GOVERNING NANOMATERIALS AND OTHER EMERGENT TECHNOLOGIES

By ADRIAN SMITH and PATRICK VAN ZWANENBERG, STEPS Centre members A recent report by the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) on nanomaterials – reported extensively in the media – illustrates the challenges of governing innovation in emergent technologies. The RCEP recommend a system of adaptive innovation governance for dealing with the uncertain consequences…

OBAMA, LOOKING FORWARD WITH EXPECTATION

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member A week ago the western world felt like a different place. ‘Change’ and ‘hope’ were still slogans. Now, as the embers of Tuesday’s historic celebrations in Chicago’s Grant Park finally begin to die down, US president-elect Barack Obama is throwing himself into the nitty-gritty of forming a new government….

WORLD FOOD DAY: £26 BILLION PACKAGE NEEDED

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member As today’s World Food Day dawns, new research reveals £26-£48 billion package is needed to alleviate seasonal hunger – a fraction of the proposed $700 billion package to bail out Wall Street. Food issues are likely to get higher profile coverage today than preceeding World Food Days thanks to…

CHINA RURAL REFORMS: WHAT IS A HOUSEHOLD?

ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member reports with our partners professor Ding Shijun and Dr Chen Chuanbo on the challenges of conducting research in China’s changing rural areas In rural transitional China many households include absentees who live and work in urban centres and send money back to their families in the village. These individuals are…

RURAL REFORM IN CHINA: SETTING FARMERS FREE?

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member On the day that the UK has nationalised some of its biggest banking institutions, China has announced bold new proposals to free up the way 700 million peasants can use state-owned land. The plans, announced by the Communist Party yesterday via the Xinhua news agency, could allow farmers to…

MARIE JAHODA LECTURE: PROFESSOR JOHN BEDDINGTON

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The UK government’s chef scientific advisor, Professor John Beddington was here at Sussex University last night to deliver the 12th Marie Jahoda Annual Lecture, hosted by SPRU Science and Technology Policy Research. With the theme Sustainability in a Changing World, Prof. Beddington said by the end of the lecture…

GM FOOD: SAFETY, SECURITY AND SOVEREIGNTY

STEPS member Adrian Ely has written an article on the regulation of genetically modified foods for “Food Ethics”, the magazine of the Food Ethics Council. Drawing on and extending upon work which focussed on the European food safety governance system (carried out with a team also including STEPS members Andy Stirling and Erik Millstone), Adrian…

International AIDS Conference, Mexico, Day 4

Shockingly the 4th day of the International AIDS Conference marked the first ever plenary on children and HIV. That we could get to a point where there are 2 million people under 15 living with HIV and 30 million who have lost one or more parents and still not have had an address to conference…

International AIDS Conference, Mexico, Day 4

The conference has heard a lot about what we have learned in the past in terms of approaches to tackling HIV and AIDS. But a session today made the case that it is important to look to the future of the epidemic to predict what action will be needed. Looking to the Future – The…

International AIDS Conference, Mexico, Day 3

The links between violence against women and vulnerability to HIV infection are well known. But what interventions should we put in place to combat violence and its HIV related outcomes? This was a question addressed at a side session at the International AIDS Conference today. The solutions are far from clear cut. Links between violence…