The Air We Breathe

The air we breathe keeps us alive. What’s in it matters – to our health and to the environment.

Bringing together cutting edge research from across the University of Birmingham, The Air We Breathe is a brand new public programme of exhibition, activities and events exploring the relationships between people, the environment and air quality.

Discover how you can get involved with the work being done by the University of Birmingham to deliver clean air both here in Birmingham and around the world.


A baby’s first cry, the salt-flecked sea breeze, a clear summer sky. Air gives us life and pleasure. But why does it matter to researchers?

Some substances in the air are harmful to our world and our health. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide trap the sun’s warmth and higher emissions of these gases are leading to an overall warming of the climate. If it’s not contained within safe limits, this warming will harm our health, our agriculture and the natural world. Other pollutants like nitrogen oxides, particulates and ozone have a more localised effect, shortening the lives of more than 7 million people around the world each year. Researchers at the University are studying these closely connected issues to help find solutions that will benefit our communities – here in the Midlands and around the world.

From a hydrogen train to a sci-fi forest, our new exhibition – The Air We Breathe – explores air pollution through the lens of University of Birmingham research. What are the causes and threats of air pollution, and how we can work together to improve the air we breathe?

The Air We Breathe exhibition is open Monday to Saturday, 10:00 – 16:00 with a late opening on Wednesdays to 20:00. Admission is free.

Activities and events