Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Invasion! Playing and learning on the streets of Norwich
I've never been exposed to much street theatre, let alone given it much thought. But that changed this weekend when I attended the opening weekend of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Two events in particular got me thinking about the nature of public space and public art... 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Lessons from controversy: organisational learning and GM

After a considerable period on the back burner, the GM debate in the UK hotted up last week as Sense about Science released their 'Don't destroy research' appeal in response to the threatened 'Take the flour back' mass action to destroy a field of genetically modified wheat being trialled by Rothamsted Research. 'Don't destroy research' issued an appeal from scientists emphasising the importance of retaining the integrity of scientific research, implicitly casting the protesters as irrational and 'anti-science'. So far so predictable. What is unusual and perhaps novel about the 'Don't destroy research' appeal is that they also invited the protesters into dialogue with them, in the hope of averting the action planned for 27th May.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The anatomy of denial

Any discussion about the faltering progress of international climate policy usually ends up revolving around the role of climate ‘sceptics/deniers/contrarians’ – call them what you will – in sowing doubt about the science and therefore obstructing political progress. I’m no climate denier, according to conventional categorisations. If I’m a ‘sceptic’, then I’m sceptical about such categorisations and the way they get bandied about with gay abandon in political debate. So where do these categories, and the political objects and subjects that populate them, come from? And do they make any sense?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

What is a 'knowledge gap'?

I've got a post over at the Tyndall Centre Research Network (TyReNe) blog on Mike Hulme's keynote address to a recent Tyndall PhD conference. Hulme's talk explored how we conceive of 'gaps' in knowledge, and how these conceptions are inextricably intertwined with our understandings of and hopes for the political process...

Our colleague Kate Porter has also provided a really interesting response to Hulme's provocation on the Merton Stone blog: