Navigation Links
New Research to Make Science and Technology Work for the Poor

According to scientists at a new global research centre launched today, the warning comes from the STEPS Centre, whose urgently needed new approach to development aims to respond to 21st century conditions. Out-of-date policies are undermining unprecedented opportunities for recent aid commitments to improve the environment and combat poverty.

We live in an era of unprecedented environmental and technological flux; apocalyptic predictions of climate change-induced drought and floods, avian flu and HIV/AIDS pandemics, unsafe food and scarce water supplies hit the headlines daily.

Rapid change is creating new interactions between people, environment and technology, but also new problems, such as novel strains of avian flu and HIV drug resistances. Yet billions in aid could be wasted because current policy is failing to respond.

The STEPS Centres new approach sees natural and social scientists working together, instead of separately. STEPS research connects, social, technology and environment issues, rather than dividing them. It creates solutions that are adaptive to change, build resilience to uncertainty and meet the priorities of poor and marginalised people in different settings.

With 4m pound of funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, STEPSs five-year programme of research, with partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America, focuses on agriculture, water and health. Initial projects include investigating the effects of climate change on maize crops in Kenya, urbanisation in India and drug regulation in China and Latin America.

Professor Melissa Leach, Director of the STEPS Centre explains: Silver bullets for poverty reduction are failing the poor and risk failing altogether. They assume one-size-fits-all solutions can be applied across a stable world.

But we live in a world of dynamic change and uncertainty. The STEPS Centre aims to tackle these challenges head on, comb ining new theory with practical solutions that make science and technology work for the poor and environmental sustainability, building on peoples own knowledge.

Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr, speaking at the launch, said STEPS work was crucial: Meeting the needs of billions of people in ways compatible with a livable planet is a moral imperative but a huge challenge to our standard ways of thinking and working, in both North and South.

Research which challenges assumptions underpinning failed, outmoded and unsustainable models of development is crucial to making the future work.

Unprecedented opportunities to address these global challenges exist right now, with international interest and investment higher than ever: The G8s 60bn pledge to fight disease in Africa; record levels of philanthropy - 1.5bn from the Gates Foundation in 2006.

But globalised one-size-fits-all solutions ignore differences on the ground and remain compartmentalised by geography, sector and discipline at a time when unparalleled interaction between people, the environment and technology demand interdisciplinary solutions.

Recent examples of these failings include the UNs polio eradication programme in Nigeria which backfired because Muslims believed vaccination was a ploy to inject people with anti-fertility drugs. Polio is now resurgent in Nigeria; Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's claims to cure AIDS with herbal medicine which risks derailing anti-retroviral treatments; and local opposition to large dam building and the GM crop Bt cotton in India.

Dr Ian Gibson MP, chairing the STEPS Centre launch, said: Science makes a massive contribution to our modern world. If we are to respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century, research like the STEPS Centres, that makes science and technology work for poor and marginalised people, is essential. Economic development, matters of health and disease, clim ate change; it is hard to see where science and technology will not be a major component for poverty reduction programmes.

James Wilsdon, head of science and innovation at think tank Demos, speaking at the launch, said STEPS fills a vital gap: The global landscape for science, technology and innovation is changing at an astonishing pace.

But while the frameworks we use for analysing these changes are good at asking how much" and how fast" they are useless at asking questions about direction the diversity of outcomes to which all of this activity and investment could lead.

So the STEPS Centre will fill a vital gap: it will be a place where these questions can be asked and answered. Im excited by the Centres vision, and I hope it will shake up established thinking about the relationship between science, technology, poverty and sustainability.

STEPS will partner Demos in the second phase of the Atlas of Ideas project, which is mapping changes in the global geography of science and innovation.

Andrew Scott, policy director at charity Practical Action, also speaking at the launch, said: The STEPS centre will help us understand how we can make technology development work in the interests of people living in poverty, rather than pander to the wants of the affluent.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Kidney Stones - Interesting New Research implicates bacteria as its cause
2. Researchers urge caution in using ear tube surgery
3. Paracetamol May Cause Live Damage Warns Consumer Education and Research Centre
4. Researchers Scale to assess the Severity of Epilepsy in Kids
5. Research of Ritalin
6. Researchers trick Alzheimers Enzyme
7. Researchers find new HIV hiding place
8. A Compilation of recent Diabetes Research articles
9. Research on causes for falling helps develop preventive strategies
10. New standards for Human Research Safety
11. Research on Celiac Disease in children
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th ... Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which ... current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the ... save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission ... of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an industry leader ... range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American Healthcare Association ... held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion to personalized service, ... as number one in the South Florida Business Journal,s 50 ... 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy has found its ... will soon be honored by SFBJ as the 2017 ... Set to receive his award in October, Bardisa said ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium ... Master File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has ... clinical programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading ... eTMF platform to increase transparency to enable greater ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... HORSHAM, Pa. , Sept. 22, 2017 ... received a complete response letter from the U.S. Food ... (BLA) seeking approval of sirukumab for the treatment of ... response letter indicates additional clinical data are needed to ... of moderately to severely active RA. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: