The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Speaker Series


1:30-3pm         22nd February         Couts Lecture Theatre         Wills Mem Building

Dr Dann Mitchell (Geography)

Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century according to many leading international health organizations. In this talk Dann will give an overview of climate change and the known links to human health. He will talk first about global climate change over the last 150 years, and how we detect climate patterns that are not consistent with natural variations in the atmosphere, and then focus on projected climate change that are consistent with the Paris Agreement. A particular focus will be on extreme weather, such as heat waves and cold snaps, and how they link to high societal impacts. In particular Dann will give an overview of the key impacts on health that are currently being felt, and how these might change in the future; including, but not limited to, temperature related mortality, air pollution and infectious diseases. He will show how tracing climate change from greenhouse gases, to earth-system variations, to impacts on people’s lives is a multidisciplinary problem, involving researchers from a spectrum of research areas, many of which are studied here at Bristol.

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1:30-3pm         1st March         Arts Complex        Lecture Room 1

Dr Katerina Michaelides (Geography)

Contemporary wars are concentrated disproportionately in dryland regions yet little is known about their impacts and long-term socio-environmental consequences. The nexus between war, dryland environments and humans poses complex challenges for building resilience in affected societies. Dryland ecosystems are one of the harshest terrestrial biomes on Earth and although they exhibit a degree of resilience through adaptation to inter-annual climatic variations, they are also fragile and vulnerable to irreversible damage once perturbed. Like the biome itself, people living in drylands have developed adaptive strategies for building resilience to periods of resource scarcity – nomadic, pastoral and agricultural societies have survived and even flourished within dryland environments for thousands of years. However, war can directly and indirectly push societies and the environment beyond the natural limits of their resilience. In this talk I will explore how drylands degrade and how we can begin to decipher the impact of conflict on desertification and the implications for the sustainable development goal (SDG) Life on Land.  

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1.30-3pm         8th March         Couts Lecture Theatre        Wills Mem Building

Dr Judi Kidger (Social and Community Medicine)

Globally, the economic burden of mental disorders is more than 4% of GDP. In the UK, each year, one in four people are affected by mental illness, 70 million work days are lost due to poor mental health, and £105 billion is lost to the economy. Promoting good mental health and preventing mental illness are key targets for a sustainable future, and have rightly been included in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In this talk, Judi will briefly consider what sustainability means in relation to mental health. She will go on to identify the current challenges faced by the UK with regard to mental health and will end the talk by outlining some of her own research into improving mental health from a public health perspective, including our current school-based randomised controlled study the WISE project.  

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6.30-8         8th March         Couts Lecture Theatre         Wills Mem Building

Dr Erika Hanna (History)   Ed Atkins (Law)   Prof Colin Taylor (Engineering)   Dr Theo Tryfonas (Engineering)

This panel event what our future cities will look like based on sanitation requirements, access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern infrastructure and the pressures cities face given predictions that 6 out of 10 people will be urban dwellers by 2030. Come and join the discussion on how we make our cities fit for the future.  

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1.30-3pm         15th March         Old Council Chamber         Wills Mem Building

Prof David Gordon (Social Justice)

Join David to discuss Sustainable Development Goal 1 - No Poverty. The goal aims to end poverty in all its manifestations by 2030 and ensure social protection for the poor and vulnerable, increase access to basic services and support people harmed by climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters. David will focus on his research into issues of poverty and social justice.  

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Past Events

1.30-3pm         1st February         Arts Complex          Lecture Room 1


Oceans, along with coastal and marine resources are particularly crucial for people living in coastal communities, who represented 37 per cent of the global population in 2010. Oceans provide livelihoods and tourism benefits, as well as subsistence and income. They also help regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and protecting coastal areas from flooding and erosion. In fact, coastal and marine resources contribute an estimated $28 trillion to the global economy each year through ecosystem services. However, those resources are extremely vulnerable to environmental degradation, overfishing, climate change and pollution. Come along, hear about the issues and join the conversation.

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6.30-8.30          10th February         Couts Lecture Theatre          Wills Mem

       Dr Angeline Barrett (Graduate School of Education)         Prof Josie McLellan (History)         Dr Devi Prabhat (Law)

Three of the Sustainable Development Goals focus on liberation: gender equality, reduced inequality and peace and strong institutions. This panel event will expliore issues of inequality and constitutional rights.  

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1:30-3pm         15th February         Arts Complex         Lecture Room 1

Prof. Stuart Cooper (Accounting)

This lecture introduces current corporate practices related to environmental accountability. It outlines the growth in corporate “sustainability reporting” and provides evidence of how corporations have developed their practices in communicating the very significant environmental impacts of their activities. Specific accountability issues relating to absence, comparability, accuracy, uncertainty and effectiveness of the information reported will be introduced and discussed in light of current practice. The lecture will conclude by questioning and discussing the extent to which the current voluntary regime of corporate environmental reporting is sufficient to enable stakeholders to hold corporations to account for their environmental impacts. 

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