Engaging science and politics in a Post-2015 framework

A new STEPS Centre/IDS policy briefing examines how science and politics must be engaged in a post-2015 framework in order to tackle the interlinked environmental and social justice challenges which the world faces. It highlights the need for technical and social innovation alongside a new politics of innovation guided by the concepts of social and planetary boundaries and…

Climate change: where stereotypes go to die

What do you mean when you call someone a climate sceptic? I went to a panel discussion last Thursday evening, “Tackling scepticism: How can we most effectively communicate climate change?” which despite the confrontational title, was an enjoyable debate touching on how people on different sides of a sometimes polarised climate debate think of, and…

Exposing the political journey of climate change evidence from Exeter to Africa

The Met Office’s modelling IBM supercomputer Stephen Whitfield, PhD student, Institute of Development Studies (Knowledge, Technology and Society Team)   For someone more used to the quiet productivity and relative inconspicuousness of the PhD office at the Institute of Development Studies, the headquarters of the UK Meteorological Office in Exeter is impressive and intimidating in equal measure….

Democracy in the Anthropocene?

Planetary boundaries / Illustration from Global Change magazine STEPS Centre director Melissa Leach recently wrote in the Huffington Post: “When the cover of the Economist famously announced ‘Welcome to the anthropocene’ a couple of years ago, was it welcoming us to a new geological epoch, or a dangerous new world of undisputed scientific authority and…

Decorating the Christmas tree with perfect Sustainable Development Goals?

By Katharina Welle, STEPS Centre PhD student  The 2013 STEPS Symposium on “credibility across cultures” examined questions surrounding ‘best available’ scientific advice in relation to global policy processes on sustainable development. One global process discussed at the Symposium is the current United Nations consultation process for setting new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs will form…

3 challenges for science and democracy after Rio+20

Rally to Restore Sanity, from Steve Rhodes’ photostream on Flickr (by-nc-nd) By Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre director When sustainability poses complex and often tangled questions, how do we answer them? In international circles before, at and since Rio, we’re seeing strong arguments for a science-led agenda – from Earth System Science and planetary boundaries, to…

The limits of ‘evidence’: Evidence-Based Policy-making for African agriculture

By James Sumberg, Martha Awo, John Thompson, George T-M Kwadzo and Dela-Dem Doe Fiankor, Researchers, STEPS Centre Livestock project Agricultural policy makers in Africa are now being dragged into the era of ‘evidence-based’ policy (EBP) making. But the quality and availability of evidence in some countries – and debates about what even counts as evidence…

Credibility Across Cultures: resources

A set of resources relevant to the STEPS Centre Annual Symposium 2013 Credibility across cultures: expertise, uncertainty and the global politics of scientific advice Symposium home  |  Video  |  Presentations   |  Photos  |  Storify  |  Blog Science and uncertainty Article: Keep it Complex. When knowledge is uncertain, experts should avoid pressures to simplify their advice. Render decision-makers…

Credibility Across Cultures – STEPS Annual Symposium 2013

Our symposium on the global politics of scientific advice was held on 6-7 February at the University of Sussex. Video, slides, comment and other resources are now available to view. Video  |  Presentations  |  Resources  |  Photos  |  Storify  |  Blog STEPS Symposium Programme (pdf, 735kb) Credibility Across Cultures: expertise, uncertainty and the global politics of…

Ghana: take 70,900 metric tons of frozen chicken, add politics

A billboard advertising chicken in Accra, Ghana. By alew on Flickr By Jim Sumberg and John Thompson Convenors, STEPS Centre Livestock project The well known expression – that [something] is ‘as likely as turkeys voting for Christmas’ – makes an intriguing and to date poorly understood link between poultry and electoral politics. But in some…