TODAY’S LANDFILL, TOMORROW’S HOUSING ESTATE

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The rapid expansion of peri-urban areas presents opportunities and challenges for urban and rural activities, institutions and sustainability. No longer soley seen in spatial terms, the peri-urban interface is increasingly recognised in terms of dynamic flows of commodities, capital, natural resources, people and pollution. Although often seen as a…

GLOBAL CRISIS: WHOSE PERSPECTIVE? WHO PAYS?

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The global financial crisis sparked by the world’s rich will have the poor paying the highest price, wrote one UK newspaper columnist this week. Meanwhile the United Nations was calling for this crisis to be used positively – to refocus of the world’s economy on a Green New Deal….

INNOVATION IN INDIA

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member India may have strengths like democracy, diversity, demography, interdependence and role models, but it can’t become a global research giant unless it harnesses the strengths, according to Rajeev Gowda, STEPS Centre partner who organised the first event for our risk, uncertainty and technology project – co-funded by UKIERI in…

‘SELF’ AND ‘THE OTHER’: A SENTIMENTAL EUROPEAN RESPONSE TO INDIA-CHINA

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre Member No meetings examining science in society are nowadays complete without reference to India-China. The meeting organised by ESRC’s Science in Society programme on ‘Innovation Culture or Anti-Science Britain?’ on 16 October was no exception. The hyphenated lumping together of two continent-size countries with vastly different histories, socio-economic background and…

DSA DAY 3: GLOBAL INNOVATION DISTRIBUTION

How radical is the change in the global distribution of innovation activities is the question up for discussion first this morning here at Sussex. The answer is “yes, no and I don’t know” says Martin Bell of SPRU Science and Technology Research here at the University of Sussex, who hopefully will explain a little about…

CHINESE EXPORTS: DANGER, REGULATION AND SECURITY

By GERRY BLOOM, STEPS Centre member Over the past few months there have been a number of stories in the international media about dangerous exports from China. On the one hand, this reflects a recognition that China needs to establish regulatory systems to ensure the good performance of its burgeoning market economy. The failures of…

RISK IN INDIA: NEW CROP TECHNOLOGIES OR NEW DISEASE?

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre member A deadly strain of disease has been identified as spreading fast across the wheat fields of Asia and Africa and scientists are worried that it could potentially cause mass starvation, according to new reports in the Indian and the UK press. The Hindu recently picked up on an article…

RISK IN INDIA: NEW PHARMACEUTICALS & PATENT LAW

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre member Controversy over the extent to which private pharmaceutical interests can creep into the debates around public good has arisen recently here in India. A technical expert committee constituted by the government of India to look into the patent laws with respect to new pharmaceuticals and micro-organisms recently withdrew its…

RISK, UNCERTAINTY AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN INDIA

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre member Our time is marked by a rapid technological change and associated anxieties about public and private risks, a significant part of which remain uncertain and unpredictable and yet could have enormous potential to influence our present and future. The STEPS Centre is looking into how different institutions and groups…

DEMOS ATLAS OF IDEAS: SOME UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

BY IAN SCOONES, co-director of the STEPS Centre A set of new reports from Demos, a London-based think-tank, argue that there is a new geography of science and innovation emerging, with China, India and South Korea at the forefront of a new global knowledge economy. But many unanswered questions are raised. While showing different patterns…