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About Andy Stirling

Co-director

Andy trained in astrophysics, archaeology and anthropology, later working for Greenpeace International before research in technology policy. He focuses especially on questions over uncertainty, participation, diversity and sustainability in the governance of science and innovation.

All posts by Andy

Wind turbines at sea

Nuclear vs renewables: what’s better for climate mitigation?

This is an adapted version of a Nature.com blog by Prof Benjamin K. Sovacool and Prof Andy Stirling, to accompany the publication of their paper “Differences in carbon emissions reduction between countries pursuing renewable electricity versus nuclear power” in Nature Energy. A University of Sussex press release also summarises the paper’s findings and policy recommendations….

Thriving in an ever-changing world: from technocratic control to emancipatory care?

This is the fourth and last in a series of blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read part 1 / part 2 / part 3 The first three in this quartet of blogposts explored whether…

control dials

Betraying the climate? Has environmentalism succumbed to a modernity it hitherto resisted?

This is the third in a series of four blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 4 In the first two of this quartet of blogposts, I asked…

Does the delusion of ‘climate control’ do more harm than good to climate disruption?

This is the second in a series of four blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read Part 1 / Part 3 / Part 4 In the first post of this series of four, I asked…

Is the naming of ‘climate change’ a dangerous self-defeat?

This is the first in a series of four blog posts on the climate by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, under the heading: ‘Controlling a stable planetary climate – or caring for a complex changing Earth?’ Read part 2 What’s in a name? Often, not a lot. Never a whole story. But sometimes (if looked for),…

control dials

Modernity Without its Clothes: the pandemic crisis shines a light on futilities of control

With so many self-appointed pundits (like me!) currently locked down with their laptops, the present rush of commentary on how to pivot the coronavirus crisis is hardly surprising. Beyond the general news and commentary, scores of articles are exploding across the media, diagnosing what this global catastrophe means, and prescribing how it can be turned…

Triple exposure photograph with road sign reading 'Autres Directions'

Towards a more convivial politics of science

This is the last in a series of three blog posts by Andy Stirling about the theme of the STEPS Centre for 2019: Uncertainty. In previous blogposts in this series, I argued that not all is as it seems in the politics of incertitude. Deep intractabilities are papered over with the apparently precise language of…

How politics closes down uncertainty

This is the second in a series of blog posts on uncertainty by Andy Stirling. The first one is here and the third in the series is here. In a previous blog post, I discussed how uncertainty is a subjective state of knowledge, not an objective condition in the world. The example of nuclear accident…

tree pattern

Politics in the language of uncertainty

This is the first in a series of three blog post about uncertainty by Andy Stirling. The second post is here and the third post is here. Uncertainty is not a condition out there in the world. It is a state of knowledge – deeply embedded and shaped in society. The difference may seem abstract….

Flag of Europe as a round plate with knife and fork

Is the new European ruling on GM techniques ‘anti-science’?

Frontstage rhetorics, backstage forces in current debates around the European Court of Justice ruling on GM crops There has been much commotion in the media over the past week, following the ruling by the European Court of Justice over how to interpret EU laws bearing on the regulation of GM crops. The ruling clarifies an…