Monday, April 28, 2008

Universal Science Bench

Portable teaching tool using solar and wind for powering local experiments. Details here

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stanford-Ericsson mobile learning collaboration

Stockholm (SE), July 2007 - Ericsson announced at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in Geneva (05-06 July) that it is collaborating with Stanford University to explore the innovative use of mobile technologies in distance eLearning. Ericsson will work with Stanford University's International Outreach Program to bring distance learning to countries in Africa.

The program offers students on different continents the opportunity to learn from researchers in environmental sciences from several countries and perspectives, as well as contribute to lively discourse and debate through Internet and mobile phone interaction.

Further details here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Food Futures Now

"How organic agriculture and localised food (and energy) systems can potentially compensate for all greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities and free us from fossil fuels"

Int'l report compiled by geneticist and int'l group of scientists and agriculturalists, it is optimistic in asserting that existing proven, practical techniques can solve many problems.

This report and the recent UN one come down against GM crops and high-tech, high-yield agriculture in favour of integrated, locally based organic farming systems.

Biovision/IAASTD World Agricultural Report

The IAASTD World Agricultural Report documents that around 2.6 billion
people worldwide depend on agriculture for survival. The great majority of
the poorest people live in rural areas and are predominantly farmers. “The
fact that in the past, less and less has been done for small farmers in
developing countries, is fatal”, says Dr. Herren, “we must promote training,
access to information, small loans and land for farmers, and also create
market structures which give these people the chance to feed and support
their families!” The IAASTD report proves that enough food is produced
According to the World Agricultural Advisory Board, the main problems are dissemination and sustainability. The report documents that increasing use of chemicals and industrialisation, as well as lack of training and research into sustainable agricultural methods have lead to an increase in the overuse of natural resources and soil infertility “If we do not improve the soil and methods of cultivation, then even the best seeds and most modern techniques will be of no use
whatsoever,” – Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren comes to the point, and adds that a
trend reversal is urgently needed. “Agriculture must become more humane
and more sustainable”, says the Swiss recipient of the World Food Prize “and
we have good examples in Africa already, which show that adaptive
techniques and applied research lead to solutions which help both the
environment and small farmers”. more