Best of STEPS 2013: Science and technology for development

From the global politics of scientific advice to solar home systems in Kenya. From the GM crops debate to living with climate uncertainty in India. The STEPS Centre and our partners around the globe have been hard at work throughout 2013 seeking to make science, technology and innovation work for the world’s poorest and most marginalised people. Here are…

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…

Good & evil: two articles on closing down the debate on GM crops

Is it right to call opponents of GM crops ‘wicked’? In a recent interview, Owen Paterson denounced in starkly moralistic language people whom he sees as holding up progress on Golden Rice and other genetically modified foods. In a piece for the Guardian’s Political Science blog, Andy Stirling argues in defence of scepticism and democracy…

Responses to frequently asked questions on genetically-modified crops and development

GM Rice / BASF / Flickr Creative Commons By Andy Stirling, co-director of the STEPS Centre   Questions are never far from the headlines about how the world can farm more fairly, sustainably and productively. What is meant by these qualities varies greatly – including differing ways to raise income for poor farmers, improve nutrition, reduce environmental…

GM crops and biotechnology

GM crops, Golden Rice and other related technologies polarise opinion: they are the solution to the global food crisis; or they are ‘frankenfoods’ causing irreversible environmental harm. Concerns about poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, farmers’ livelihoods and the role of the private sector; the challenges of regulation in different settings; and how to involve the…

‘Golden Rice’ and the GM crop debate

Golden Rice grain compared to white rice grain in screenhouse of Golden Rice plants / IRRI Guest blog by Sally Brooks, Researcher and Associate Tutor at the University of York, and former STEPS Centre member In an interview on the Radio 4 Today Programme last week, Owen Paterson, Minister for Environment, outlined his case for a…