Projects per year
I am Professor of Environment and Society and Chair of the Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Research Group in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. I also serve as Head of the Social Science Sector in the School and as Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
I am a science and technology studies (STS) scholar and geographer concerned with the changing relations between science, innovation and society in contemporary democracies, particularly in environment and sustainability contexts and in response to issues of energy, climate change and emerging technologies.
Within these settings, a key focus of my work has been to reimagine and remake public participation and democracy from a more relational and constructivist STS perspective. This has included bringing forward new ways of theorising and studying participation: as situated participatory experiments and practices in the making (ranging from deliberative, activist, everyday, digital, grassroots community engagements, and so on); as new forms of participation expertise, institutionalisation and innovation that travel and have effects around the world; and as diverse ecologies of participation that interrelate in wider political systems and cultures. This in turn has prompted new paths for remaking participatory practices in more experimental, reflexive and responsible ways, including my work on approaches like Deliberative Mapping and digital methods for mapping participation in wider issues and systems. Much of this work is captured in my 2016 book Remaking Participation: Science, Environment and Emergent Publics (Routledge) co-authored with Matthew Kearnes, which received the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) Amsterdamska Award in 2018 for its “substantive contribution” to the STS field in terms of “originality and impact”.
I have applied these ideas and approaches more widely in studies of the Anthropocene, global environmental expertise, climate change, climate geoengineering, smart technologies, energy transitions, energy democracy, radioactive waste, science governance, reflexive learning, organisational learning, science-policy interfaces, responsible innovation, social innovation, citizen science, interdisciplinarity, and more.
I am currently taking this work forward: as director of the first national Observatory for Societal Engagement with Energy (SEE) and zero carbon transitions which is a new core capability of the £18 million UKRI-funded UK Energy Research Centre (2019-2024), for which I am a Co-Director; as Co-I and work package lead on the interdisciplinary FAB-GGR project (Feasibility of afforestation and biomass energy with carbon capture and storage for greenhouse gas removal) funded by NERC/EPSRC/ESRC (2017-2021); and as Co-I on the Just Public Algorithms project as part of Not Equal, an EPSRC Network+ programme on Social Justice through the Digital Economy (2019-2020). Previously I have led research projects and programmes funded by ESRC, EPSRC, UK Government, Defra, BEIS, and the European Commission.
My scholarship has benefited from and informed two decades of practical experience in intervening in participation experiments and democratic practice in the UK and internationally - ranging from designing and facilitating participatory processes through to expert advisory roles - for organisations such as the Royal Society, the Nuffield Council, Defra, the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), Natural England, Sciencewise, the European Commission and UNEP. I currently sit on the Advisory Board for the EU Horizon 2020 ENGAGE project, on the Steering Group for Carbon Connect’s cross parliamentary inquiry on engaging consumers in the low carbon heat transition, and on the Academic Advisory Panel for the UK Parliament’s Climate Change Citizens’ Assembly.
I teach widely across undergraduate degrees in Geography and Environmental Sciences at UEA and also masters programmes, including as module organiser of ‘Science, Society and Sustainability’ a core module on the 3S Pathway in our MSc in Environmental Sciences. Since 2016, I have served as an external examiner in the Department of Geography at the University of Manchester.
Key Research Interests and Expertise
- Science, technology and society
- Social studies of participation and democracy
- Participatory, digital and experimental methods
- Societal engagement with science and sustainability
- Responsible innovation and anticipatory governance
- Energy, climate change and emerging technologies
Publications: EPrints Digital Repository
- Chair of the Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Research Group
- Head of Social Science, School of Environmental Sciences
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
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Feasibility of Afforestation and Biomass energy with carbon capture storage for Greenhouse Gas Removal (FAB GGR)
Vaughan, N., Bateman, I., Binner, A., Chilvers, J., Day, B., Forster, J., Friedlingstein, P., Gilbert, P., Gough, C., Harper, A., Hastings, A., Jordan, A., Lenton, T., Lorenzoni, I., Rayner, T. & Roeder, M.
1/05/17 → 30/09/22
1/09/19 → 30/04/20
Harnessing 'citizen science' to reinforce resilience to environmental disasters:creating an evidence base and community of practice
Barclay, J., Armijos Burneo, T., Armijos Burneo, T., Armijos Burneo, T., Chilvers, J., Dorling, S., Foden, G., Haklay, M., Hicks, A., Mather, T., McMahon, W., Mee, K., Oven, K., Phillips, J., Pyle, D., Rosser, N. & Simmons, P.
9/01/17 → 1/03/18
UKERC Phase 3 Project 5.1: ‘Systemic Participation and Decision-Making in the UK Energy Transitions'.
1/05/14 → 31/08/19
Chilvers, J., Bellamy, R., Pallett, H. & Hargreaves, T., Mar 2021, In: Nature Energy. 6, p. 250-259 10 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Bringing greenhouse gas removal down to earth: Stakeholder supply chain appraisals reveal complex challengesClery, D. S., Vaughan, N. E., Forster, J., Lorenzoni, I., Gough, C. A. & Chilvers, J., 1 Nov 2021, In: Global Environmental Change. 71, 102369.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile6 Downloads (Pure)
Searching for a Public in Controversies over Carbon Dioxide Removal: An Issue Mapping Study on BECCS and AfforestationWaller, L., Rayner, T. & Chilvers, J., 27 Sep 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Science, Technology, & Human Values.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Downloads (Pure)
Waller, L., Rayner, T., Chilvers, J., Gough, C., Lorenzoni, I., Jordan, A. & Vaughan, N., Jul 2020, In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. 11, 4, e649.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile12 Citations (Scopus)33 Downloads (Pure)
Forster, J., Vaughan, N., Gough, C., Lorenzoni, I. & Chilvers, J., Jul 2020, In: Global Environmental Change. 63, 102073.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile15 Citations (Scopus)35 Downloads (Pure)