School of Social and Political Science

Darrick Evensen

Job Title

Lecturer in Environmental Politics


Room number

Room 2.05 (note: this is a temporary office, due to some estate being closed)

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)



+44 (0)749 695 8769

Academic Background

Darrick's research and teaching lie in the broad area of environmental politics and governance.  He is particularly focused on energy policy, both at domestic and international/global scales.  Much of his research examines the public as a non-state actor in environmental and energy policy debates.  He investigates public perceptions, preferences, and public actions taken in response to environmental issues and  policy decisions.

Teaching: Darrick started at Edinburgh in Autumn 2018; his initial teaching includes: (1) an MSc course on environmental risks (perceptions, communication, and ethics), (2) a unit on Global Environmental Politics in the post-graduate 'Global Environment: Key Issues' course, (3) units on International Governance and Environmental Justice in the two introductory undergraduate Sustainable Development courses, and (4) convening the pre-honous undergraduate survey course 'Politics in a Changing World', (5) a lecture on climate movements in the the STIS course 'Science, Nature and Environment', and (6) occasional guest lectures in the School of Geosciences.

Research: Darrick has published extensively on public perceptions of and reactions to energy development and energy transitions in North America and the UK.   He has also examined public knowlegde and attitudes towards climate policy.  His colleagues, co-authors, and collaborators span a large range of nations across six continents.  He relies on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, often combining them in his research and teaching.  He feels strongly that the methods chosen for research should be suited to the question asked, not the reverse; he believes this often necessitates a mixed-methods approach.

Funding: Darrick's research has been funded previously by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US National Park Service, the US Department of Agriculture, the European Commission (Horizon 2020 and Marie Curie Actions), and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).  He is currently:

  • Co-investigator on a UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) grant investigating 'the spatial and temporal dynamics of public attitudes and community responses to shale gas' (2018-2021);
  • Principal investigator on a UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant comparing reports of seismicity across different types of events based on BGS citizen science reports, large-scale Twitter data, longitudinal surveys, and expected intensity modelling (2021-2022);
  • Principal investigator on a Royal Soceity of Edinburgh sabbatical grant examining the role of Scottish institutions in shaping the process and outcomes of the UNFCCC COP26 (2021-2022);
  • Project partner on a European Commission grant investigating 'Subsurface evaluation of carbon capture and storage and unconventional risk' (2018-2021);
  • Project partner on a Norwegian Research Council grant investigating 'Fighting pandemics with enhanced risk communication: Messages, compliance and vulnerability during the COVID-19 outbreak' (2020-2022);
  • Working with the Scottish Parliament on a Scottish Parliament Information Centre Fellowship on green recovery from COVID-19 in Scotland.

Work with Darrick:  Dr Evensen is no longer considering PhD students for Autumn 2021 entry.

If you are interested in studying at the University of Edinburgh with Darrick (i.e., PhD research) in a future year (beyond 2021), please do not hesitate to send Darrick an e-mail with your background and potential connection to Darrick's research interests.

Recent Publications (2017 onwards):

        **For full list, see Google Scholar profile:

Evensen D, Whitmarsh L, Bartie P, Devine-Wright P, Dickie J, Varley A, Ryder S, Mayer A. 2021. Effect of ‘finite pool of worry’ and COVID-19 on UK climate change perceptions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 118, e2018936118.

MacEwen M†, Evensen D. 2021. Mind the gap: Accounting for gender in energy democracy in Kenya. Energy Research and Social Science, 71, 101843.

Gaffney A†, Evensen D. 2020. Addressing the Elephant in the Room: Learning from CITES CoP17. Global Environmental Politics, 20, 3-10.

Hull E*, Evensen D. 2020. Just environmental governance for shale gas? Transitioning towards sustainable local regulation of fracking in Spain. Energy Research and Social Science, 59, 101307.

Luke H, Evensen D. 2020. After the dust settles: Community resilience legacies of unconventional gas development. The Extractive Industries and Society.

Zanocco C, Boudet H, Clarke C, Stedman R, Evensen D. 2020. NIMBY, YIMBY, or something else? Geographies of public perceptions of shale gas development in the Marcellus Shale. Environmental Research Letters, 15, 074039.

Balog-Way D, Evensen D, Löfstedt R. 2020. Pharmaceutical benefit-risk perception and age differences in the USA and Germany. Drug Safety, 43, 1141-1156.

Balog-Way D, Evensen D, Löfstedt R, Bouder F. 2020. Effects of public trust on behavioural intentions in the pharmaceutical sector: Data from six EU countries. Journal of Risk Research, DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2019.1694962.

Rosemary R, Evensen D. 2020. Unveiling the ‘green’: Media coverage of the Aceh Green Vision, Indonesia. Chapter 14 in Climate Change Research, Policy and Actions in Indonesia: Science, Adaptation and Mitigation; Djalante R, Jupesta J, Aldrian E (Eds.). Springer, pp. 281-300.

Evensen D. 2019. The rhetorical limitations of the #FridaysForFuture movement. Nature Climate Change, 9, 428-430.

