University of Reading Research Blog

Why coronavirus lockdown rules will not be obeyed by everyone

Why do some people find it harder to observe social distancing measures than others? Professor Patricia Riddell from Psychology discusses how our beliefs and experiences shape our responses in a new post for The Conversation.


COVID-19 tests: how they work and what’s in development

We urgently need more testing if we’re to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Writing for The Conversation, immunologist Dr Al Edwards explains what testing technology we have and what we can expect to see becoming available soon to tackle the pandemic.

Antibody tests like these are one tool in scientists’ arsenals.


COVID-19 Q&A: should I be worried if I take ACE inhibitor drugs for high blood pressure?

With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus have come reports that people taking drugs called ACE inhibitors to treat high blood pressure might be at higher risk of death. In a recent post for The Conversation, Dr Alistair McNeish explains what ACE inhibitors are, and what they do.


Ibuprofen and COVID-19 symptoms – here’s what you need to know

You may have heard that taking ibuprofen can make the symptoms of Covid-19 infection worse – but is there any real evidence for this? Reading Pharmacy Professor Parastou Donyai explains the science in a new post for The Conversation.


Prizes for outstanding early career research

Eating apples for a healthier heart, the links between tropical and European weather and how digital publishing has changed design of the written word are among the research topics that have won prizes for Reading early career researchers.

Athanasios Koutsos

Sarah von Billerbeck

Robert Lee

Matthew Lickiss


Ask me anything about climate change!

From coronavirus to carbon storage, Reading climate scientists invited local school children to ask them anything on 13 March for British Science Week. Here are some of the burning questions they put to Andrew Charlton-Perez, Bill Collins, Laura Wilcox, Nicolas Bellouin and Richard Allen.

Panel members Professor Bill Collins, Dr Laura Wilcox, Professor Nicolas Bellouin, Professor Richard Allen and Professor Andrew Charlton-Perez, who chaired the Q&A. (more…)

Annie Ure: Trowelblazer

Annie Ure was a pioneering British archaeologist and co-founder of our Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology. Ruth Lloyd created a biography of Annie as part of her UROP project last summer, and as one of its winners, she recently presented her work at the House of Commons. Here she tells us about Annie’s life.

Annie Ure (centre, back row) with an excavation team at Rhitsona in Greece, 1921. (more…)

Fighting medicines waste with smart packaging

Parliamentarians will hear today about the problem of medicines waste – and how better pharmaceutical packaging could help save the NHS money – from pharmacy student Bilal Mohammed, who is one of two winners of our undergraduate research scheme. He told us more.


The medieval roots of modern weather forecasts

From astronomy to almanacs, Professor Anne Lawrence-Mathers explores the historical origins of weather forecasting in a new post for The Conversation.

It’s official: according to the UK’s Met Office, February 2020 has been the wettest February in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since it began keeping records – and the second wettest (behind February 1990) for Scotland. It has also been the fifth wettest of any calendar month in a series from 1862.

Delivering the bad news each night, weather forecasters have been looking depressed, while the UK public – already renowned for their obsession with the weather – have been huddled together in whatever shelter they can find, moaning about the terrible winter.

So it seems fitting to note that the world’s first daily weather forecasts were published in a British newspaper. Appearing in the 1860s, these vital scientific summaries of information were the work of Robert FitzRoy (who was also captain of HMS Beagle as it took Charles Darwin on his famous voyage of discovery).


What can the Black Death tell us about the global economic consequences of a pandemic?

If history is anything to go by, there will be both economic winners and losers from the current public health emergency, writes Professor Adrian Bell in a new post for The Conversation.

Peasants revolting in 1381. Miniature by Jean de Wavrin (Public domain image)