TEDx University of Birmingham returns for the second year running to celebrate research successes and ideas worth spreading.

TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to sharing ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks for 18 minutes or less. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged and today, covers almost all topics – from science and business to global issues – in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently-run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. The University of Birmingham once again welcomes Birmingham’s local community to engage with its TEDx event.

This year’s theme is ‘The Road Less Travelled’, with talks on virtual reality to aid rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, superconducting seaweed, and debates about research and treatment for patients with Dementia.

Highlights include Dr Andrew Bagshaw, a Reader in Imaging Neuroscience and Director of the Birmingham University Imaging Centre, who asks us Why don’t you sleep more? Sleep is something that many people take for granted, but what effect does a late night actually have on the body? His talk will examine why and how sleep affects the brain and how it relates to working behaviour. Research has shown that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and development of diabetes, and can weaken the function of the immune system. It has been proved that academic performance is correlated to amount of sleep, with those getting more sleep performing better than their sleep-deprived counterparts.

Scott Lucas, Professor of International Politics in the University of Birmingham’s Department of Political Science and International Studies, will investigate how the rapidly changing media has impacted on the news in his talk Brave New (Media) World: Becoming An Academic-journalist-activist. Social media has empowered the public to become involved in news reporting and has reconfigured journalism, but how has this changed networks of knowledge and power? Professor Lucas will also look at the role of the “academic journalist” in this new environment; how the combination of academic expertise and social media has led to the creation of EA World View, now a leading website for news and analysis on the Middle East, Iran, Turkey and US foreign policy.

TEDx University of Birmingham takes place on Saturday 21 March from 10:00 until 16:30. Tickets are available from the online shop.


For further information please visit the University of Birmingham’s TEDx webpage. 

For media enquiries please contact Faye Jackson in the University of Birmingham press office on +44 (0)121 414 6029. For out of hours enquiries please contact the duty press officer on +44 (0)7789921165.