August 12, 2013, by Zoë Goodwin

News from the week in brief

Very brief

This week the University has embarked on the next phase of its ambitious development programme which will see £50m worth of improvements to its campuses. Nottingham researchers have been studying public opinion of using shale gas as a form of energy and have found that despite warnings, the UK public are warming to the idea of exploiting shale gas as an energy source. Nottingham’s Ningbo Campus is helping to boost China’s marine economy, by signing a £25m agreement to create an International Academy for Marine Economy and Technology (IAMET). Researchers from the School of Geography and the Department of History have been commissioned by English Heritage as part of a nationwide investigation into the slavery connections of English country houses. A team of researchers has been commissioned to transform mental health care and are appealing for service users to take part in this ground-breaking project. And last of all this week, a team of experts have argued that political will is needed if China is to improve its domestic innovation system to produce breakthroughs worthy of a Nobel Prize.

Want to find out more? Read on. If you’re curious for even more, click the links for the full stories.


Centre for Sustainable ChemistryNottingham’s £50m development programme will see the construction of four new building projects with completion expected by 2015. University Park will receive a £19m replacement library for the George Green Science and Engineering Library. A new Amenities Building is being constructed on Sutton Bonington and The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry is being constructed on Jubilee campus. Also the University Sports playing fields at Grove Farm will benefit from a £5m investment in two new pavilions, providing replacement changing room facilities for use in student sporting activities.

To learn more about these new building, click here.

Shale Gas document

A research team, led by Professor Sarah O’Hara, School of Geography and Professor Mathew Humphrey, School of Politics and International Relations have carried out regular surveys over a 16 month period to look at people’s perceptions of Shale gas. Professor O’Hara said: “The trends toward increasing approval of shale have been remarkably consistent”. This is despite warnings about earthquakes, water contamination, and increasing carbon emissions. However, this doesn’t mean shale gas is a wildly popular alternative to other forms of energy but opinion appears to be shifting.

To read their results in more detail, click here.

L-R - Vice Mayor of Ningbo Municipal Government Mr CHEN Zhongchao and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham Professor Hai-Sui Yu 2The University of Nottingham, through its campus in Ningbo, is helping to boost China’s marine economy, one of China’s key strategic development areas. They have signed a £25m cooperative agreement with the Ningbo Municipal Government, and Wanli Education Group to create an International Academy for Marine Economy and Technology.  The Academy will establish a Research Innovation Centre and a Knowledge Transfer Hub to focus on a ground-breaking approach to delivering applied marine economy research, nurturing high-end talent, and providing innovative knowledge exchange programmes in partnership with global, national and local industries.

To hear what Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Hai-Sui Yu, who signed the agreement, said about the Academy, click here.


Researchers from the School of Geography and the Department of History have been commissioned by English Heritage as part of a nationwide investigation of the slavery connections of English country houses. This work has been published this week in a new book, ‘Slavery and the British Country House’ as well as appearing in exhibitions and guidebooks in English Heritage properties across the country. The research has revealed untold stories about the slave trade’s links to stately homes in the East Midlands and Yorkshire.

To read about some of their finding, click here.

A team from Nottingham’s Mental-Health-Cropped-445x124School of Health Sciences is working with experts from Manchester University and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to transform mental health care. They are appealing for service users in the Nottinghamshire area to contribute their own personal understanding and experiences of ‘care planning’, what user/carer ‘involvement’ actually means to them, and what impact they feel care planning has. This information will then be used to develop a tool to accurately measure user/carer involvement, which is currently lacking in assessing care planning.

To read more about this ground-breaking study, click here.

Beijinghmpr445x124An expert team from Nottingham have published an article in the prestigious academic journal Science this August. Despite more money, better trained talent and sophisticated equipment, China’s domestic innovation system is still underperforming and political will is needed if the country is to produce breakthroughs worthy of a Nobel Prize. Dr Cong Cao, from the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, said: “Research and business sectors have been disconnected for decades, with few research results turned into innovative technology and products…The leadership is fully aware of the problems and knows how to tackle them if it desires. But it is partially responsible for many of the problems and reform may not be in its best interest.”

To read their solution to this problem, click here.

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