SPS COP26 Research
As world leaders assemble in Glasgow for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, we're highlighting how research in our School is addressing the challenges of climate change and sustainability.
The social sciences have an essential role in understanding the effects of climate change on local, national and global societies. Work by social scientists across disciplines is identifying solutions that can help us meet these urgent problems.
Learn more below about how researchers in the School of Social and Political Science are leading efforts towards a sustainable future.
Check out our Wakelet board, which collates a huge range of our academics' recent sustainability research and expert analysis.
University of Edinburgh COP26 observer delegation
The University of Edinburgh has an observer delegation attending COP26. Included in the delegation from SPS are:
- Professor Elizabeth Bomberg
- Postgraduate student Rona Hardie ( MSc Global Environment, Politics and Society)
- Undergraduate student Molly Shelton (MA Sustainable Development)
A number of our researchers are attending COP26 or researching in themes closely related to the conference.
- Professor Elizabeth Bomberg
Professor Bomberg is attending COP26 as a University of Edinburgh delegate – her research examines sustainability activism and governance.
- Dr Claire Duncanson
Senior Lecturer in International Relations, using feminist analysis to explore and illuminate the impacts and drivers of climate change.
- Dr Darrick Evensen
Lecturer in Environmental Politics undertaking a Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellowship to study the role of Scotland, as a devolved nation, in shaping the processes and outcomes of COP26.
- Dr Rachel Howell
Dr Rachel Howell’s research and teaching focuses on sustainability, particularly climate change mitigation.
- Dr Juli Huang
Economic anthropologist whose research focuses on social enterprise and the use of new technologies, data, and markets for poverty alleviation.
- Professor Roger Jeffery
Professorial Fellow in Sociology at the School of Social and Political Science, and Associate Director of the Edinburgh India Institute. Professor Jeffery took part in a recent event on COP26 as part of the South Asian Nitrogen Hub.
- Dr Kirsten Jenkins
Lecturer in Energy, Environment and Society within the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS), focusing on how energy transitions affect society and create issues of injustice. Dr Jenkins has a range of work underway related to COP26 themes.
- Dr Sarah Parry
Sarah Parry is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Social and Political Science, with a focus on gender and sustainability, particularly in over-developed countries, and gender and household sustainability.
- Professor Janette Webb
Professor of Sociology of Organisations at the School of Social and Political Science. Janette's research concerns social studies of energy and climate change.
- Dr Mark Winskel
Senior Lecturer in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies subject area, working on energy expertise and research-policy exchange for the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
- Professor Steve Yearley
Professor of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Professor Yearley is well known for his work in social studies of science and in environmental sociology.
SPS sustainability researchers
There is a broad range of research taking place at the School of Social and Political Science related to sustainability.
Here are some of our key researchers working in sustainability, along with their research interests:
- Professor Jamie Cross, Professor of Social and Economic Anthropology
Research themes: Energy, technology, and economy in the global south
- Dr Agustin Diz, Lecturer in Anthropology of Development
Research themes: Political and economic anthropologist specialising in Latin America; labour and unemployment; energy and extractive industries; welfare policies and democratisation among indigenous populations in Latin America
- Dr Oliver Escobar, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy
Research themes: Cities; criminal justice; data and digital; energy, environment and sustainability; governance and democracy; politics and political violence; science, knowledge and policy
- Dr Sophie Haines, Anthropologist of development, environment, science and technology
Research themes: knowledge practices; environmental perceptions; decision-making in contexts of social and ecological change
- Dr Rachel Howell, Researcher and Lecturer focused on sustainability
Research themes: Climate change mitigation; promoting lower-carbon practices and lifestyles; framing and communication of sustainability issues; responses to energy technologies and policies; and education for sustainability
- Dr Mathias Thaler, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory
Research themes: Contemporary political theory; democratic theory; populism; human rights; the morality of war and violence
- Dr Niki Vermeulen, Senior Lecturer in History/Sociology of Science
Research themes: Science and innovation policy; the organisation of research, with an emphasis on scientific collaboration in the life sciences