Clarke C, Evensen D. 2019. Political divergence in how people view scientific consensus on unconventional energy development’s risk/benefits increases partisan gaps in issue support. Energy Research and Social Science, 51, 156-167.

Craig K*, Evensen D, van der Horst D. 2019. How distance influences dislike: Responses to proposed fracking in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Moravian Geographical Reports, 27(2), 92–107.

Becker S, Demski C, Evensen D, Pidgeon N. 2019. Of profits, transparency, and responsibility: Public views on financing energy system change in Great Britain. Energy Research and Social Science, 55, 236-246.

Demski C, Thomas G, Becker S, Evensen D, Pidgeon N. 2019. Acceptance of energy transitions and policies: Public conceptualisations of energy as need and basic right in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science, 48, 33-45.

Ferguson M, Lynch M, Powers S, Barrett A, Evensen D, Graefe A, Mowen A. 2019. The impacts of shale natural gas energy development on outdoor recreation: A statewide assessment of Pennsylvanians. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 27, 100230.

Clarke C, Bugden D, Evensen D, Stedman R, Boudet H, Jacquet J. 2019. Communicating about climate change, natural gas development, and “fracking”: U.S. and international perspectives. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science, DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.443.

Evensen D, Demski C, Becker S, Pidgeon N. 2018. The relationship between justice and acceptance of energy transition costs in the UK. Applied Energy, 222, 451-459.

Evensen D, Stedman R. 2018. ‘Fracking’: Promoter and destroyer of ‘the good life’. Journal of Rural Studies, 59, 142-152.

Evensen D, Brown-Steiner B. 2018. Connection to climate change matters relatively little for views on fracking. Climate Policy, 18, 556-567.

Evensen D. 2018. Review of shale gas social science in the United Kingdom, 2013-2018. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5, 691-698.

Evensen D. 2018. Yet more ‘fracking’ social science: An overview of unconventional hydrocarbon development globally. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5, 417-421.

Luke H, Rasch E, Evensen D, Köhne M. 2018. Is ‘activist’ a dirty word? Social and place identity, activism and unconventional gas developments across three continents. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5, 524-534.

Buchanan B, Auerbach D, Knighton J, Evensen D, Fuka D, Easton Z, … & Walter T. 2018. Estimating dominant runoff modes across the conterminous United States. Hydrological Processes. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.13296.

Luke H, Evensen D. 2018. Community representations of unconventional gas development in Australia, Canada and the United States, and their effect on social licence. Chapter in Governing Shale Gas, eds. J Whitton, M Cotton, I Charnley-Parry, K Brasier. London: Routledge, pp. 130-148.

Evensen D, Stedman R, O’Hara S, Humphrey M, Andersson-Hudson J. 2017. Variation in beliefs about ‘fracking’ between the UK and US. Environmental Research Letters, 12, 124004.

Evensen D, Stedman R, Brown-Steiner B. 2017. Resilient but not sustainable? Public perceptions of shale gas development via hydraulic fracturing. Ecology & Society, 22(1), 8.

Evensen D, Stedman R. 2017. Beliefs about impacts matter little for views on shale gas development. Energy Policy, 109, 10-21.

Evensen D. 2017. News and views: Renewable energy policy: Enumerating costs reduces support. Nature Energy, 2, 17106.

Evensen D. 2017. ‘If they only knew what I know’: Attitude change from education about ‘fracking’. Environmental Practice, 19(2), 68-79.

Evensen D. 2017. On the complexity of ethical claims related to shale gas policy. Local Environment, 22, 1290-1297.

Demski C, Evensen D, Pidgeon N, Spence A. 2017. Public prioritisation of affordability within the UK energy transition. Energy Policy, 110, 404-409.

Bugden D, Evensen D, Stedman R. 2017. A drill by any other name: Legacies of natural resource extraction and modern ‘hydraulic fracturing’. Energy Research and Social Science, 29, 62-71.

Thomas M, Pidgeon N, Evensen D, Partridge T, Hasell A, Enders C, Harthorn B, Bradshaw M. 2017. Public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas and oil in the United States and Canada. WIREs Climate Change, 8, e450.

Pidgeon N, Thomas M, Partridge T, Evensen D, Harthorn B. 2017. Hydraulic fracturing – A risk for environment, energy security and affordability? In R. Kasperson (ed.), Risk Conundrums: Solving Unsolvable Problems, pp. 177-188. London: Earthscan.

†  A cross (†) denotes a postgraduate (MSc or PhD) student co-author.

*  An asterisk (*) denotes an undergraduate student co-author.

Research interests

Research interests

Climate change and energy policy, Environmental sociology, Environmental policy, Shale gas, Energy transitions, North America, European Union, United Kingdom, Sense of place, Social representations

Topics interested in supervising

I am interested in supervising almost anything innovative, exciting, and (hopefully) controversial in the area of energy and climate social science and energy/climate policy. I am interested in topics related to: energy transitions, social movements, public perceptions, sense of place, social representations, community energy, renewables, unconventional fossil fuels, comparative international policy, devolved governance in the UK, and many other content areas.

If you are interested in being supervised by Darrick Evensen, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information: