“EVERYTHING IS INTERCONNECTED”: DAVID MILLIBAND AT THE ROYAL SOCIETY

David Milliband spoke at the Royal Society yesterday on Science, Diplomacy and the Modern Age. “…international relations has long been premised on the idea of a ‘balance of power’. The international system tended towards equilibrium and self-correction, as states sought to balance each other’s economic or military strength; an echo of the world of Newtonian…

BRINGING AFRICAN SPACE SCIENCE DOWN TO EARTH?

by Adrian Ely, STEPS Centre The past years have seen several African countries beginning to invest in satellites for defence, communications, and other objectives. Nigeria is one example (see an interview with Turner Isoun, the man behind Nigeria’s space race, after the jump). In some cases, these technologies have been applied in agriculture or environmental…

DISCUSSING “INTERSECTING KNOWLEDGES” IN NAIROBI

by Adrian Ely, STEPS Centre The African Academy of Sciences‘ vision is to be the engine driving scientific and technological development in Africa. It was established by prominent scientists, and the membership is still focused around the ‘hard’ sciences, especially physics and mathematics. But from our recent trip to Nairobi it’s obvious that the contribution…

YOUNG AFRICAN SCIENTISTS IN NAIROBI

By Adrian Ely The first day of the 4th TWAS-ROSSA Young Scientists’ Conference in Africa on “Science and Technology (S&T) Enterprises in Africa” provided a platform for some great examples of applied scientific research being carried out on the continent. Much of this was problem-focussed, interdisciplinary research, rather than “ivory tower” science. However, several speakers…

HOLDING OUT FOR HOPE: REPORT FROM COP15

By Shoumojit Kanjilal, IDS student Arriving into Copenhagen earlier this week by plane felt like a poor way to begin my time at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Unfortunately it was the cheapest way to travel to Copenhagen, and this is another example of why anthropogenic climate change has increased so dramatically and rapidly….

REBOOTING DEVELOPMENT: PROF CALESTOUS JUMA

“Rebooting development: Innovation policy in the age of technological abundance” was the title of the 13th Marie Jahoda Annual Lecture. It was hosted by SPRU on 7 October 2009. Calestous’ deep knowledge is obvious, as well as his passion for the role of technology and innovation in Africa. From the flier: “Developing countries are increasingly…

ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON…

The Water Symposium’s all over now – photos from the symposium are on our flickr – but we’re still digesting some of the debates and discussions. For now, some highlights from Day One, which was mostly taken up by a healthy discussion on climate change: Kirsten Hastrup from Copenhagen University said that water is an…

STEPS SYMPOSIUM: IMPACT OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS

By Sara J Wolcott Hardly surprisingly, the implications of the Financial Crisis of 2008 was a sub-theme of the Symposium. Several participants noted that there seems to be less money than there used to be – funding for the cutting edge projects that advance alternative knowledge systems is harder to come by than it used…

STEPS SYMPOSIUM: MOVING BEYOND THE NORTH-SOUTH DIVISION IN DEVELOPMENT

By Sara J Wolcott Brian Wynne wasn’t the only one who pointed it out, but he was particularly eloquent: he felt that when he analyzed and critiqued Northern institutions, he was, in a way, doing work for international development. He helps open the space and the possibility for researchers, intellectuals and citizens from developing countries…

TWITTER & THE IRANIAN UPRISING

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Like many, I have been following recent events in Iran with interest. The use of social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc) via mobile and the net to organise and reveal ordinary Iranians’ perspectives has been fascinating and ground-breaking. Timothy Garton Ash says in today’s Guardian: “Probably the single most…