Andy Stirling on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Moral Maze’: Is Science Morally Neutral?

STEPS co-director Andy Stirling was one of the ‘witnesses’ in an interesting debate on the Moral Maze last night, discussing ethics and democracy in science. (Update, 14 March 2016: Andy has written a post for the Guardian’s ‘Political Science’ blog reflecting on biases around science & technology discussions in the UK.) Alongside its many benefits,…

Giving flesh to the science and innovation we need to see

by Ben Ramalingam, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies Science, technology and innovation have been integral in successful development and poverty-reduction efforts, whether in Europe, Latin America, Asia or Africa. But time and time again, the real lessons of how this contribution actually worked — the genuine pathways of development change — have been lost…

Debating Science and Technology for Development in Africa

By Ian Scoones, Director of the STEPS Centre At an event today we will be debating the STISA-2024 (Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa) initiative by the African Union (AU), the latest attempt to bring science and technology to the centre of the development debate in Africa. The STISA-2024 document opens with a rousing…

Our Common Future day 1: Climate science & climate politics in Paris

STEPS member Adrian Ely is at the Our Common Future conference in Paris, and has sent this blogpost looking back on Day 1. The conference runs until Friday. Read our feature on climate, COP21 and sustainability here. The opening plenary of the ‘Our Common Future under Climate Change’ conference – the biggest international meeting of…

Watch: Mike Hulme on climate science, values and disagreements

At our 2015 STEPS lecture, Mike Hulme spoke on continuing disagreements on climate change, and his thinking on how they could be addressed in ways that take account of diverse cultures, perceptions and goals. You can watch Mike’s lecture and view his slides via the links below. This lecture is part of the 2015 STEPS…

GM report: Some nice recommendations, shame about the spin

The UK Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology has today released its long-awaited report on ‘Advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement: regulation, risk and precaution’. The ESRC STEPS Centre welcomes the moves made by the Committee – as reflected in the report title – to somewhat broaden out the original narrow terms of the…

The Politics of Green Transformations

It’s a crunch year for science, environment and development agreements – COP21, the Sustainable Development Goals – but will 2015 be the transformative moment it is being hyped as? (Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato, Camilla Toulmin and Andrew Simms debate at the book launch. Photo credit: Lance Bellers) Overview | Book | Launch debate | Video | Blogs…

Anne Glover speaks out on scientific advice in Brussels

Prof Anne Glover, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission, has written a revealing article on the Guardian’s ‘Political Science’ blog about her three years in the post. The article reveals her successes, as well as some of the difficulties and suspicions she faced in a new post within the large…

‘A new way of doing science’: Future Earth in Argentina

By Patrick van Zwanenberg and Mariano Fressoli, STEPS America Latina. Future Earth is a major 10-year international research programme that aims to provide the critical knowledge needed to address challenges of global environmental change, and to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. Launched in June 2012, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), it…

Innovation choices in the face of uncertainty

Professor Andy Stirling writes chapter accompanying the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser’s inaugural report Sir Mark Walport recently launched his first ever annual report as UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Innovation: Managing risk not avoiding it. The accompanying evidence and case studies includes a chapter written by Professor Andy Stirling, Co-Director of the ESRC-funded STEPS Centre,…