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Birmingham gears up for major international science conference

Birmingham is putting together final preparations to welcome one of its largest global conferences of the year – the 37th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) 2013, taking place at the city’s International Convention Centre (ICC) on 21-26 July.

The event brings together more than 3,000 delegates from around the world to discuss the mechanisms of the human body. It is being held in an English city for the first time in more than 60 years, following recent Congresses in Kyoto (Japan), San Diego (USA) and Christchurch (New Zealand). Glasgow was the last UK city to host the event in 1993.  

The UK Physiological Society, which won the bid to host the Congress, will encourage visitors of all ages to get to grips with science with the free public event ‘Lab in a Lorry’. Located in the city’s Centenary Square from 11am-4pm on Monday 22-Wednesday 24 July, scientists will be on hand to teach visitors about how the body works via a range of activities.   

There will also be a free public lecture at the ICC on 22 July by the University of Oxford’s Russell Foster, a world-renowned neuroscientist. Entitled “The Rhythm of Life”, it focuses on the human’s body clock – exploring subjects including jet lag.  

Nick Boross-Toby, Director of Events & Marketing at The Physiological Society, said:   “When the UK won the right to host the 37th IUPS Congress back in 2005, we were unanimous in deciding that Birmingham would be the best destination.  

“The city’s central location, excellent transport links and significant and continued investment into its regeneration meant that it was on our shortlist very early on. The ICC’s facilities and setting beside Birmingham’s canals really blew us away.”  

Birmingham Convention Bureau (BCB) has supported the event by providing welcome branding, digital signage and social itineraries for delegates. It will provide an on-site visitor information desk throughout the Congress.  

Ian Taylor, Commercial Director at Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership that operates BCB, said:   “Hosting an international physiological event of this standing continues the region’s strong relationship with life sciences. The number of businesses in this sector has grown by almost 40% since the UK won the Congress eight years ago.  

“More than 70,000 people are employed in this field in Birmingham, and this event will help to inspire the next generation of scientists through free, hands-on activities during the summer holidays.”  

Catherine Newhall-Caiger, Business Development Director at the ICC Birmingham, said:   “We are delighted that the 2013 IUPS Congress will be held at the ICC. After two decades away from the UK, it’s a great accolade to our fantastic facilities and the ICC team to be its venue of choice.”

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