Safeguarding the world’s pollinators: International experts converge on Reading to inform UN policy

Thirty international experts met at the University of Reading recently, to help the United Nations develop better policies and practices to safeguard the world’s pollinators.

The meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was convened to identify the greatest threats facing pollinators in different parts of the world and was hosted by Professor Simon Potts, Director of the Centre for Agri-Environmental research.

Continue reading

Inspiring future scientists with fossil pollen time machines

Oli Wilson, a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Sciences, is exploring Brazil’s unique and endangered Araucaria forests – how they were shaped in the past by humans and climate change, and how likely they are to survive in the future.

Recently, Oli won an online competition, ‘I’m A Scientist: Get Me Out Of Here!’. Here, Oli explains how this outreach activity is helping to inspire a new generation of scientists, and why he’ll be spending his winnings on an innovative resource for public engagement. Continue reading

Carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas: Reading science informing debate at COP23

By Professor Keith Shine, Regius Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science

The United Nations Climate Conference

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the principal negotiating forum where countries agree ambitions for limiting greenhouse gas emissions; the aim is to avoid “dangerous human interference with the climate system”.

The UNFCCC meets annually at its “Conference of the Parties” (COPs). Sometimes COPs culminate in headline-grabbing agreements. COP3 led to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997; COP21 resulted in the Paris Agreement in 2015. More often, COPs focus on issues of implementation and preparing the way for future agreements. This year, COP23 ( is being held in Bonn, Germany (6 – 17 November) and is focusing on implementing the Paris Agreement.

Continue reading

Bringing Tropicália to life at the Tate Modern

A series of Brazilian films, showing at the Tate Modern, London from 9-12 November, explores the role of cinema in the Brazilian Tropicália cultural movement, and will bring together a range of key filmmakers and scholars in the field.

Image credit: Arthur Omar, Triste Trópico (Sad Tropics, 1974), film still. Courtesy the artist

The films, curated by Dr Stefan Solomon from the Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of Reading, will be shown over four days at the Tate Modern’s Starr Cinema as part of Tate Film’s ‘Counter-Histories’ series.

Continue reading

Whetting the appetite for edible archives

A multi-media installation created by Dr Teresa Murjas, Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television has inspired the work of The National Archives, Kew and its national Explore Your Archive campaign (18-28 November 2017).

The film, sound and object-based installation – The First World War in Biscuits – is an interpretation of one of the archives held at Reading Museum and the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). In August 2017 Teresa welcomed colleagues from The National Archives (TNA), together with The Great British Bake-off finalist, Miranda Gore-Brown, to Reading. She gave them a tour of Reading Museum and the MERL, where she had selected archival materials and artefacts from the Huntley & Palmers collection for them to view.

Continue reading

Neighbourhood Planning HIVE coming soon

Neighbourhood Planning HIVE: The University of Reading, 6th June 2018

Meadow Suite, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading

Since 2011 Neighbourhood Planning has developed considerable momentum and many lessons have been learned. The University of Reading has become renowned for its academic research on Neighbourhood Planning activity, and this has informed Government policy and communities.

On 6th June 2018, the University of Reading will host an event aimed at capturing and sharing first hand experiences from citizen-planners active in their local Neighbourhood Planning Groups. The event will be led by Prof Gavin Parker and be designed to address emerging issues from these invaluable experiences; over the next few months we will engage with registered delegates in order to shape the event so that it provides the best learning value.

The aims of the day will be to discuss and share experiences, with a view to consolidating and analysing practical knowledge in order to inform and enhance Neighbourhood Planning in the future. A report will be published after the event. Based on delegate experiences, it will provide on the ground practical advice which will assist in the implementation of community-led planning priorities.

Registration will open in March 2018.