Seeing one’s own research described in a news release is always an interesting experience. Sometimes it’s exciting, sometimes it’s confusing, sometimes it’s frustrating. In the end, though, by reflecting on the differences between how you understand your research and how others understand it, a lot can be learned about the cultures of research and research administration. That’s what I try to achieve in this blogpost, where I reflect on the draft of a news release that I received by email this weekend from the European Commission.
First, a bit of background: During 2012 and 2013 I held a European Commission Marie Curie Fellowship at Royal Holloway, University of London with the slightly-too-cute acronym of GAIA (Global Alternatives for an Interconnected Arctic). When I accepted my current post at Durham, I terminated the fellowship early (in August 2013), and, with the input of ‘Scientist-in-Charge’ Klaus Dodds, I submitted a required report to the European Commission detailing what I had accomplished during the fellowship. Now, exactly one year (!) after the fellowship has ended, the European Commission has placed the report’s executive summary on its website and a communications officer there has drafted a news release publicising the project’s results.
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I’ve just posted a ‘reflections’ piece on the Ice Law Project blog, where I use the aims of the Ice Law Project to look back at testimony that I gave on Tuesday to the House of Lords Arctic Committee.
In addition to interrogating the relationship between ice and politics, I consider some of the problems inherent when one tries to to ‘think outside the box’ (or ‘outside the ice cube’) while engaging the practical solutions orientation of the policy-making community.
Click on the image for full video of the testimony (the first hour is on international security; the Law of the Sea panel, on which I appear with Robin Churchill and Maurice Mendelson, begins at 11:41).
Building on the Workshop on the Ice-Land-Water Interface that was held in Durham 19-21 June, IBRU: Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research, in cooperation with the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Law, announces the launch of the Ice Law Project website: http://icelawproject.org. In addition to containing an overview of the project’s aims and its various subprojects, the website contains reflection pieces from workshop attendees. Presently, there are reflection pieces from Klaus Dodds and Kate Coddington, but many more will be posted over the next weeks.
We also have begun a Twitter feed at @IceLawProject
On its 25th anniversary, IBRU, formerly the Durham University’s International Boundaries Research Unit, has been relaunched as Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research. Although past and current clients of IBRU’s consulting and training services likely will see little difference (aside from our new logo), the name change signals IBRU’s ongoing commitment to building bridges between applied work at the intersection of political geography and international law with cutting edge research that connects this applied work with inquiries into the changing nature of borders, territory, sovereignty, citizenship, and the political organisation of space.
That headline’s not a typo.
Lots of people are wondering what it would mean to have a world without ice. However, even as glaciers melt and sea level rises there’s still going to be a lot of ice around for a long time, especially in the winter. In fact, ice is likely to become more important as commercial enterprises and the states that support them become increasingly active in the polar regions.
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Stuart Elden has pointed to the somewhat unusual map that graces the cover of the Scottish government’s new report on land tenure issues in an independent Scotland. In this post I take up Stuart’s challenge to analyse the map in some detail.
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