April 16, 2014, by Emma Thorne

University of Nottingham experts in the media spotlight

This week has seen some big wins in the media for experts from The University of Nottingham.

When news broke yesterday that Imperial Tobacco is to close factories in Nottingham and France, with the loss of almost 900 jobs, the Communications team was able to field supply chain expert Dr Alexander Trautrims to local and national media seeking expert commentary on the reasons behind the company’s planned restructuring.

Dr Trautrims, from Nottingham University Business School, told Rebecca Pike, Business presenter on BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo Show, that the move by was largely a reflection of the changes in the global market, with Imperial Tobacco seeking to re-focus their operations on the markets in the Far East and the Middle East where demand for tobacco products is still strong.

“Smoking is pretty much out of fashion now,” he said, “Smoker rates have halved and the tobacco market has been shrinking very significantly and also those people who are still smoking tend to smoke cheaper cigarettes or they roll their own.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b040lgn5 1hr 30mins in approx, available for another 6 days).

People listening to Radio Nottingham’s Breakfast Show at around 8am this morning will have heard Dr Trautrims discussing the subject further with presenter Andy Whittaker and he is also quoted in today’s Nottingham Post story. “Moving manufacturing to Eastern Europe means it is going to be easy enough to put the product on to lorries and send them to the UK. So the decision is logistically sound,” he says.

University historian Professor John Beckett was also called upon to comment on Imperial Tobacco’s long association with the City of Nottingham, where more than 500 jobs will be lose as a result of the company’s decision.

He told BBC East Midlands Today: “In the 1960s, the University actually wrote to the chairman of John Players saying would they like to contribute to the building of the Queen’s Medical Centre…it’s an indication that in those days there was no worry about the ethics of cigarette smoking and it was all part of the way the University raised money for it.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b040r8fg/East_Midlands_Today_15_04_2014/ Around 5 mins in – available until approx 6.30pm on Wednesday April 16)

Campaigning for treatment options for rare and terminal cancers

BBC East Midlands Today’s evening bulletin also focused on cancer patient Alex Lewis-Mayhew, whose extremely rare form of brain tumour which is rare in adults but common in children has led to him becoming one of the first adults in the country to be treated on a children’s ward.

Alex’s consultant Professor David Walker, of the University’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, is backing Lord Maurice Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill aimed at giving doctors more freedom to try new ways to treat rare and terminal cancers.

He said: “The condition that Alex has is so rare that the chances of a trial ever being run in adults is almost zero and so that means the treatment according to conventional terms would never become available to adults. He’s in what I would call the innovation trap.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b040r8fg/East_Midlands_Today_15_04_2014/ around 15 minutes in)

Professor Walker also appeared on BBC Radio Nottingham’s Drivetime Show with Alan Clifford last night to discuss his support for the bill and how it could transform treatment options for patients like Alex (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01w81k1 around 1hr 40 mins in, available for 6 days)

Ukraine crisis

And Ukraine expert Adam Swain was back on BBC Breakfast on Monday morning to help bring viewers up to date on the crisis there.

Storage wars

Louise Crewe, Professor of Human Geography featured in Monday night’s episode of the new BBC Two documentary series ‘Business Boomers’ that looks at businesses which have bucked the recessionary trend and flourished.

In the second programme of the series ‘The Real Storage Wars’ Louise helped them delve into the secret world of self storage, answering key questions about contemporary purchase and storage.


Posted in Health & medicineStaff