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…

Sharing knowledge instead of food: TAPESTRY at the Versova Koli Seafood Festival

The TAPESTRY project is working in three different sites across India, creating opportunities for interactions with communities in marginalised environments to co-produce transformative change in sustainable development. In this blog post, Lalatendu Keshari Das shares news from the project’s Mumbai team, which is conducting action research that examines the ways in which fishing communities adapt…

1970s illustration of two heads facing each other with cut out section showing cogs

Post-normal pandemics: Why COVID-19 requires a new approach to science

Guest post by David Waltner-Toews1, Annibale Biggeri2, Bruna De Marchi3, Silvio Funtowicz3, Mario Giampietro4,5, Martin O’Connor6,7, Jerome R. Ravetz8, Andrea Saltelli3,9 and Jeroen P. van der Sluijs3,10 READ THIS ARTICLE IN SPANISH: See alternative translations published by Democracia Sur and our partners Bioleft. In addressing pandemics, science has never seemed more needed and useful, while…

UK press conference

Science, uncertainty and the COVID-19 response

One of the abiding images of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the UK has been the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, looking nervous and uncomfortable, flanked by his scientific advisors at the regular press conferences. With three white men in suits in a wood-panelled room, the aim presumably was to project a sense of control and…

Claiming space: infrastructure, uncertainty and fisherfolks’ livelihoods in Mumbai

Blog post by Synne Movik and Hans Nicolai Adam (from the TAPESTRY project team) The coastal mega-city of Mumbai is a vibrant bustling hub, home to some 20 million people and a magnet for migrants who flock to the city seeking new opportunities and a better life. The city is a complex conglomerate of contrasts;…

Should we treat the climate crisis like coronavirus?

Why don’t we respond to climate change with the same urgency as coronavirus? The Guardian writer Owen Jones asked this in a new column, making the case that the impacts of climate change are equally present in the world, but with a far higher death toll if you include air pollution, extreme weather and so…

A big-picture view on the climate negotiations: how can transformation(s) happen in practice?

by Hans Nicolai Adam and Synne Movik As the world stares at alarming evidence of climate change impacts, the search for ‘big bang’ solutions remains challenging. The situation requires nothing short of an unprecedented transformation to a low-carbon society, on the heels of decades of polluting growth. The disappointing outcomes of the COP 25 in…

How to respond to Nature in crisis: look beyond the big stories

The STEPS Centre’s theme for 2020 is Natures. In this introductory blog post by Amber Huff and Nathan Oxley, we look at four lines of enquiry that can help us get behind big stories of crisis. Modern life seems to be increasingly defined through anxiety about humanity’s perverse relationship with nature. Everywhere we look, we…

The STEPS Centre’s theme for 2020 is Natures. In this introductory blog post by Amber Huff and Nathan Oxley, we look at four lines of enquiry that can help us get behind big stories of crisis. Modern life seems to be increasingly defined through anxiety about humanity’s perverse relationship with nature. Everywhere we look, we…

The Philippines has rated ‘Golden Rice’ safe, but farmers might not plant it

by Glenn Davis Stone and Dominic Glover “Golden Rice” is probably the world’s most hotly debated genetically modified organism (GMO). It was intended to be a beta carotene-enriched crop to reduce Vitamin A deficiency, a health problem in very poor areas. But it has never been offered to farmers for planting. Why not? Because Golden…

Human capabilities for innovation in UK makerspaces

by Cian O’Donovan and Adrian Smith Makerspaces can be a source of human capabilities that benefit people and society. But these capabilities will only lead to flourishing communities if they are accompanied by structural changes to our economies, cities and environment. Using lasers to precision-cut plywood is not easy. When Toni Buckby began running classes…