Best of STEPS 2013: Science and technology for development

From the global politics of scientific advice to solar home systems in Kenya. From the GM crops debate to living with climate uncertainty in India. The STEPS Centre and our partners around the globe have been hard at work throughout 2013 seeking to make science, technology and innovation work for the world’s poorest and most marginalised people. Here are…

Call for abstracts: ‘Innovation for social inclusion’, 4s/ESOCITE meeting (August 2014)

STEPS member Adrian Smith (convenor of our Grassroots Innovation project) is co-organising a session on ‘innovation for social inclusion’ at the ESOCITE/Society for Social Studies of Science (4s) annual meeting next August. The meeting takes place from 20-23 August 2014 in Buenos Aires. Full details of the meeting are on the 4s website, and the…

Apply now for ESRC Studentship Awards

Apply now for ESRC studentship awards to join our Innovation and Sustainability: Management and Policy course, part-based at the STEPS Centre. Open to all UK and EU students, the ESRC studentships at the Sussex ESRC Doctoral Training Centre pathways are designed to dovetail with both the University’s Research Themes and the ESRC’s Strategic Challenges in ways that maximise the…

Debating Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: new book by Ian Scoones

Zimbabwe’s land reform has been intensely controversial. Yet debate has been plagued by bias and misinformation. A new book by Ian Scoones, Debating Zimbabwe’s Land Reform, aims to offer a more considered discussion, rooted in field-based, empirical research carried out over 13 years since the 2000 land reform. The 60 chapters of this book originally…

Video: Melissa Leach on ‘science-governance challenges in the Anthropocene’

Here’s a video of Melissa Leach highlighting the importance of social justice and governance in thinking about planetary boundaries, as part of a seminar on challenges for the Anthropocene hosted by the Stockholm Resilience Centre in November 2013.

Prof Melissa Leach appointed director of IDS

Professor Melissa Leach, ESRC STEPS Centre director, has been appointed as the new director of the UK’s Institute of Development Studies. Prof. Leach will continue in her current roles, as director of the ESRC Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre and the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, until she begins her new role…

Why we should embrace different stories in sustainability

How can critical views of ‘stories’ help in seeking pathways to sustainability? I’ve recently got back from the Communicate conference where I talked about stories using examples from the STEPS Centre’s projects (see previous post). The conference strapline was “Stories for Change”, which taps into a growing awareness of the competing stories we tell ourselves…

COP19: A push for pro-poor low carbon development

Julia Day, STEPS Centre Communications Manager All too often discussions about low carbon technologies range around the interests of high and middle income countries, but fail to factor in the needs of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). But there are compelling reasons why a broader definition of technology can help low carbon, pro-poor pathways to sustainability…

Grassroots innovations: special issue of ‘Global Environmental Change’

The latest issue of the research journal Global Environmental Change is dedicated to the topic of grassroots innovation for sustainability. The special issue contains six original research articles which focus on the US and Europe, guest edited by Adrian Smith and Gill Seyfang. These articles were selected from papers presented at a research workshop held…

When global climate change politics meets African agriculture

by Joanes Atela, Political Ecologies of Carbon in Africa project As nations debate climate change this week at the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19), addressing the urgent questions linking agriculture and climate change is not only politically, but morally the right thing to do. Agriculture tops the list of climate-affected sectors, with complex implications…