The ‘5 Ts’ of policy engagement: PolicyBristol’s approach to supporting academics

Supporting academics across the University of Bristol to achieve policy impact from their research is a diverse and fascinating job. In the process of doing this, our team at PolicyBristol is constantly learning about new topics; from the value of NHS managers to refugee rightsenhancing peace processes to the role of universities. Continue reading

Women face enough barriers to breastfeeding — incorrect medication advice should not be one of them

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New research has found that mothers may be forgoing medication they need in order to breastfeed their babies.
LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Amy Brown, Swansea University; Gretel Finch, University of Bristol, and Heather Trickey, Cardiff University

The challenges many new mothers overcome to breastfeed their babies are well documented. Despite a public health system in the UK that promotes breastfeeding, many do not have access to the support that enables them to do it. Every day, services are being cut, public attitudes are negative, and this is exacerbated by a culture that does not really understand how breastfeeding works and how best to support it. Continue reading

Italy joins China’s Belt and Road Initiative – here’s how it exposes cracks in Europe and the G7

China and Italy’s presidents shake hands. EPA-EFE/Alessandro Tarantino / Pool

Winnie King, University of Bristol

Italy is projected to be the first G7 nation to officially endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And that’s raising the ire of both the European Union and the United States. Continue reading

Counter-terrorism Prevent strategy receives a boost from the courts – and statistical evidence

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Shutterstock

Steven Greer, University of Bristol

Of the four “Ps” which frame the UK’s counter terrorism strategy – Pursue, Prepare, Protect and Prevent – the latter is by far the most controversial. It is the Prevent scheme which aims to stop people from becoming terrorists, or from supporting those who already are. Continue reading

What we found out about bribery patterns in Uganda’s health care system

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Experts fear that Uganda’s efforts to eliminate graft in its health care system are not sustainable.
Suuba Trust/Flickr

Heather Marquette, University of Birmingham; Caryn Peiffer, University of Bristol, and Rosita Armytage, Durham University

In September 2017 Uganda’s former Minister of Health, Dr Sarah Opendi, disguised herself in a hijab and travelled by boda boda (motorbike taxi) to Naguru Hospital in Kampala. The minister then asked for routine laboratory tests. They should have been given to her free of charge but instead the health workers asked for a bribe. Continue reading

Shamima Begum: legality of revoking British citizenship of Islamic State teenager hangs on her heritage

Devyani Prabhat, University of Bristol

Sajiv Javid’s decision to revoke the citizenship of Shamima Begum, the 19-year-old from Bethnal Green who left to join Islamic State in 2015, has been met with mixed reaction. While some supported the home secretary’s decision, others have expressed concern about its implications. Continue reading

How renting could affect your health

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Nednapa/Shutterstock.com

Amy Clair, University of Essex and Amanda Hughes, University of Bristol

Our homes play a number of vital roles in our lives. They are where we rest, spend time with friends and family, and can be most ourselves. Given this central role it is not surprising that researchers have found a number of important relationships between the homes we live in and our health. Continue reading

The 1960s GOP show how tactical extremism can salvage a party’s electoral fortunes



Credit: Reagan Presidential Library [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The rise of Trump and Brexit has reminded that we are never too far away from the politics of extremes. But these sorts of trends are nothing new, argue Jon X. Eguia (left) and Francesco Giovannoni (right). Looking back to the Republican Party of the 1960s, they write that a political party that faces poor public opinion can improve its fortunes by dramatically reinventing itself and proposing a radical alternative to voters.
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What the NHS needs is more managers

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Ian Kirkpatrick, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

NHS managers could do with a facelift. Cure the NHS with far fewer managers and It is nurses working at the coalface of the NHS that we need, not more bosses are commonplace headlines. And cynicism about NHS managers is not limited to the media. Two years ago, the then minister for health, Jeremy Hunt, wondered whether the NHS had made a mistake in the 1980s “by deliberately creating a manager class who were not clinicians”. Both Labour and Conservative governments have tried (unsuccessfully) to reduce their number. Continue reading

Why we’re looking for chemicals in the seabed to help predict climate change

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Alex Fox, Author provided

Katharine Hendry, University of Bristol and Allyson Tessin, University of Leeds

Hidden in even the clearest waters of the ocean are clues to what’s happening to the seas and the climate on a global scale. Trace amounts of various chemical elements are found throughout the seas and can reveal what’s going on with the biological reactions and physical processes that take place in them. Continue reading