School of Social and Political Science

Energy, environment and sustainability


Measuring and modelling the state of the environment and its sustainability

The distinctive focus of our research cluster is two-fold:

  1. on environmental knowledge – including 'knowledges' embodied in practices and institutions
  2. on energy transitions

Systems of energy supply and use are transforming in the face of urgent concerns over climate change. The changes involved are deeply socio-technical, and are often contested and disruptive, but policy decisions (and societal consent of these decisions) are nevertheless needed.

Our research directs attention to fundamental questions about how we know, measure, or model the state of the environment and its sustainability, as well as the role that energy systems play within it.

In turn, these questions have strong implications for the analysis of environmental and energy policy options.

Our research focus also opens up characteristic questions about the scope for citizen engagement in knowledge-making or in the assessment of knowledge claims.

Our work draws on Science, Technology and Innovation Studies' roots in: Science Studies, Technology and Innovation Studies, the Sociology of the Environment, and Climate Change and Participation Studies more generally.

Our research

Our research work includes:

  • understanding expert differences on energy transitions
  • citizen engagement with science and technology in environmental topics, including citizen science
  • the sociology of climate knowledge
  • participatory engagement, citizenship and democracy
  • doing interdisciplinary research for energy transitions
  • systematic evidence reviews for policy effectiveness
  • energy regulation: who pays for transitions?
  • the history and politics of electricity markets
  • just transition: repurposing Europe’s oil and gas clusters
  • energy justice and its whole-systems applications
  • intersections between gender and environmental sustainability

Our partners and funders

The group works with a range of partners and funders, including:

  • National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC)
  • ClimateXChange
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Scottish Government
  • The Research Council of Norway
  • Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS)

Related people and projects