3S leads UEA’s Learning and Teaching Day 2016

3S members Gill Seyfang and Helen Pallett took to the stage recently for UEA’s annual Learning and Teaching Day (5th May 2016), to demonstrate Comedy in the Classroom, an exciting new teaching method which is growing and catching on across UEA and further afield. In an interdisciplinary School of Environmental Sciences, students who are more…

Mapping visions of low carbon energy transitions

In a new 3S working paper Noel Longhurst and Jason Chilvers undertake a comparative analysis of twelve diverse visions of UK energy transitions. The paper draws on research undertaken as part of the EPSRC-funded Realising Transition Pathways (RTP) project. Within this project the role of the 3S team has been to develop further insights into…

3S Working Paper 2016-28 Longhurst & Chilvers – Mapping Diverse Visions of UK Energy Transitions

The need to rapidly decarbonise the energy systems which underpin modern societies is widely accepted, yet there is also growing criticism of ‘top down’, technocentric transition visions. Transitions are, such critics claim, unpredictable, contested, and comprise of multiple and competing perspectives. This paper opens up to diverse visions of UK energy transitions by studying a…

Innovative teaching in 3S leads the way

Comedy in the classroom – our award-winning innovative teaching in 3S – is leading the way at UEA right now. We made the front page of UEA’s quarterly Learning Highlights newsletter, which showcases exciting new developments and shares best practice. You can read more about it here, as Gill Seyfang’s feature explains the whys and wherefores…

New paper: Participation in Transition(s)

In a new open access paper in the Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning Jason Chilvers and Noel Longhurst set out a new framework that reconceives public and civil society engagement in energy transitions as co-produced, relational and emergent. The paper speaks to the urgent challenge of transitioning to sustainable low carbon energy systems and debates…

New 3S working paper on sociotechnical transitions: A relational co-productionist approach

A new 3S Working Paper by Jason Chilvers and Noel Longhurst develops a novel approach to understanding and intervening in sociotechnical system transitions, in domains such as energy and sustainability. The approach builds a relational and co-productionist understanding of system change – grounded theories from science and technology studies (STS) and wider social theory –…

3S Working Paper 2015-27 Chilvers & Longhurst – A Relational Co-productionist Approach to Sociotechnical Transitions

In this paper we develop an approach to sociotechnical change that is grounded in relational and co-productionist theories from science and technology studies (STS) and wider social theory. This is a constructive project to further develop and advance understandings and explanations of actor dynamics and sociotechnical change. In doing so we propose a new relational…

3S leads new Comedy in the Classroom teaching innovation

Award-winning teaching led by 3S members in ENV is the centrepiece of a new website ComedyInTheClassroom.org which raises UEA’s profile as an exemplar of creative and innovative teaching. Dr Gill Seyfang created the website to showcase an exciting new teaching method which has the potential to transform teaching in higher education. Comedy in the Classroom…

New book ‘Remaking Participation’ out now

3S Chair Jason Chilvers’ new book Remaking Participation: Science, Environment and Emergent Publics is published this week by Routledge. The volume, co-edited with Dr Matthew Kearnes (School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales, Australia), develops ambitious new theoretical perspectives on public participation with science, technology and the environment and offers important practical…

3S vacancy: Lecturer in Human Geography of the Environment

We are recruiting for a lecturer to join the 3S research group and contribute to our growing and vibrant research and teaching.  The University of East Anglia invites applications for a Lectureship in the Human Geography of the Environment in the School of Environmental Sciences.  The successful candidate will have a developing international research record in…

New research briefing on Unleashing Grassroots Innovations

A newly-published research briefing discusses how we can unleash the transformative power of grassroots innovations, looking in particular at community currencies. Unleashing Grassroots Innovations: A Quest For Community Currency Growth How can grassroots innovations grow, achieve their potential, and increase their influence? Gill Seyfang presents findings of a 3-year quest to learn about diffusing community currencies.…

3S leads new BA Geography degree

UEA is now accepting applications for its new BA Geography degree based in the School of Environmental Sciences, which is being led by 3S faculty members. The degree complements our existing BSc Geography, and this new BA offers a broader range of human geography training, drawing on the world-leading expertise of 3S members. Dr Gill…

Scoping note: Rethinking energy participation as relational and systemic

On July 14th 2015 Jason Chilvers, Helen Pallett and Tom Hargreaves published a scoping note entitled ‘Rethinking energy participation as relational and systemic’. As part of a the Systemic participation and decision-making in UK energy transitions UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) project the note develops new perspectives on energy participation and societal engagement with energy systems. It creates…

