Celebrating South African outsider artists: Helen Martins and Nukain Mabusa

In 1972, the British scholar Roger Cardinal coined the term “outsider art” as an English equivalent of “art brut”, French artist Jean Dubuffet’s term for artists creating extraordinary work outside the boundaries of mainstream western art. As early as the 1940s, Dubuffet recognized the work of these artists, individuals who often had little or no … [Read more]

Rethinking Development in the Global Information Age: Implications for Africa

This seminar conducted by Manuel Castells is a follow-up to his previous STIAS seminar Informational Development and Human Development: South Africa in a Global Perspective (24–26 August 2011).That seminar formed part of a larger project between 2011 and 2013 which brought together an international network of distinguished academic researchers engaged in an empirically grounded reflection … [Read more]

Food and nutrition security in rural communities

A book is being developed which takes into account multiple objectives of providing enough food at household and individual level, an acceptable monetary income and sustainable production under the constraints of limited access to resources (land, credit, water, technology, information, level of education and more), dependency on remittances and social security programs, and limited access … [Read more]

Impact of sustainable intensification of food production on environment and human well-being

Africa, once considered the breadbasket of the world, is now strongly affected by problems with food insecurity and malnutrition. Steady increases in African populations coupled with ecosystem degradation, climate change, limited access to modern production technology, poor extension services coupled with poor infrastructure amongst other factors negatively influence food security in many countries. These factors … [Read more]

It’s the Education, Stupid! Martin Luther’s unfinished business

At the beginning of the 21th century mankind is confronted with a number of global challenges. Energy crisis, climate change, ecosystem degradation, pockets of extreme poverty and food insecurity collide with a world population that still grows at record numbers. If one would try to find a single instrument to address these challenges one would … [Read more]

Education, Skills and Inequality in the Labour Market

The race between education and technology is a key factor in determining earnings inequality. The aim of this project, which consists of several parts, is to contribute to our understanding on how the formation of skills generates inequality in the labour market. In a first project, previously unused micro data from the 1930 Swedish Census … [Read more]

Deconstructing Shadows: Human behaviour through the prism of evolution

This project involves an in-depth analysis of human behaviour from an evolutionary perspective, as a basis for integrating our modern understanding of behavioural psychology with its neurobiological basis. From my studies to date, I believe that this perspective may provide a sounder and more intuitive basis for better understanding the complex subject of human thought … [Read more]

High-Resolution Laboratory X-Ray Bio-Imaging

This project concerns methods to obtain higher spatial resolution and improved contrast when imaging thick biological samples – a classical and generic bio-imaging problem. The methods are enabled by our recent progress in x-ray science, especially unique high-brightness laboratory x-ray sources, x-ray optics, and computational algorithms. Phase-contrast x-ray angiography with <10 micrometer resolution and the … [Read more]

Hypervalent Iodine Compounds as Green Reagents in Organic Synthesis

The need for environmentally benign methodology to perform reactions in organic chemistry is continuously increasing, in order to minimize health and climate effects caused by the chemical industry. The use of heavy metal-mediated reactions is troublesome, but alternative methodology is often lacking. This STIAS project will focus on the investigation of hypervalent iodine-mediated reactions in … [Read more]

Constitution Building in Africa: Separation of Powers and Constitutionalism in Africa – Comparative Perspectives

The focus of the study for this year, under the broad theme of constitution-building in Africa will be the issue of separation of powers. The excessive concentration of powers is arguably one of the greatest impediments to the promotion of constitutionalism, good governance, democracy and the rule of law in Africa. This is manifested in … [Read more]