Looting the Ivory Tower – academia translated for activists

lootingivorytowerOccasionally academics come up with useful knowledge. Which then as often as not sits behind barriers – pay walls or jargon walls – which render it useless to normal human beings.

“Looting T’Ivory Tower” is an attempt by some academics and trainee academics to translate  articles (usually via a short summary, but perhaps by interviews too?) into a format that can be ‘used’ by people (aka ‘activists’) who are trying to slow our inevitable death spiral towards the apocalypse.

For now, the topics that ‘we’ aim to cover include

  • Adaptation (and the dread term ‘resilience’)
  • Local Authority (in)action on climate change
  • Social movements (especially failure/success/retention/expansion)
  • Socio-technical transitions (how to speed them up
  • Consumption/consumerism

Throughout there is an assumption that there is a lot – if we choose to listen – that we can learn from other people acting in other places and times.

The only papers that will be reviewed  are those that are good and/or have something useful to say. (Life is too short, and readers’ attention too precious, to waste slagging off dross.)

If you want to suggest (or review!) a paper, get in touch – mcmonthly@gmail.com

The questions we want to answer in a review are as follows

Their argument in a tweet: (140 characters)
Should activists pay attention? (If yes, why)

What’s the issue?
What do they have to say?
How convincing is their methodology?
What else would a critic say?
What else could they have said?
What are the implications for (Manchester-based) activism?
What papers/books to do these people refer to that looks (or is) interesting?

You can see what we’ve published so far by searching the MCFly website using the category “LootingTIvoryTower