Monday, 27 February 2012

Contested knowledge in contested territory

As part of my PhD research, I’m currently in Delhi investigating the interaction of scientific knowledge and policy making on issues related to climate change. I was drawn to India by its increasing assertiveness in global scientific discussions, which one could argue has been presaged by a characteristic bullishness in global climate policy negotiations. One aspect of this assertiveness is the contestation over scientific understandings of the Himalayan glaciers, and the potential fate that awaits them under a changing climate.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Welcome to Topograph!

So here it is: Topograph. Meaning literally 'writing place', the name appealed to us immediately. It at once captured our shared love of travel, landscape, relief, and exploration, and also our fascination with the ambiguity of spatial relationships and identities. This raised some key questions. Are we concerned only with maps and physical landscapes, or can we talk of a topography of an object or an idea?  Is 'writing place' a verb – concerning the construction of place – or is it a noun – a place for us to write? The former suggests dynamic and ongoing processes of creation, implying that place is forever in a state of becoming, with potential for slippage or changes in meanings and implied images. But this blog is also – much more literally – a place for us to write: to express our thoughts, try out new ideas, to interact with others.