Welcome Week had a different look for 2020 as the University and the Guild of Students opened Lakeside, a new COVID-19-safe outdoor venue. Social distancing restrictions were in place and students could enjoy the cinema, a drink, street food and live music in a carnival by the Vale lake.
Sharing science with everyone
Professor Alice Roberts has been honoured with the inaugural Royal Society David Attenborough Award for her outstanding contributions to public engagement.
'I passionately believe that science – all this wonderful knowledge that humans have come together to create – should be open to everyone,' Alice says. 'This knowledge helps us make better decisions – personally, and as a society – but science can also be beautiful, inspirational and a source of wonder and real joy.
'I love sharing these stories and I am delighted to be honoured by the Royal Society with this award, named for one of our greatest science storytellers.'
Take to the skies
Get a new perspective on the University thanks to an aerial tour. The University's film crew, Creative Media, returned to campus during the summer to send a drone through the Edgbaston campus. The flyby includes Aston Webb, Birmingham Medical School and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
Can drinking cocoa make you smarter?
Increased consumption of flavanols – a group of molecules which occur naturally in fruit and vegetables – can increase your mental agility, according to new Birmingham research.
A team at the University has found that people given a cocoa drink containing high levels of flavanols were able to complete certain cognitive tasks more efficiently than when drinking a non-flavanol enriched-drink.
Flavanols, a sub-group of plant flavonoids, are present in cocoa, grapes, apples, tea, berries and other foods. They are known to have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health, but their effects on brain health are not well understood.
A nasal spray that can provide effective protection against the COVID-19 virus has been developed by Birmingham researchers, using materials already cleared for use in humans.
A team in the University’s Healthcare Technologies Institute formulated the spray using compounds already widely approved by regulatory bodies in the UK, Europe and the USA. The materials are already widely used in medical devices, medicines and even food products.
This means that the normal complex procedures to take a new product to market are greatly simplified, so the spray could be commercially available very quickly.
Read more on the University website.
Here’s the latest look at the new campus for the University of Birmingham Dubai. Opening in 2021, the campus will be home to 2,900 students, acting as a community for Birmingham alumni in the region and a hub for community outreach and engagement activities. The University is now one of the top places in Dubai to study law.
Chancellor becomes British industry leader
University Chancellor Lord Bilimoria has been elected as the President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The founder of Cobra Beer and an Independent Crossbench Peer in the UK House of Lords, Lord Bilimoria is the first President in the organisation's history from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background.
He says: 'I am honoured to be President of the CBI during this hugely important time for UK business. As the four nations of our country embark upon an ambitious economic recovery plan, I will do all I can to help ensure we build back better through inclusive and sustainable growth.'