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About Ian Scoones

Director

Ian is an agricultural ecologist whose research links natural and social sciences, focusing on relationships between science and technology, local knowledge and livelihoods and the politics of agricultural, environment and development policy processes.

All posts by Ian

GM Crops: Continuing controversy

By Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre Director In 2002, the international press was full of headlines such as ‘Starving Zimbabwe Shuns GM Maize’. This was repeated again in 2010. The context was the refusal to import whole-grain GM maize from South Africa, as regulatory approval had not been granted, and there were fears that the food…

Missing politics and food sovereignty

Over the last two decades La Via Campesina has grown as a movement campaigning for a change in the global agri-food system. Some claim that it is the world’s largest social movement. Its main rallying cry has been a demand for ‘food sovereignty’, a term, as Marc Edelman notes, that has a longer genealogy but…

World 3.0: Reimagining development for a turbulent planet

Last summer, Jon Moris gave a fantastic STEPS seminar entitled Reimagining Development 3.0 for a Changing Planet. Now an IDS and STEPS Working Paper is available that offers his argument in depth. It is a big-picture view of change from someone with an extraordinary overview of a huge range of issues and literatures. The paper…

Sustainable business in India: challenges for Rio+20

By Ian Scoones India has seen unprecedented economic growth in recent years; yet with this comes a growing demand for resources and increased pressure on the environment. But how can we combine business success and broad-based economic growth with environmental sustainability? This is a major challenge for fast-growing emerging economies such as India. As the…

The ‘Geeks’ Fight Back: Challenges for Science and Democracy

A mood of scientific self-righteousness has broken out in the UK. The ‘geeks’ – professional scientists committed to evidence-based policy – are on the march. What has brought this on? Two things seem to have combined. First a protest and second a manifesto. Both have important implications for the debate about the relationship between science,…

Getting hotter: Regulating biotechnology in India

by Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre co-director Biotechnology offers many potentials but also dangers. Regulation is clearly essential. But how, over what and with what measures is less clear. The debate about how to regulate emerging technologies associated with biotechnology is a hot one the world over. In India, it’s about to become much hotter. Photo:…

Biotech business in Bangalore: a decade of hype and hope?

By Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre co-director A decade ago, biotechnology was being hyped as the next big thing. Building on the successes of the IT sector, BT (biotech) was, it was argued, going to provide a platform for growth, innovation, job creation and more. So what happened next? Photo: Biochemical RGB by Sergei Golyshev on…