Interdisciplinarity in Transdisciplinary Projects: Circulating Knowledges, Practices and Effects

A new article in DiSPThe Planning Review I co-authored with Helen Holmes and the rest of the Solar Futures team argues that the emphasis on solving substantive “real-world” problems through interdisciplinary research collaboration can neglect the wider value created by such collaborations.

DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2018.1487646

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Conceptualising and examining connections beyond practices – plenary at BSA workshop


Practice Theory: Connections and Methodologies was a great mix of talks and activities, reaching from philosophical inquiry – for example on the basis for claims of relationality and contesting ideas of where the action of the social is sited – to collaborative empirical project design. The event was very timely, as empirical work with practice theory increasingly includes recognition of its potential to engage larger social phenomena and processes, by attending to the connections between practices across locales and times. Continue reading “Conceptualising and examining connections beyond practices – plenary at BSA workshop”

Practices and complex system change – talk at EC Joint Research Centre


The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre is a daunting place to go to deliver a paper. The entrance to the enormous site resembles a border. A row of control cabins, each with an armed guard outside, check every vehicle. Anyone without the necessary permissions goes to a desk to handover ID in return for being checked as an expected visitor. On the way out another armed guard with a german shepherd dog scans your new visitor badge and checks it against your ID again.

My first visit there today was to kick off the two days of panel presentations and discussion at a JRC Exploratory Workshop, Energy Sustainability in the Transition to Renewables: Framings from Social Practices and Complex Systems Theories. The workshop aimed to bring together these two contemporary approaches to see how they could help policy – including through identifying further research needs – to confront the broader societal challenges of moving towards low carbon energy through deployment of renewables.

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Opening Up the Participation Laboratory – new article in Science, Technology and Human Values

Online here:

Pre-press version here

This article, lead authored by Anna Krzywoszynska with me along with the rest of the Solar Futures team, engages debates on public participation in ‘upstream’ techno-scientific developments. It draws on the our projects long term participatory process with residents of a small town to envisage energy futures. It is published online today in the journal Science, Technology and Human Values.

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Uganda field class

20171105122117_2.JPGSecond international field class of the year (the Geographer’s live), this time helping staff the undergraduate field class to Uganda, ably led by Dan Hammett.

A group of 20 students worked hard over the week in Uganda, focused around doing empirical work with people living in informal settlements in Jinja, Uganda’s second city. This was in partnership with local NGO Working as Angels, who made it possible for the students to work with people in a wide range of life and livelihood circumstances. In the process, students learn a great deal. Inevitably they learn more about the challenges – practical, ethical and emotional – of conducting research in situation like this; and probably more about themselves; than they can about the lived experience of poverty.  Continue reading “Uganda field class”