For or against GM crops? Other positions are available

Academic cheerleaders for biotechnology corporations need better arguments if they want to persuade the public, write Erik Millstone, Andy Stirling and Dominic Glover, introducing their article in a forthcoming edition of Issues in Science and Technology (PDF). Companies involved in crop genetic engineering (GE) see themselves as principled heroes in a struggle against opportunistic reactionaries….

Restart Podcast: Adrian Smith on grassroots innovation

The London-based Restart project, which promotes community repair for electronics, interviewed STEPS researcher Adrian Smith for their latest podcast, ‘Searching for the roots of grassroots innovation’. In it, Adrian discusses our historical and comparative project on ‘grassroots innovation’, including the Lucas Plan, the origins of 1980s tech networks in London, and the wider context of community…

Why access to energy is crucial for economic growth and poverty reduction

This week I am in Nairobi for a conference focused on ‘Low Carbon Africa’, discussing the diverse pathways to low carbon energy. Energy access is a key issue across the continent. Last week Kofi Annan launched the ‘Africa Progress Panel’ report that argued for a massive energy revolution on the continent, with the potential for…

Mind your (innovation) language

by Adrian Smith and Saurabh Arora, SPRU At the STEPS Centre, we recently organised a couple of workshops looking at the topic of alternative innovation and its proliferation of innovation prefixes, such as social, inclusive, frugal, and sustainable. Our workshops were prompted by the observation that a variety of interacting cultural, social, economic, and technological…

How to redefine innovation & development: an African perspective

This guest post is by Gillian M. Marcelle, STI policy and management scholar, writing in a personal capacity. Too often public policy debates on global issues get framed and defined in the global North, and the rest of the world is expected to fall in line and follow suit. In July 2014, the African Union…

GM report: Some nice recommendations, shame about the spin

The UK Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology has today released its long-awaited report on ‘Advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement: regulation, risk and precaution’. The ESRC STEPS Centre welcomes the moves made by the Committee – as reflected in the report title – to somewhat broaden out the original narrow terms of the…

The Politics of Green Transformations

It’s a crunch year for science, environment and development agreements – COP21, the Sustainable Development Goals – but will 2015 be the transformative moment it is being hyped as? (Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato, Camilla Toulmin and Andrew Simms debate at the book launch. Photo credit: Lance Bellers) Overview | Book | Launch debate | Video | Blogs…

Green Transformations: Whose Politics and which Green?

By Professor Peter Newell, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex Talk of transformation is back in vogue. This time the call is for a green transformation. Recent and recurrent financial and ecological crises have drawn attention to the ecological, social and economic sustainability of the global economy. This has prompted calls for a new…

Green Transformations: Video

←BACK TO GREEN TRANSFORMATIONS HOMEPAGE Book launch debate The Politics of Green Transformations was launched on 24 February 2015 with a high-profile debate at the National Liberal Club in London, chaired by co-editor Peter Newell (University of Sussex). Michael Jacobs (IDDRI), Mariana Mazzucato (SPRU), Andrew Simms (NEF) and Camilla Toulmin (IIED) discussed what it takes to create the multiple ‘green transformations’…

From Knowledge Economy to Innovation Democracy

The ESRC STEPS Centre’s Co-Director Professor Andy Stirling recently gave a keynote speech at the European Commission’s ‘FTA 2014: future oriented technology analysis’ conference. Prof. Stirling’s address, From Knowledge Economy to Innovation Democracy: collective action in the shaping of scientific and technological futures, was based on his extensive work on technocratic transitions and opening up…