SCIENCE & INTOLERANCE

John Beddington, the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, said earlier this month that scientists should be “grossly intolerant” towards “pseudoscience” and suggested that the media gives too much space to non-scientific commenters on science. But how intolerant can science afford to be? Andy Stirling, co-director of STEPS, has joined the debate in a piece for…

REVOLUTIONS ON THE NILE

By Alan Nicol, IDS and Ana Cascão, Stockholm International Water Institute Today is official Nile Day in the basin and celebrations will be taking place in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the Nile riparian zones. For the assembled dignitaries, however, these are nervous times. This has already been a momentous year for the…

ANDY STIRLING ON SCIENCE & SCEPTICISM

After the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, John Beddington, called for scientists to be “grossly intolerant” of pseudo-science The point is that the basic aspirational principles of science offer the best means to challenge the ubiquitously human distorting pressures of self-serving privilege, hubris, prejudice and power. Among these principles are exactly the scepticism and tolerance…

EGYPT AND SUDAN: POLITICS AND WATER IN A NEW NILE STATE

Our STEPS Water Seminar on 22 February is with Ana Cascão from Stockholm International Water Institute, who’s recently returned from working in Egypt and Sudan. Ana is a political scientist with a particular interest in the politics of water in the Middle East and North-East Africa. Her main research topic is the hydropolitics in the…

WHAT DOES “ONE HEALTH” MEAN?

STEPS Centre researcher Paul Forster is blogging from the International One Health Congress in Melbourne. This is his second and final post from the Congress. Three full days on from its start on Monday (adding up to 38 hours of hard conferencing plus a further 38 hours of parallel sessions), the 1st International One Health…

ONE HEALTH, ONE WORLD?

Photo: SARS Mural, from Steel Monkey’s Flickr photostream (creative commons)STEPS Centre researcher Paul Forster is blogging from the International One Health Congress in Melbourne. This is the first of his posts from the Congress. “Are you from the human side, or the animal side?” The question came from a doctor – an epidemiologist – from…

SOLAR STOVES: MAKING THINGS PEOPLE ACTUALLY USE

Photo: Solar technology in the CIFRES carpark, by Adrian Ely By Adrian Ely, Manifesto project convenor In the car park of the International Centre for Training and Research in Solar Energy (CIFRES) in Dakar, lie the remains of successive attempts to introduce solar technology into Senegal. Each day the researchers drink tea prepared in a…

DILEMMAS IN THE SEARCH FOR APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES

By Adrian Smith, STEPS Centre member This post is also available in Spanish at the Tecnologias Sociales blog. Observing national innovation policies around the world, one is struck by some recurring technological themes. Again and again, governments (and partners in business) seek innovation systems capable of exploiting information and communication technologies, bio-technologies, and nano-technologies. Diverse…

SCIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: GATHERING MOMENTUM?

By Adrian Ely, Manifesto project convenor The Science and Democracy World Forum is part of a growing movement responding to the challenges of sustainability and development. At this year’s event in Dakar, there are about 300 participants from 90 organisations across the world, with strong representation from the global South and a large number of…

FEEDING THE FUTURE? THE FORESIGHT REPORT ON FOOD AND FARMING

By John Thompson and Erik Millstone, STEPS Centre Food and Agriculture Co-Convenors A new report from the UK Government-commissioned study into Global Food and Farming Futures has called for urgent action to improve food security in the UK and around the world and to avert global hunger. The Foresight report on The Future of Food…