West Midlands Branch: Annual Review 2011

In 2011, we held several Psychologists in the Pub events across the West Midlands covering a wide range of topics. The first talk of 2011 was in Worcester, where Andy Johnson (Coventry University) discussed his research on the effects of Chewing Gum on Mood and Stress. This was followed by further events featuring Gillian Smith (Nottingham Trent University) in Coventry speaking about the psychology of alcohol and illicit drug use and Mark Burgess (Oxford Brookes University) in Birmingham discussing the psychology of the professional rock tribute band.

At our AGM Philip Loring (BPS Curator of Psychology, Science Museum) gave a talk on the history of Psychology and his current work at the Science Museum. We ended the year with talks from David Moore (University of Bath) in Cheltenham on the psychology of pain and Rob Bailey in Coventry who discussed the psychology behind his show the “psychic” psychologist. All these events were well received by attendees, as they provided a place to socialise with other psychologists and listen to a wide range of research that is being undertaken in the region. 

In 2012 we have four more Psychologists in the Pub events organised at the moment but we hope to hold more. We are encouraging members to become more involved by suggesting locations, venues and speakers, to make this easier we now have a suggestion form on the branch webpage.

We are continuing to look into ways of supporting members, and welcome suggestions. In addition to the Branch website, we also use Facebook and e-mails to keep members up to date, in 2012 we will also be looking into a twitter account similar to other Divisions, Sections and Branches. In January 2012, we co-sponsored (with PsyPag) a postgraduate workshop after a member came to us with a proposal. Following the success of this will we would like to do this again. As most of you know, the Branch committee is run by volunteers, so I would like to thank all the committee members for their hard work this year.

Emma McDonald, Chair