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In the first of a series of posts on urban diffusion pollution, postgraduate student in Durham University’s Department of Geography, Libby Ferns, pins down exactly what diffuse pollution is and some of the ways it gets into our streets and waterways.
If you’re anything like me, you would be thinking “urban diffuse pollution: that sounds like one of those silly scientific geography words that is more complicated than it needs to be”. You would be right. Urban diffuse pollution basically means urban mess: dirty litter, chemicals, gunk and nastiness. It is a problem for developed and less developed countries alike. It damages our town or city environment, it is really spread out, it comes from lots of places, and is, in general, difficult to clean up and even more difficult to work out where its coming from! But just because it is hard to see where this mess comes from, doesn’t mean it isn’t important to think about. The trouble is, we have all, at one time or other, contributed to this pollution. Read more
IHRR is pleased to announce the second issue of its full colour magazine, reporting on research in hazards, risks and resilience from Durham University and throughout the world.
These are some of the topics featured in this issue:
- Disaster through the Eyes of Religion
- Bank Bailouts
- Volcanic Health Hazards
- Geohazard Vulnerability in Nepal
- Photo Stories of Resilience
- Interviews with key researchers and practitioners in hazard and risk
A special event hosted by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security:
Theme of the 2013 Resilience Academy: exploring livelihood resilience
The 2013 Resilience Academy will take place in Bangladesh. This 1st Resilience Academy will explore the following core questions with leading experts from academia, policy and practice:
- What tools exist for risk assessment and identification of climate hot spots?
- How can adaptive capacity and resilience in rural and urban livelihood systems be defined and measured?
- What are the main contributors and impediments to climate resilience, theory and in practice?
- What strategies are available for peoples facing overwhelming extremes?
- What can be done to enhance the adaptive capacity and resilience to the climate stressors they face today and in the future?
The dialogue between academia, policy and practice will be at the heart of the Academy, with opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement, time to think and collaborate on specific topics and practical interaction. Read the rest of this entry »
When it comes to controversial scientific research many scientists can be dismissive or evasive when it comes to dealing with the public. But when it comes to looking at the bigger picture of how the research could interface with policy and in turn governance, it is actually non-scientists that may hold some of the answers, and not necessarily those in high positions of political or financial power either. Public dialogues about geoengineering seem like a model example of this, showing that engaging with non-scientists can lead to productive assessments of the actual risks involved and judging whether or not the science or technology is even appropriate at all. Now this may seem problematic to some, but it could actually bring science, technology and democracy a little closer together.
The problem of granting patents for geoengineering technology was what prevented the project SPICE from continuing research beyond computer modelling, ending an experimental trial that could have one day led to engineering the Earth’s climate at a scale never before seen. Prof Phil Macnaghten at Durham University, who was an advisor on the SPICE project, oversaw the stage gate process for the project, which was in place to ensure that it met the criteria for engaging with public values. Some puzzling questions arose during the stage gate panel. If geoengineering did become mainstream and worked who would own it? Would it stay in the public domain or fall under intellectual property laws and therefore be subject to commercial interests? Read the rest of this entry »
Event sponsored by the Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), Durham University. Organised by the Citizens’ Panel attached to the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action (CSJCA), Durham University.
This event follows on from a very successful Institute of Advanced Study-sponsored series of activities in 2012: ‘New storylines for living with environmental change: citizens’ perspectives’. During this series, a Citizens’ Panel was formed with the overall aim of developing an approach to public engagement with science – exploring the social and ethical implications of different emerging and potentially contested technological responses to ‘living with environmental change’. Our first event of 2013 was held on 7th March, and was entitled ‘Responsible Science and Public Engagement: A Scientific Dilemmas Café.’