Category - Changing behaviour

Carolyn Dawson New Optimist – cleaner hands means longer lasting antibiotics

Over the past few weeks we’ve been meeting young scientists new to the New Optimists, and asking them that simple question again: “What makes you optimistic….?” 

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Roger Harmer on the development of a Birmingham Food Charter, at Birmingham Sustainability Forum

At the Birmingham Sustainability Forum Roger Harmer gave a presentation about the development of the Birmingham Food Charter.

The presentation covers a lot of interesting points, including the key considerations and aims which factored into its development. But the priorities are particularly worth noting:

  • teach children where food comes from, how to grow/cook food, and what healthy diet consists of
  • make sure every adult can cook a healthy meal which is quick, low-cost and tasty
  • tackle barriers to healthy eating especially for people on low incomes
  • halt childhood obesity
  • radically reduce food waste
  • encourage participation in individual and community growing projects
  • ensure institutions and businesses serve healthy food to staff and customers
  • encourage entrepreneurs to get involved in the local food industry

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Birmingham on brink of a new era in generating electricity

Birmingham City Council has plans to generate its own electricity. Harking back to the days of Joseph Chamberlain, the idea is supported by deputy council leader Paul Tilsley, who says that the use of solar panels could make this a reality.

There are already more concrete plans to generate power going on next to the Sack of Potatoes pub in Gosta Green. And I mean ‘concrete’ both metaphorically and literally.

Few people appear to have heard of this exciting development. Yet with £16.5M  of EU money, our very own Professor Andreas Hornung is pioneering a revolutionary carbon-negative  process under the auspices of the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI).

He’ll soon be in charge of an industrial-scale demonstrator power plant actually being

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Round-up: Face to Face with the New Optimists

Here’s a quick recap of the interviews we’ve posted so far in our Face to Face series. We’ve got more of those coming soon, and if you click here you can leave your questions which you’d like us to ask the New Optimists.

Jack Cohen talks about reproductive biology:

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What’s coming up for the New Optimists

There are lots of exciting things coming up for the New Optimists in the next few months. As well as more Face to Face interviews with some of the scientists who have contributed to the project, there are some other big things which we’re very excited about.

  • There will be some activity over the coming months to tie in with the first Kindle book, Challenging Cancer. We’re also going to be working on forthcoming Kindle books, which will cover topics such as renewable energies, ageing, and how scientists view the world.
  • The New Optimists Forum is something we’re really looking forward to – a series of unconference-style gatherings where we bring together scientists to talk about viable approaches to deal with challenges which we will face in our near future. The first Forum theme is the prevalent topic of Food & Cities.
  • There’s also a book in the pipeline about stem cell research, covering epigenetics and how our environments reprogramme the human genome.
On top of this, there will be plenty more stuff to come so keep your eyes peeled on the blog as well as on Twitter and Facebook!

Meet the New Optimists – Tim Grant on forensic linguistics

In the next instalment of our round-up from the New Optimists launch event, we speak to Dr Tim Grant, a “natural optimist”, about the role forensic linguistics play in society.


Tim Grant on forensic linguistics

Forensic Linguist Tim Grant‘s research into text messaging analysis was awarded the 2008 Joseph Lister Prize by the British Science Association. He told us how his field works, and why some dodgy theology got him fired up about forensic linguistics.


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