• Fears for blue tang fish spike in the wake of Finding Dory

    Cinema’s around the world are now showing Finding Dory, the long awaited sequel to Disney and Pixar’s 2003 Finding Nemo. The film takes up the story of Dory, a much loved character from the first film, who embarks on a quest to be reunited with her family. We follow the animated blue tang as she […]

  • What troubled US police forces can learn from the civil rights era

    Effective law enforcement requires the support of the community. Such support will not be present when a substantial segment of the community feels threatened by the police and regards the police as an occupying force. These words could be read as a comment on the recent shootings in Dallas, Texas. Or on the deaths of […]

  • Elon Musk says we’re probably living in a computer simulation – here’s the science

    In a recent interview at the Code Conference in California, technology entrepreneur Elon Musk suggested we are living inside a computer simulation. On first hearing, this claim seems far-fetched. But could there be some substance to Musk’s thinking? As founder of a number of high-profile companies, such as Tesla and Space X, Musk’s business interests […]

  • Tony Awards 2016: a brief history of the woman behind the biggest event in show business

    This Sunday, the Tony Awards will light up screens around the world, with Britain’s James Corden – going from strength-to-strength as the presenter of The Late Late Show – as host for the night. The combination of Corden’s popularity, and the genre breaking, grammy winning Hamilton – a musical about the life of American founding […]

  • 35 years of Film: In and From Birmingham, Liverpool, and London

    A recent invitation to talk about 35 years of Film: In and From Birmingham, 1980 – 2015, gave me the opportunity to reflect publicly on the direction that my career in film had taken. The talk was at MAC Cinema in Birmingham. I decided to talk not only about the number and variety of films […]

  • Would Hillsborough research be supported today?

    Professor John Diamond (Director of the University’s I4P) adds a note of caution following the outcome of the Hillsborough Inquiry: It is absolutely understandable that people will be celebrating the hard work and commitment of the families who have suffered so much over such a long period of time. And to recognise too, that some […]

  • Zootopia-inspired pet trade shows problem of portraying wild animals as cuddly companions

    Films and TV shows keep depicting wild animals as fun and friendly characters, with human-like personalities. It’s better than representing them as evil monsters, of course, but sometimes films can have a bad influence on which animals become trendy to have as pets. The most recent example concerns the Disney animation Zootropolis (also titled Zootopia […]

  • Why I wish I’d listened more to mum

    Why I wish I’d listened more to mum

    I miss her terribly; she told me that I would. I can’t say that she didn’t warn me. “Your mother should be number one. You’ll regret not taking me out more,” she used to say. Then the emotion and the tears would come. “I’m way down the list; I think that you care more about […]

  • What now for the BBC?

    BBC senior managers probably hoped the Smith report (published Feb 25th) would lead to a day or two of heavy duty media work and then business as usual. Like many of these key moments though, it’s impossible to draw a line. The ongoing story about Tony Blackburn is likely to run for a while. Campaigners […]

  • Emy Onuora discusses Racism and Football with Peter Hooton

    Professor John Diamond (Director of the University’s I4P) describes how powerful conversations can be for exploring serious social and political questions: As part of the University’s Festival of Ideas Emy Onuora talked about his new book and explored the ideas in the book through a dialogue with Peter Hooton. The Q and A facilitated by […]