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James Hutton Institute Blogs

Affordable housing versus rural tourism: The case of St Ives

Deb Roberts

Tourism is important for many rural economies.  Despite the fragility of visitor demand, often low paid seasonal employment, and potential adverse environmental effects, it brings income into areas which have limited alternative development opportunities.  However tourism can over-...

Is there a need for region-specific policies for malnutrition in Africa?

Yakubu Abdul-Salam

Malnutrition and undernourishment affect about 1 in 5 people in Africa and remains one of the most important public health problems in African countries. It is a major cause of stillbirths, wasting and stunting in children and low productivity in adults. Meanwhile, incomes across the...

Why small area statistics are important: The incidence of disabled older people in remote small towns in Scotland

Jonathan Hopkins

It is easy to think of socio-economic difficulties and vulnerability in Scotland as being urban issues. The fact that life expectancy in Glasgow is shorter than anywhere else in the UKhas been well documented, and Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee are known to contain over half of Scotland’s...

What will it take to mainstream community empowerment?

Joshua Msika

There’s a buzz in the air in Scotland: proponents of community empowerment argue that it will address all manner of ills from democratic deficits to poor quality of life. 

More cash and jobs per illegal drop? A tale of equity

Paula Novo

A few years ago, when I was writing my masters thesis on water use (Novo et al., 2009) something that was very often part of the discussions about water management in agriculture was the motto  ‘more crops per drop’.  

How to evaluate organisations?

Katrin Prager

Many academics review papers and research proposals submitted by their peers. Fewer academics have experience with the evaluation of organisations. This is what I want to reflect on: How do we judge performance, output, quality and impact of an organisation? Who is best placed to evaluate? and...

To pre-congress or not pre-congress?

Lee-Ann Sutherland

In August 2015, the SEGS group hosted the ‘European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) Congress’. We organised a number of additional special events to accompany the congress, including a pre-congress workshop on visual methods. I was the chair of the local organising committee for...

Academic conferences – do we need to shake them up a bit?

Kirsty Holstead

One of the great things about my job here at the Hutton is that I get to attend academic conferences. They are a way to disseminate our research, meet and learn from people who work in the same field and gather new ideas and perspectives.

Commuting patterns in rural Scotland

Patricia Melo

Commuting is one of the main, and most visible, forms of integration between rural areas and surrounding small towns and urban areas; it allows workers to access urban employment opportunities while at the same time satisfying preferences for a rural residence. In this post I explore visually...

Reflections on one year of blogging

Kerry Waylen

This week our blog celebrates its first birthday! In the last 12 months our posts have covered a range of topics, everything from sharing new research findings (e.g. how do crofters obtain information and support?), to thoughts about the research process itself (e.g. what do you do when...


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.