Anne Glover speaks out on scientific advice in Brussels

Prof Anne Glover, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission, has written a revealing article on the Guardian’s ‘Political Science’ blog about her three years in the post. The article reveals her successes, as well as some of the difficulties and suspicions she faced in a new post within the large…

‘A new way of doing science’: Future Earth in Argentina

By Patrick van Zwanenberg and Mariano Fressoli, STEPS America Latina. Future Earth is a major 10-year international research programme that aims to provide the critical knowledge needed to address challenges of global environmental change, and to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. Launched in June 2012, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), it…

Innovation choices in the face of uncertainty

Professor Andy Stirling writes chapter accompanying the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser’s inaugural report Sir Mark Walport recently launched his first ever annual report as UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Innovation: Managing risk not avoiding it. The accompanying evidence and case studies includes a chapter written by Professor Andy Stirling, Co-Director of the ESRC-funded STEPS Centre,…

The precautionary principle must be retained, unless we are willing to be reckless with our common future

Guest blog by Rupert Read I recently submitted evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry on GM food and the Precautionary Principle. Unfortunately, as you’ll see intimated at the outset of my remarks there, I have relatively little faith in the inquiry. It seems to me that the inquiry’s terms have…

Genetically modified rice plants

GM Food and the precautionary principle

“Precaution does not necessarily mean a ban. It simply urges that time and space be found to get things right.” Professor Andy Stirling, writing in the Guardian Overview The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee is carrying out an inquiry into genetically modified (GM) foods and the way in which these are regulated in Europe…

STEPS América Latina at the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network

By Mariano Fressoli, STEPS America Latina Between 13 and 15 October the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network held its first workshop in Nairobi. The objective of the workshop, organized and funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre, and supported by the University of Toronto and Kenya iHUB, was to kick-start the construction…

Same meat, different gravy? The new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA)

  By David Ockwell, STEPS Centre Deputy Director, Research On 2 July African Union Heads of State and Government adopted the new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024)[i]. This replaces the previous African Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) that was adopted by the AU back in 2006. STISA-2024 sets…

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…

Resilience 2014: Limits revisited? Planetary boundaries, justice and power

By Melissa Leach, IDS Director In 1972 Meadows et al’s Limits to Growth made scientific and policy waves, as its ‘World3’ model predicted the end of growth and prosperity as rising, consuming populations ran up against resource limits. In critique, SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research) at the University of Sussex offered alternative models predicting…