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Professor of African and Development Studies, The University of Edinburgh

James Smith is Professor of African and Development Studies and Vice Principal - International at the University of Edinburgh. He was originally trained in geography and environmental science at the University of Dundee and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

His research focuses on the relationships science, technology and international development, particularly in Africa. His current research is examining the evolution of networks of research, control and treatment of sleeping sickness in both humans and animals in sub-Saharan Africa.


  • –present
    Professor of African and Development Studies, University of Edinburgh


  • 2001 
    University of the Witwatersrand, PhD (Rural Development)
  • 1998 
    University of the Witwatersrand, MSc (Development Geography)
  • 1995 
    University of Dundee, MA Hons (Geography and Environmental Science)


  • 2010
    Biofuels and the Globalization of Risk, Zed Books
  • 2009
    The Limits to Governance, Ashgate
  • 2009
    Science, Technology and Development, Zed Books

Grants and Contracts

  • 2012
    Investigating Networks of Zoonosis Innovation
    Funding Source:
    European Research Council
  • 2005
    Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Sustainability
    Funding Source:
    Department for International Development
  • 2003
    ESRC Innogen Centre
    Funding Source:
    Economic and Social Research Council