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So far Editorial Staff has created 19 blog entries.

Rasheed Sulaiman V presents at the Global Conference on Green Development of Seed Industries

On Friday, 5 November 2021 Rasheed Sulaiman V participated at the session Facilitated Adoption of improved varieties by small-scale farmers which was presented during the Global Conference on Green Development of Seed Industries, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and referred to STRING’s work on pathways. In particular Dr Sulaiman V discussed the need to support both pathways that are analysed in the STRINGS’s case study if we are keen to enhance use of better seeds by farmers.

See the session programme for more information.


By |2022-01-19T09:33:35+00:00January 19th, 2022|News|0 Comments

What knowledge do we need to address Chagas?

Valeria Arza, Julián Asinsten y Sol Sebastián

Results from World Café exercise | Online Workshop from STRINGS project

On October 29th, we held a virtual workshop to outline, in a collaborative way, what type of scientific research is most helpful in addressing Chagas disease, which is one of the case studies carried out in the context of the STRINGS project. Fifteen people participated from different parts of the country. They contributed their experience and perspective on the topic. Among participants, there were actors from scientific, public policy and civil society organisations.

The workshop was organized with a “World Café” methodology: three discussion tables were proposed, around which all participants rotated over two and a half hours. The discussions were very rich; they were carried out in small groups and we noticed interest in participating and a fair word circulation. We synthetise the main points that emerged in each table below.

Table 1: Why are some topics more highly prioritised in the scientific agenda about Chagas?

Participants contributed with different views. They pointed to funding schemes as one of the main reasons for the prevalence of certain research topics over others. This generates a bias: as there

By |2021-11-10T15:40:00+00:00November 10th, 2021|Blogs|0 Comments

Dr Valeria Arza presents Chagas research at 76th United Nations General Assembly forum

Dr Valeria Arza, member of the STRINGS project, participated at the session “The significance of international research cooperation for the attainment of the SDGs – approaches from research management”, within the ScienceSummit@UNGA76 around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76), held on 27th September 2021 and was organised by the German DLR from Germany.

In the session, Dr Arza talked about her research on Chagas within STRINGS project, whose goal is to map Science Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a focus on Lower and Medium Income Countries (LMIC).

Focusing on Chagas, Dr Arza said that there are needs related to SDG 3, 16, 11 and 4, and highlighted that there are mismatches with science production, mostly concentrated in SDG 3, 15 and 11 and that research collaboration was found to be key. The requirements are:

  1. Interdisciplinarity, to create bridges between production of science mostly in biology and medicine and the needs in education and governance.
  2. Transdisciplinarity, to better understand Chagas complexity by promoting participation of stakeholders with different experience about the problem
  3. International collaboration, particularly when collaboration involves partners from countries where the disease is endemic, possibly because they have more contextual
By |2021-10-05T15:55:02+01:00October 5th, 2021|News|0 Comments

Interview: Conserving India’s Rice Diversity

As part of the STRINGS project, Rasheed Sulaiman V and Nimisha Mittal conducted an interview with Mr Shankar Patnaik, a retired school teacher from Modeigaon village of Kosagumuda block in Nabarangapur, Odisha.

Mr Patnaik and his wife Minakshi Devi started collecting, conserving (in-situ), documenting and promoting seeds of indigenous rice varieties without any external help. Shankar has been honoured with the ‘Dr Richaria Samman’ by Odisha Desi Bihana Mancha in 2017 for his contribution towards conservation of indigenous rice.

Read the full interview

By |2021-10-05T15:49:53+01:00October 5th, 2021|News|0 Comments

Five metaphors for steering institutional change

Prof John Robinson

Creating a sustainable world will require significant change in the way our institutions function and act. What follows is one attempt to outline some lessons learned—in the form of five metaphors—that I have found useful in trying to foster institutional change in universities.

The metaphors grew out of a 12-year process—from 1999 to 2011—of trying to get the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) created at the University of British Columbia (UBC). CIRS was designed to be a living lab of sustainability and net positive in four environmental and three human ways (it eventually succeeded in five of these goals). Creating it proved much more challenging than expected. What became evident as we tried to get this building and its programs conceived, funded, approved, designed and implemented, is that there were many institutional road-blocks, grounded in the normal decision-making practices and institutional culture of the university, that worked against our efforts.

It speedily became apparent that every aspect of that vision—the inter-institutional academic partnerships, the nature of the relationship with non-academic partners, the governance structure, the sustainability goals for the building process, the building design process, the process of obtaining funding for the building and program, the

By |2021-05-12T12:45:54+01:00May 12th, 2021|Blogs|0 Comments

Watch: Dr Ismael Rafols on STRINGS’ novel approach to mapping STI for SDGs

In a webinar for Georgia Tech Library, Dr Ismael Rafols presented STRINGS’ novel approach to mapping scientific publications to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and introduced a beta-version of an interactive tool that will allow stakeholders to scrutinise a global map of science related to SDGs.

