We are the ‘Change in Agriculture’ group in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading (UK). Agriculture is being asked to deal with a number of social and environmental challenges, from tackling climate change, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss, to food security, social justice and maintaining livelihoods, whilst dealing with pressures of demographic change and a global pandemic.
Changes are required in how we do agriculture. We are an inter-disciplinary group of PhD students and researchers studying these changes and their impacts on people, production, and the planet. We have members interested in extension around new agricultural technologies, as well as peer-to-peer learning, behaviour change, and user-centred design. Others are interested in the ethical impacts of new technologies, including on animal welfare and on people, whilst some are interested in how we govern agricultural innovation and what we can learn from histories of previous so-called agricultural revolutions. Some of us are working on the post-Brexit agricultural transitions and effects on farmer mental health. Many of us are interested in methods of public engagement in policy and technology design, particularly around Artificial Intelligence and robotics. The focus of this work is primarily on developed production systems, such as the UK, but new group members will expand our geographical horizons to consider agricultural extension in the developing world (e.g. India).
The group officially formed in Autumn 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic which saw group members scattered across the UK, the rest of Europe, and Asia. Many of the group’s current members have never met each other in person! This webpage showcases the cutting-edge work of the group and we invite more students and researchers from a variety of disciplines to join us as we seek to put a spotlight on extension, inclusion, and ethical issues in agricultural change. Please contact Dr David Rose (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in joining or working with us.