Complex combinations: climate, poverty and health in the Sundarbans

by Upasona Ghosh, Senior Research Officer at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research, and researcher on the STEPS Centre’s project on Uncertainty from below. My first trip to Sundarbans was as a tourist. I was left mesmerized by the beauty of the natural mangrove trees and crisscrossing creeks. I found it difficult to imagine…

Global health meets genomics: inequality and politics

Scientific advances in the understanding of genetics and genomics have the potential to generate major improvements for human health in the near future. However, from a global health perspective, the translation of this technology into new medical treatments raises profound international and local issues around inequality, identity and insecurity. On 18th July 2014, we attended…

Ebola: failures, flashpoints and focus

By Annie Wilkinson, post doctorate researcher, Institute of Development Studies As the worst Ebola epidemic on record shows no signs of abating in West Africa, fear and ignorance are increasingly said to be playing a role in its continued spread. Meanwhile, local practices such as the consumption of bushmeat and deforestation are the go-to explanations…

Antibiotics: Avoiding a return to the dark ages of medicine

By Annie Wilkinson, post doctorate researcher, Institute of Development Studies Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme woke up yesterday to Prime Minister David Cameron’s prediction of a return to the “dark ages of medicine” if the problem of growing antibiotic resistance is left unchecked. This doomsday scenario is one where routine infections which we have come to think…

Ebola in Guinea – people, patterns and puzzles

By Melissa Leach, Principal Investigator of Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium The francophone West African country of Guinea doesn’t often make international headlines, but has this week for the nastiest of reasons. An outbreak of Ebola, first identified in the forested south-east of the country in mid-March, has now spread across the country…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Turning urban sustainability on its head

By Ian Scoones, Co-Director, STEPS Centre At the STEPS-JNU Symposium on ‘Exploring Pathways to Sustainability’ organised with the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP) at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, the first session explored the contexts and consequences of rapid urban growth in India through some in-depth case studies on urban waste management and…

Controlling animal-to-human disease in Africa

African trypanosomiasis is a devastating disease, both for humans and animals. Over the last hundred years huge efforts have been made to control it. A working paper by Ian Scoones looks at the scientific and policy debates surrounding control of the disease and its vector, the tsetse fly, in Eastern and Southern Africa. The paper…

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…

More than nets: tackling malaria through development

Does reducing poverty help to tackle malaria? A systematic review of studies on socioeconomic status and malaria in children, published in the Lancet, suggests that greater wealth and standards of living are important for malaria control. The authors include John Thompson, a STEPS Centre member. Malaria control is often focused on methods from the health…

Bird Flu: Panic, Pandemics and Planning

A steady stream of reports about bird flu infection cases in China over the past month has given way in the past couple of days to panicked confirmations of deaths (27 as of today) and doom-laden projections about what may lay ahead. The new H7N9 strain of avian influenza in China is causing much conjecture about animal-to-human and human-to-human infection and how the spread of…