environment

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New initiative set to transform public’s engagement with environmental research

Dr Hilary Geoghegan was recently awarded £100,000, from the NERC Engaging Environments programme, to develop a national vision for public engagement with environmental research. The new initiative, called OPENER, will ask members of the public to help them in opening up research on the major environmental challenges facing the planet. OPENER will identify ways that researchers can involve people at all stages of the research process.

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DEGW FOUNDATION LECTURE

DEGW Archive Exhibition Open: 1700-1830,
Lecture Doors Open: 1800-1830, Lecture: 1830-2000

Lecture hosted by Despina Katsikakis.

Despina Katsikakis is a globally renowned expert on the impact of the built environment on business performance.

A former Chairman of international consultancy DEGW and recently with Barclays Corporate Real Estate, Despina has 30 years’ experience working with international organisations at board level, guiding them on how to use their workplace to affect behaviour and culture and how to align policies and processes to support innovation and organisational transformation.

With former clients including Accenture, BBC, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, BP, GlaxoSmithKline and Google, among others, she has developed ground-breaking initiatives from global real estate strategies and policies, buildings and workplace transformation, through to processes and tools for real estate management.

Despina is passionate that the built environment should be developed with clear purpose and focus on both the end user experience and its impact on business, society and the environment. She has an outstanding track record advising developers, funds and their design teams on how to differentiate and future proof award winning schemes globally.

A regular conference presenter, facilitator and writer on innovation of the built environment, with a focus on future trends and their impact on organisations, buildings and the city.

More information to follow.

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Academia/industry Careers event

6th September 2017

Programme includes:

  • Research careers panel: find out what it’s really like from researchers in different roles in Industry, Academia and government research
  • Alternative careers panel: what else is out there? Hear about science communications, policy, clinical trials management and more
  • Becoming a group leader: what’s it like in different environments?
  • Keynote from Simon Lovestone: hear about his career journey, and how best to work with people from every sphere to push dementia research forward
  • Posters & Networking: Discover local research from academia and industry

Contact:

Francesca Nicholls
francesca.nicholls@psych.ox.ac.uk

Mark Dallas
M.Dallas@reading.ac.uk

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By Dr Martin Lukac, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading

Europe’s forests make a very important contribution to current efforts to decrease EU carbon emissions, as it seeks to satisfy its commitments to the Paris agreement.

Under a new proposal, all carbon lost from forests as a result of harvesting will count towards overall emissions. Some of the most forested EU countries argue that forest harvesting operations should not be included, because the total amount of carbon stored in forests will not change much.

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By Professor Sandy Harrison

I am delighted to be spearheading a forthcoming workshop to be held at Reading University in July that brings together observationalists and modellers working on palaeoclimates, model development and assessment of future climate changes to address this question.

Climate models are mathematical representations of the interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, ice – and the sun. The models used for future climate projections were developed and calibrated using climate observations from the past 40 years. They are also the only tools available to project the human impact on the environment changes over the 21st century. These models perform well in terms of global features (e.g. magnitude of global warming), but model performance at a regional scale is poor.

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“Development of Small Molecule Libraries vs. Novel Cancer Targets”

Professor John Spencer
University of Sussex

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President Donald Trump has indicated an intention to withdraw the US from the Paris accord on climate change.

His announcement, made on Thursday 1 June, means the US will no longer recognise the collective aim of mitigating the impact of climate change.

The University of Reading is a world leader in climate science and research into the physical, economic and social impacts of climate change, helping to provide the strong scientific evidence upon which the Paris agreement was based.

Here, we look at some of this celebrated research, which remains central to the aims of the 194 countries that remain signed up to the Paris Agreement.

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By Sally Stevens, Institute for Environmental Analytics, University of Reading

An important new skills gap survey highlighting the urgent need for in-career training in state-of-the-art data analytics was presented at this week’s European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Austria on Thursday [April 27].

The key findings are:

  • 53% of respondents said the research habit that needed most improvement was reluctance to share data or models.
  • 52% identified the most vital skill for global change research as data processing and analysis.
  • 42% said the digital skills needing most improvement were computational and numerical analysis.
  • The biggest data challenge was data complexity and the lack of data standards and exchange standards.

The survey was commissioned by the Belmont Forum, a highly influential global group of science funders dedicated to speeding up high quality environmental research around the world.

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Climate-KIC Visit

Representatives from Climate-KIC are visiting the University of Reading on Friday 17th March. The University is a partner of Climate-KIC, which is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative. You are invited to meet them and learn more about the plans for Climate-KIC. The visit will have three components:

11.00-12.00 – Alina Congreve, Climate-KIC UK Education Lead

Alina would like to meet with the Directors of the Masters courses that were awarded the Climate-KIC label a few years ago. Directors of T&L, as well as Deans of T&L, are also very welcome to attend should they wish. Masters courses that have been awarded with the Climate-KIC label are: Applied Meteorology; Climate change and Development; Design & Management of Sustainable Built Environments; Entrepreneurship & Management; Environmental Management; Environment and Development; International Energy Studies; International Management; Public Policy and Renewable Energy: Technology and Sustainability  

12.30-13.00 – Jason Louis Gouveia, Climate-KIC UK Innovation Programme Coordinator

Jason will give an overview of Climate-KIC and the opportunities it presents. More information about the themes of the Climate-KIC is available here: http://www.climate-kic.org/themes/.

13.00-15.00 – One-to-one meetings

Alina and Jason will both be available to discuss particular aspects of the Climate-KIC and its opportunities. Depending on the level of interest, meeting times will be allocated in 15 minute slots. Please email Daniel Williamson (d.williamson@reading.ac.uk) to register your interest.

About Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC is one of three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an EU body whose mission is to create sustainable growth. The Climate-KIC supports this mission by addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. It integrates education, entrepreneurship and innovation resulting in connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into economically viable products or services that help to mitigate climate change.

If you’d like to attend any part of the Climate-KIC visit, please email Daniel Williamson to register your interest d.williamson@reading.ac.uk

For more specific questions about the Climate-KIC and topics that will be covered during the visit, please contact Maria Noguer m.noguer@reading.ac.uk

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By Phil Newton, Research Dean for the Environment Theme, University of Reading

‘Impact sometimes needs to be nurtured over long timescales… there is more to impact than developing case-studies for the next REF exercise’

The University of Reading is known across the world for the quality of its research in the environmental sciences. As Research Dean for the Environment Theme, I’m lucky enough to have the best seat in the house to see, up close, not just that quality, but also what a huge impact some of that research has on people’s lives.

So it’s gratifying when others celebrate the influence of Reading’s research, as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has done this week with the publication of its new annual report about the impact of NERC-funded research.

The NERC Impact Report 2016 shows how sustained NERC investment in environmental researchers working in partnership with the likes of governments, businesses and charities generates large, long-term economic and societal benefits – contributing to building a safer, healthier and more secure and sustainable world. It is great to see highlighted two areas of Reading research that are having substantial impact.

Reducing the tragedy of flooding

One is about the work of hydrologist Professor Hannah Cloke, and how the modelling and engagement work by Hannah and her colleagues over many years has improved the quality of flood forecasting, and changed the policy and practice of flood prevention, in the UK. These changes have been a major contribution to dramatic reductions in household flooding incidence over the past decade.

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