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Briefings Archive

expert encounter: Dr Hans Hogerzeil

Dr Hans Hogerzeil is the former Director for Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies at the WHO. He came to the SMC to present the latest information on the medicines situations in low and middle income countries, and describe what he believes can be done to improve them. read more

the state of the climate

In the run-up to the COP17 climate change talks in Durban, South Africa, leading climate scientists updated journalists in the latest state of climate science and the current predictions, observations and uncertainties. read more

new round of climate emails from UEA

In response to a further release of emails from the University of East Anglia’s servers, originally accessed at the end of 2009, Professor Phil Jones and his Vice-Chancellor came to the SMC to address their contents. read more

energy from biomass: the size of the global resource

Authors of a peer-reviewed report on energy from biomass, from Imperial College London and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), came to the SMC to describe their key findings and address assumptions about population, diet, and land use as well as the speed at which improvements in food and energy crop production can be developed. read more

where to give birth – what does the evidence say?

This briefing announced the results of the Birthplace study, which was carried out at Oxford University and led by researchers from Oxford, UCL, King’s College, City University, NCT and the Royal College of Midwives. It evaluated more thoroughly than ever before the safety, costs and provision of maternity care in England according to where women with ‘low risk’ pregnancies plan to give birth. read more

a low carbon trajectory for the UK

A new report from the Institution of Civil Engineers attempted to address the challenge of carbon emissions from transport in the UK by exploring some innovative new ideas. read more

is the UK prepared for a nuclear energy future?

Speakers from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee announced the results of their inquiry into whether the UK’s research and development (R&D) capabilities are sufficient to meet our nuclear energy needs in the future – particularly, ensuring a safe and secure supply of nuclear energy up to 2050. read more

self-harm in teenagers and young adults

The SMC invited the authors of the first population-based study charting in detail the course of self-harm from adolescence to young adulthood. The paper was published in the Lancet. read more

the state of the poles

Five leading UK scientists briefed journalists on the state of the world’s polar ice and how the landscape is really changing across Greenland, Arctic sea ice and the Antarctic. read more

what is addiction?

The Science Media Centre invited experts involved in a €10 million European project to analyse current evidence on addiction and to strengthen the scientific evidence base, to brief journalists on the latest research. read more

confiscating malaria’s keys

The author’s of a new study led by scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge came to the SMC to discuss the findings of a new study which identified a potential Achilles’ heel of the malaria parasite with the potential to lead to new drugs and vaccines. read more

aspirin and cancer

A new international study lasting over a decade and involving nearly 1000 patients was published in The Lancet, and was the first study to carry out a randomised controlled trial assessing the effect of aspirin on the incidence of cancer. read more

Foresight: migration and climate change

This briefing launched the latest report from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Foresight programme, examining how the profound changes in natural and human environments across the world will influence and interact with patterns of global migration over the next 50 years. read more

diagnosing miscarriage

Four new studies investigating the diagnosis of miscarriage were published in the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology; two of the lead authors briefed journalists on their findings and the implications. read more

exploring Lake Ellsworth

A British engineering team went to Antarctica this October for the first stage of a scientific mission to collect water and sediment samples from a lake buried beneath three kilometres of solid ice, and attempt to uncover clues about the evolution of life on Earth and other planets, and about the Earth’s past climate. read more

human bodies: donation for medicine and research

This briefing, run in collaboration with the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, launched their new report Human bodies: donation for medicine and research. The report considered how far we should go in trying to encourage people to donate their bodily material. read more

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