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What can the Olympic Games do for you?

Katherine Aitchison16 July 2012

This summer, the Olympic Games are coming to London (in case you hadn’t heard) and with them a huge focus on sport and exercise throughout the country. But how does this investment in sport affect you average non-sporty person?

That was the question posed to a panel of experts at the UCL Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health Grand Round on 10July entitled Optimising Performance: success for our athletes, health for our nation.

Held as part of UCL’s “Exercise your Brain” programme to tie in with the Olympic Games, the panel included Sir Clive Woodward (Director of Elite Performance, British Olympic Association), Dr Mike Loosemore (Team doctor, Great Britain Olympic boxing) and UCL’s Professor Hugh Montgomery and Professor Mike Grocott.

All of the panellists were there to convince us that investing in sport research can have far-reaching benefits throughout the health industry.

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Dispatch from Durban: COP17

news editor7 December 2011

Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Institute for Human Health & Performance) reports from COP17 in Durban, South Africa (28 November–9 December).

So here I am in Durban, halfway through the UN climate negotiations known as COP17. As a scientist, the world of politics is always alien. Indeed, politicians seem to show scant regard for logic when determining a course of action.

The world is warming – confirmed most recently by a ‘sceptic-funded’ piece of research from Berkeley. Such data support those of NASA and the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administation. The measured warming is also slightly WORSE than that reported by UEA – the subject of the (debunked) ‘climategate’ issue.

As UCL’s own Professor Chris Rapley points out, the entire body of credible scientists in the world subscribe this warming to the release of greenhouse gases as a result of human activity. And, as he also points out, no sceptic can come up with an alternative explanation (it isn’t sunspots, or changes in the earth’s orbit/axis, which drive such change over millenia). Further, that this warming is driving changes in extreme weather events is now confirmed by a UN report this November. And things will get worse.

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