Ismael highlighted the inconsistencies that arise when using different approaches to mapping publications to SDGs. These inconsistencies are not due to minor technical issues, but instead represent different interpretations of SDGs.

Given the variety of understandings regarding the relationship between research and SDGs, STRINGS’ approach to mapping proposes that bibliometrics analysts should not assume that there is one single, preferred or consensus way of mapping SDGs to publications.

Instead, since different stakeholders have contrasting views about the relationships between science and SDGs, the contribution of bibliometrics should be to provide a plural landscape for stakeholders to explore their own views. watch the webinar

By |2021-04-29T11:22:53+01:00April 29th, 2021|News|0 Comments

Consensus and dissensus in ‘mappings’ of science for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Ismael Rafols, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University and Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex

The shift in R&D goals towards the SDGs is driving demand for new S&T indicators…

The shift in S&T policy from a focus on research quality (or ‘excellence’) towards societal impact has led to a demand for new S&T indicators that capture the contributions of research to society, in particular those aligned with SDGs. The use of the new ‘impact’ indicators would help monitoring if (and which) research organisations are aligning their research towards certain SDGs.

Responding to these demands, data providers, consultancies and university analysts are rapidly developing methods to map projects or publications related to specific SDGs. These ‘mappings’ do not analyse the actual impact of research, but hope to capture instead if research is directed towards problems or technologies that can potentially contribute to improving sustainability and wellbeing.

By |2020-12-15T08:38:35+00:00July 30th, 2020|Blogs|0 Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic and open science

–  Valeria Arza and Agustina Colonna

Research Center for Transformation (CENIT), Economics and Business School, National University of San Martin

6 May 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic has brought about many changes throughout the world in only a matter of weeks. Humanity is facing a problem without precedent; the final effects are yet uncertain and most of us have been forced to drastically change our routines and behaviors in a way we have never imagined. Big challenges often boost creativity and promote important transformations in society, and this has been the case with the coronavirus crisis. Note for instance the many solidarity initiatives ranging from fund-raising schemes and food banks, to volunteers assisting individuals in high-risk groups, together with several citizen-led resources that have been created or adapted to help find our way through the pandemic (EU Citizen Science 2020). Another relevant example has been the drastic change in many information markets, where thousands of resources such as books, museum exhibitions and movies have been temporarily opened for the community free of cost.

For science, the particular challenge posed by this situation is immense, as the spread of coronavirus has created urgent and life-threatening problems. Solutions must then be fast, while the

By |2021-04-18T18:50:25+01:00May 6th, 2020|Blogs|0 Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic shows how power produces poverty

Saurabh Arora and Divya Sharma

This blog was originally published on the STEPS Centre blog.

Responses by governments to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world reveal how poverty is produced by social power. The pandemic points, in particular, to the culpability of power exercised through the state.

Consider the Indian government’s top-down lockdown imposed on 24th March 2020. Arguably “the world’s strictest lockdown”, it is producing widespread impoverishment through mass unemployment, leading to hunger and hardship for millions. Livelihoods carefully built over many years by people are being destroyed. Hard-earned dignity is being compromised by desperate poverty produced through diktats of the state.

Many observers in India have noted that some of the immediate suffering produced by the lockdown could have been avoided. The chaotic lockdown is marked by police violence (against street vendors and migrant workers) as well as a lack of responsibility and accountability. The national government, it seems, was unprepared for the effects of its own response to the pandemic. A relief package, announced two days after the lockdown’s imposition, has proven inadequate. It is failing to reach many of those who need it.

Vulnerable people are

By |2021-04-18T19:02:42+01:00April 28th, 2020|Blogs|0 Comments

Modernity without its clothes: the pandemic crisis shines a light on futilities of control

Andy Stirling

This blog was originally published on the STEPS Centre blog.

With so many self-appointed pundits (like me!) currently locked down with their laptops, the present rush of commentary on how to pivot the coronavirus crisis is hardly surprising. Beyond the general news and commentary, scores of articles are exploding across the media, diagnosing what this global catastrophe means, and prescribing how it can be turned to variously-held positive ends.

Understandably, dozens of these contributions focus on renewing – or reversing impeded – action on climate change. But other strongly-pursued aims include reforming academic orthodoxiesreimagining universitiesenhancing scientific collaborationde-globalising infrastructuresaccelerating energy transitionsbuilding resilienceadvancing conservationmobilising political movementsimproving social justicereducing consumptionachieving the Sustainable Development Goalsrejuvenating democracyreorienting capitalismrestructuring the economybuilding a greener worldresisting ecofascism; and generally steering possible futures to save the planet. All eloquently voiced, several of these agendas coincide. I would strongly support many of them.

But there is another point

By |2021-04-18T19:01:39+01:00April 17th, 2020|Blogs|0 Comments
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