Author Archives: jedstevenson

Afterlife

One of my favourite works of anthropology is a study of infancy among the Beng of Cote d’Ivoire. For people in this West African community, children are understood to come from the Afterlife. In their way of thinking, people’s spirits … Continue reading

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Maps and the twentieth century

There is no internationally agreed map of the world. This is one of the more memorable things I took away from a recent exhibition at the British Library. The exhibition, entitled “Maps and the Twentieth Century: Drawing the Line,” reviewed   … Continue reading

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Books of 2016

These are the books that have made the greatest impression on me this year. 1. The idealist, by Justin Peters Aaron Swartz was an IT prodigy who hacked the scholarly literature database J-Stor.  Brought to trial for doing so, he … Continue reading

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Evidence for zombies

Last Friday I came home from Edinburgh, head buzzing with ideas after a 2-day meeting on evidence in development and global health. ‘How is evidence defined?’ the speakers from universities and NGOs asked. ‘How is it generated and used?’ Or … Continue reading

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A tribute to Clive Hart

What sense can we make of a life? Granted, there may not be any single meaning. But is it possible we might find something robust to hold on to? Perhaps a family of meanings? These questions grip me as I … Continue reading

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Leave to Remain

Why I cried about Brexit. I cried about the referendum. Explaining why is hard. It’s not that I was committed to the EU as such. I admire some of the values associated with the project of European integration: cosmopolitanism and … Continue reading

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The end of alchemy?

Is it prudent to orient our societies around the goal of achieving ‘20 years of growth and prosperity’ if, in the process, we are causing catastrophic climate change?  That’s the question I asked Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank … Continue reading

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