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New Research to Make Science and Technology Work for the Poor

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
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TAG: New Research Make Science and Technology Work for the Poor

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