Faith and Fabric (The status of ‘secular modernity’ in an African context)

In 2005/2006 the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin hosted an inter-disciplinary research project on “secular modernity” in which world-renowned Fellows like Hans Joas (German sociologist at the Freiburh Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), professor of the University of Chicago), who led the project, Charles Taylor (Canadian philosopher) and Jose Casanova (sociologist of religion from New York), amongst … [Read more]

The Role of Knowledge Experts

The advent of the knowledge society has placed the spotlight on the role of experts as gatekeepers and as brokers of knowledge. This is a problem that concerns developed and developing countries alike. In developing countries the problem is exacerbated by the imbalances in the production and access to knowledge, increasing the possibility of a … [Read more]

You, me and I

Identity is a term much used yet hard to define. Perhaps for this reason, the concept has long been a favourite with philosophers, and for the very same reason has been avoided by brain scientists, – until now. Greenfield reviews the social perspective from finger prints, to faces, to signatures of the many ways we … [Read more]

Cooking increases the energy value of meat

Processing food extensively by thermal and nonthermal techniques is a unique and universal human practice. Food processing increases palatability and edibility and has been argued to increase energy gain. Although energy gain is a well-known effect from cooking starch-rich foods, the idea that cooking meat increases energy gain has never been tested. A novel study … [Read more]

Affirmative Action: A Comparative Study

In dealing with diversity and difference, many countries have moved from the relatively passive idea of non-discrimination to a more pro-active strategy of affirmative action (AA). AA measures as a strategy to achieve equality has been adopted in several demographically diverse countries. For the purpose of this project, we have placed the focus on a … [Read more]

Agro-food Regimes, Rural Poverty and Social Change in Southern Africa

Household food insecurity in rural Southern Africa has its roots in policies that supported large scale commercial farming by white settlers and the creation of spatially separate ‘reserves’ for black households. Smallholder farming was discouraged, and agriculture became a livelihood adjunct to labour migration. Commercial farms evolved into sophisticated components of commodity chains increasingly dominated … [Read more]