Unleashing Grassroots Innovations for Sustainability

The quest for sustainability’s holy grail will be the subject of a keynote presentation by Gill Seyfang (3S, UEA) at the European Society for Ecological Economics 2015 conference. Her challenge is to find the key to unleashing the transformative potential of grassroots innovations, such as sustainable money, food, energy, housing, transport and food systems, whose…

Freja Friis visits 3S from Aalborg

3S is delighted to welcome Freja Friis as a visiting PhD research scholar from March to May 2015. Freja is completing her PhD at the Danish Building Research Institute, a part of Aalborg University in Copenhagen, with Kirsten Gram-Hanssen as her supervisor. Freja’s PhD is a sociological study about how to integrate smart grid technologies…

What’s the meaning of smart? Sociotechnical report

‘What’s the meaning of smart? A study of smart grids’ is  a report from a multidisciplinary study conducted by Nigel Hargreaves, Jason Chilvers and Tom Hargreaves. The report contends that to be smart, electricity grids have to not only be consistent with current infrastructures and other technologies in a technical sense, but also encourage engagement and adoption by end-users. A…

Recovery and adaptation of local communities following volcanic eruption.

This project looks at the recovery process and adaptation strategies of local communities affected by a volcanic eruption. Noting a large gap in the understanding of post-disaster period, I aim to understand the different stages and strategies which lead the recovery process and the adaptation choices, especially in terms of sustainable development and reduction of…

3S WP 2014-26 Chilvers and Longhurst – Co-production and emergence of diverse public engagements in energy transitions

The field of sustainability transitions research has a strong theoretical emphasis on the sites and modes of intervention in socio‐technical systems, with the intention of informing the purposive ‘steering’ of the system. For critics, questions of power and politics are often obscured in what, it is argued, are optimistic and technocratic transition mechanisms. In addition,…

3S WP 2014-24 Rozema – Inference in social science research

Abduction is a very promising mode of inference, particularly when researchers aim to simultaneously build and test theoretical propositions. Yet the application of abduction in social science research is marginal in comparison with induction and deduction. It is likely that this is due so to limited understanding of what abduction does and how it works…

3S WP 2013-23 Wilson et al – Using Smart Homes

Published research on smart homes and their users is growing exponentially, yet a clear understanding of who these users are and how they might use smart home technologies is missing from a field being overwhelmingly pushed by technology developers. Drawing on a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed literature on smart homes and their users, this…

3S WP 2013-22 Jensen – Social practices in energy-related transitions?

Reducing energy consumption from lighting is, in policy making, largely treated as a matter ofoptimizing the individual lighting product. However, this paper argues that since lighting is a highly cultural, historical and socio-material phenomenon, energy efficient (or intensive) lighting patterns evolve from something more and something else than what the individual lighting product provides. This is an…

3S WP 2013-21 Seyfang et al – A Grassroots Sustainable Energy Niche? Reflections on community energy case studies

System-changing innovations for sustainability transitions are proposed to emerge in radical innovative niches. ‘Strategic Niche Management’ theory predicts that niche-level actors and networks will aggregate learning from local projects, distilling and disseminating best practice. This should lower the bar for new projects to form and establish, thereby encouraging the innovation to diffuse through replication. Within…

3S WP 2013-20 Foulds et al – Investigating the performance of everyday domestic practices using building monitoring

Building monitoring can enhance our understanding of everyday life, yet has sparsely been used in social practices research. Monitoring usually provides context (e.g. differences in performing practices) for more prominent qualitative inquiry, and is rarely centrally integrated methodologically. This paper aims to investigate the potential usefulness of utilising, and integrating more centrally, building monitoring to…

3S WP 2013-19 Hauxwell-Baldwin – The Politics and Practice of ‘Community’ in UK Government Funded Climate Change Initiatives

Academics and policy-makers have claimed that community has a potentially useful role to play in encouraging pro-environmental behaviour change. Yet despite a growing literature on the role of community in doing so, a critical examination of the policy context in which it is being employed towards that goal is currently lacking. This paper addresses that…

3S WP 2013-18 Borie Hulme – The authority of expertise in Global Environmental Assessments

Fifty years ago, Michael Polanyi wrote his classic essay in defence of the autonomy of scientific enquiry: The Republic of Science: its political and economic theory. Contrasting with this vision, the past 30 years have seen the proliferation of Global Environmental Assessments (GEAs) which are explicitly associated with societal goals. The most recent example is…