Big stories, little stories

This is the (slightly edited) text of my talk at Communicate 2013, in a session called “liberating stories”. The pictures are some of the slides I used. The brief was to provide some suggestions about the role of the social sciences in ‘liberating stories’ for environmental communicators, through memorable examples. I only had 10 minutes…

“GOLDEN RICE”: A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY?

by Sally Brooks, Biosafety project convenor Biofortified crops, for example rice enriched with vitamin A, are claimed as a way of getting vital extra nutrition to poor people. They’ve also been a topic of hot debate for several years. In a new development in the story of these crops, last week the Bill and Melinda…

FILM: “SEEDS AND SUSTAINABILITY” OUT NOW

Our new film, “Seeds and Sustainability: Maize pathways in Kenya”, explores how to secure seeds for farmers growing maize – Kenya’s key staple crop – in drought-prone regions of the country. Below is a trailer: you can watch the full version on our website. The film draws on our research into maize and environmental change…

BEING “HEALTHILY SCEPTICAL” ABOUT BIOFORTIFICATION

Lawrence Haddad, IDS Director, has written about the future of biofortification (and mentioned the STEPS Centre’s work) on his blog, Development Horizons: “To date, biofortification has relied on conventional breeding techniques and behavior change research to answer 3 questions: (a) is there a significant, in terms of human nutrition, variation in the micronutrients zinc, iron,…

PUBLISHED TODAY – NEW BOOK ON RICE BIOFORTIFICATION BY SALLY BROOKS

The latest in the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability book series is published today – Rice Biofortification: Lessons for Global Science and Development by Sally Brooks. Biofortification, the enrichment of staple food crops with essential micronutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamin A – has been heralded as a uniquely sustainable solution to the problem…

BEYOND BIOSAFETY

In developing countries, debates around transgenic crops have tended to focus on biosafety and its regulation at the risk of ignoring broader ethical concerns. A new project by the STEPS Centre, is exploring how to open-up these debates among civil society actors. The Institute of Development Studies has featured an article by Sally Brooks, convenor…

NATURE ARTICLE ON GM FROM STEPS

Ian Scoones, co-director of the ESRC STEPS Centre and Dominic Glover of the Technology and Agrarian Development Group at Wageningen University have written an article in this week’s Nature magazine (August 13) which explores the fallout of a new book on agricultural biotechnology in Africa. Scoones and Glover take a look at the Robert Paarlberg’s…

DANGEROUS IDEAS IN DEVELOPMENT: GM CROPS AND THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Genetically-modified (GM) crops are sometimes trumpeted as the solution to the global food crisis, and the route to transforming developing agriculture and reducing poverty for millions. For others they spell doom and disaster, bringing with them unacceptable environmental and safety risks. But what is the reality? Over the past…