans. The most common type is chronic gingivitis, which affects approximately 90% of adults, but is reversible with professional and careful home tooth cleaning. Chronic periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease that destroys the tissues supporting the teeth and associated bone in the jaws, leading ultimately to tooth loss.
Date:
Friday 19th July 2013
Categories:
Medical and Dental Sciences, Research
Tuesday 25th June 2013

Weighing up the real value of the G8 summit

Description
It is easy to be cynical over the value of summits such as the G8 meeting recently concluded in Northern Ireland. After all, this year's meeting was preceded by the erection of fake shop fronts in Northern Ireland to disguise empty businesses, and when Birmingham played host in 1998 the city council sprayed the grass verges green.
Date:
Tuesday 25th June 2013
Categories:
International, Research, Social Sciences
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