Robert Proctor

Four Funded PhD Opportunities

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Tim Collins, Acting Head of Research, recently announced that Glasgow School of Art hasa number of studentships on offer.

There are two Studentships within the School of Fine Art.

Areas of focus could include:

Society and Environmental Art
Prof Timothy Collins [
Additional supervisors include artists Ross Sinclair and Sue Brind, Justin Carter, and Clara Ursitti as well as Dr Ken Neil.

Art and Curatorial Practices
Dr Frances Mckee (}
Additional supervisors offering support in these areas include critics, artists and curators such as John Calcutt, Dr Ross Birrell and Dr Sarah Lowndes.

Photography, Painting
Prof Roger Wilson [] Additional supervisors include artists Prof Thomas Joshua Cooper, Dr Nicky Bird, and Stephanie Smith.

We have one studentship in the School of Design.

Areas of focus could include:

Design and Innovation
Prof Irene McAra McWilliam (
Additional supervisors offering support include designers Jimmy Stephen-Cran and Paul Stickley, Dr Gordon Hush and Dr Ben Craven.

Design for Health and Care
Prof Alastair Macdonald (
Additional supervisors includes Dr Paul Chapman, and Dr David Loudon, there is also co-support available in the MEARU research unit.

We have one studentship in the Mackintosh School of Architecture

Areas of focus could include:

Place, Memory and Practice
Prof Chris Platt (
Additional supervisors include Prof Brian Evans, Prof Thomas Maver, Dr Robert Proctor, Sally Stewart and Prof Florian Urban.

Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit
Reader Tim Sharpe (
Additional supervisors include Dr Masa Noguchi Dr. Filbert Musau and Dr Raid Hanna.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

Drowning in information: MMR and climate

WILLIAM SHAW: This morning comes the news that measles is on the rise in the UK, predictably so as MMR vaccination rates dropped. The question is why so many people chose to disregard good information and clung doggedly instead to bad science or anti-establishment dogma. There's a parallel here with the science of climate change. From reading the media – new and old – you'd never know that the scientific community have reached a broad consensus that climate change is man-made. A Clive Thompson article in this month's Wired talks to Robert Proctor, a science historian at Stanford who coined the word antology to describe the concept of "culturally produced ignorance".

"People always assume," says Proctor, "that if someone doesn't know something it's because they haven't paid attention or haven't figured it out. But ignorance also comes from people literally suppressing the truth – or drowning it out – or trying to make it so confusing that people sto caring about what's true or what's not."

The information revolution has led to a civil war of beliefs in which half-truths are brandished indiscriminately. We drown in information; the science is lost. Just as, in the UK, the Daily Mail played a key role in muddying the waters around MMR, now  Christopher Brooker gives faux-legitimacy to climate scepticism in the Daily Telegraph. Brooker's arguments circulate on the web as gospel.

The facts one choses to see become increasingly an issue of culture, and the danger is that cultures are now digging themselves in increasingly doggedly. Example: Thompson points out that the numbers of Republicans who believe in anthropgenic global warming has declined from 52% to 42%.

Image: Still from Sandman by Patricia Piccini 2002, one of the films at Figuring Landscapes at Tate Modern, London from today 

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology Blog