Mike Hulme to chair ESRC STEPS Centre International Advisory Committee

The ESRC STEPS Centre is Mike-Hulme-cropped-condenseddelighted to announce Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate and Culture at King’s College London, is taking over as chair of the Centre’s International Advisory Committee.

Professor Hulme takes over the role of chair from Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Environment, Water and Natural Resources of Kenya. Prof. Wakhungu was previously Executive Director/Professor at the African Centre for Technology Studies in Kenya and said she will take forward the STEPS Centre’s work in her new Ministerial role.

The Advisory Committee of globally renowned academics, policymakers, business and media professionals is responsible for helping steer the Centre to ensure that it meets its ambitious research, policy influence and training goals and responds to the concerns of its various stakeholders and settings.

Prof. Hulme said: “The STEPS Centre is committed to working for environmental integrity and to promoting social justice, recognising that knowledge is inescapably bound up with values.  Inspired by such a vision, over recent years STEPS has pioneered new ways of thinking about development pathways which are grounded with local people and yet challenge the ‘institutions of influence’ which hold so much power in today’s world.

“STEPS is an exemplar of allowing rigorous academic analysis to be inspired and shaped by the daily lived experiences of many of the world’s poor.  Having been involved with STEPS since 2006, I am very pleased now to be asked to chair the STEPS Advisory Board over these next two years as its work comes to fruition and as its vision inspires new initiatives around the world,” he added.

Prof. Hulme’s work explores the idea of climate change using historical, cultural and scientific analyses, seeking to illuminate the numerous ways in which climate change is deployed in public and political discourse. Before joining King’s College London in 2013 he worked at the University of East Anglia and was the founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Prof. Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre Director said: “We would like to thank Judi for her many years of service as STEPS Advisory Committee chair. She has guided us so effectively from the very beginning. We are sorry to lose her, but want to congratulate her on her post as Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources in Kenya. In this ministerial role, she will of course be able to be able to make use of the work of the STEPS Centre in Kenya and beyond.

“We are however delighted that Mike has agreed to take on the role of chair. Mike brings important experience from his previous role at the Tyndall Centre and his intellectual and practical commitments fit perfectly with the STEPS Centre’s ambitions. We will again be in safe hands.”

The STEPS Centre is a major interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub combining development with science and technology studies. With a network of partners in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America it looks at how pathways to sustainability – linking environmental integrity with social justice – can be built in today’s complex, dynamic world.

STEPS is based at the Institute of Development Studies and SPRU Science and Technology Policy Research, at the University of Sussex and is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.