Risk, regulation and justice: environmental politics and the social sciences

18 December 2012, 9.00 AM - 18 December 2012, 9.00 AM

Fourth Floor, Graduate School of Education, Bristol

Organising committee - Dan Butt (SPAIS), Tom Osborne (SPAIS), Margherita Pieraccini (Law)

Please note this workshop is for research staff and students only.

This workshop gathers together and showcases Bristol University research and expertise in the social sciences/humanities in relation to environmental risk, regulation and justice, especially in the context of climate change.

The aim of the workshop is to connect research in social and political science and law, and the humanities, with contemporary environmental and/or climate change issues.  We will consider how these environmental concerns affect, and are affected by, politics, policy and law (and the humanities) and expertise within the natural sciences.  The intentions are:

  1. To offer various social scientific/legal/humanities perspectives on contemporary environmental topics that will be of interest to those working on the environmental issues in the social sciences/humanities, natural sciences and in public policy.  This will promote interdisciplinary exchange across disciplines within the University and beyond
  2. To build the foundations of a social science/humanities research cluster by specifying themes and priorities that will have resonance with issues of environmental regulation, justice and risk associated with the work of the University’s Cabot Institute.

The day will consist of four roundtable discussions devoted to themes to do with:

  • Uncertainty and risk
  • Environmental regulation and policy
  • Environmental justice
  • A concluding summary roundtable that will seek to summate the issues towards establishing a social science/humanities research network of shared themes that can engage with the natural sciences.

Each roundtable will consist of three to four invited members of the social sciences/humanities side of the University, who will provide a brief outline of aspects of their research in relation to the topics in hand and some of the key issues that arise from it. We have also invited three respondents from the natural sciences – Professor Paul Bates (Director of the Cabot Institute), Professor Kathy Sykes (IAS) and Dr Mark Siddall (Earth Sciences) – to engage with each roundtable discussion.

Book your place

View the workshop summaries

Download the workshop programme (PDF, 342kB) [PDF, 343 KB]



9 am Coffee

9.20 am Short introduction (Tom Osborne)

9.30 am First Roundtable: Uncertainty and risk

John Downer

Columba Peoples

Sue Porter

Respondents: Paul Bates, Kathy Sykes

11 am Coffee

11.20 am Second Roundtable: Environmental regulation and policy

Chris Deeming

Janine Sargoni

Chris Preist

Margherita Pieraccini

Respondents: Kathy Sykes, Mark Siddall

1 pm Lunch

2 pm Third Roundtable: Environmental justice

Megan Blomfield

Rich Harris

Malcolm Fairbrother

Dan Butt

Respondents: Mark Siddall, Paul Bates

3.45 pm Coffee

4.15 pm Fourth Roundtable: Social Sciences/humanities environmental research network cluster – general discussion

Dan Butt

Tom Osborne

Margherita Pieraccini

5.30 pm Drinks


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