IAASTD: CONFLICTING VISIONS FOR A HUNGRY PLANET

By JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre member Assessments GaloreIn recent years, global assessments have become the focus of considerable international scientific interest and the mobilisation of vast institutional, technical, human and financial resources. These frequently attempt to combine ‘expert-driven assessment’ with processes of ‘stakeholder engagement’ to address critical issues of major international importance.They are often presented…

DSA DAY 1: STEPS PANEL SESSION 1 – PATHWAYS TO SUSTAINABILITY

STEPS PANEL SESSION 1 – PATHWAYS TO SUSTAINABILTY: LINKING TECHNOLOGY, POVERTY REDUCTION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE Melissa Leach, director of the STEPS Centre, opens the first STEPS panel session by saying in this era of dynamic change there are some huge opportunities to tackle poverty and social justice given the current high profile philanthropic and political…

AAAS DAY 4: IN PURSUIT OF COOPERATION

BY JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre member AAAS Day 4: Sunday 18 Feb 2007   One of the highlights of the entire conference was an evening plenary lecture by Mohamed Hassan, Executive Director of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (formerly the Third World Academy of Sciences) and a member of the STEPS International…

AAAS DAY 2: NEW UNIT OF MEASURE – “THE RUMSFELD”

BY JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre memberAAAS Day 2: Friday 16 Feb 2007 In a wide-ranging lecture on “The Intersection of Burgeoning Human Populations and Natural Hazards, Caltech geologist Kerry Sieh introduced a new unit of measure today during a widely talked-about speech on earthquake preparedness. He explained that 1 “rumsfeld” (in honour of former US…

AAAS DAY 2: IMPROVING WATER MANAGEMENT IN AGRICULTURE

BY JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre member AAAS Day 2: Friday 16 Feb 2007 Another interesting session looked at the challenge of producing more food with less water by improving water use efficiencies in a variety of ways. While the focus of most of the presentations was US irrigation systems and technologies, the issues they raised…

AAAS DAY 2: BIOENERGY TO THE RESCUE?

BY JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre member AAAS Day 2: Friday 16 Feb 2007 Renewable energy from biomass is all the rage these days, with policy makers from Brazil to the US diverting huge sums of money into R&D in a race to develop new biofuels to reduce their country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and…

AAAS DAY 2: SO MANY SESSIONS, SO LITTLE TIME

BY JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre member AAAS Day 2: Friday 16 Feb 2007 The challenge at a conference of the size and scope of this year’s AAAS annual meeting is managing to attend the diverse array of fascinating symposia and lectures on offer, particularly when many of the most interesting ones are scheduled in parallel….

AAAS DAY 1: HOLDREN & THE 10% ‘TITHE’

BY JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre memberAAAS Day 1: Thursday 15 Feb 2007 AAAS President John P. Holdren (pictured right) used his presidential address to urge swift action to build a sustainable future. Challenges such as poverty, climate change and nuclear proliferation pose global risks that require scientists and engineers to join with political and business…

Inside track from the AAAS annual meeting

John Thompson was among the 10,000 scientists, journalists, students and members of the public to attend the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Francisco over the past five days. The theme this year was ‘Science and Technology for Sustainable Well-Being’.Representing the STEPS Centre, John sat in on…