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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

The Users, Consumers, and Social Frameworks theme within University of Cambridge's energy initiative includes research into how energy use is affected by individual choices, culture and social networks.  Research is centred in the Departments of Social Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Archaeology, Land Economy, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Law and Judge Business School.

  • The application of the social sciences to technology use, including the Flagship Retrofit project, which is trialling ways in which public housing stock in the UK can be modified in ways that reduce energy usage through a combination of design interventions and behaviour change.
  • Research into environmental change from an anthropological standpoint: research on human-induced environmental transformations, resource exploitation and energy systems, vulnerability to climate change impacts, environmental activism and denial, and questions of lifestyle and sustainability.
  • Climate Histories: Communicating Cultural Knowledge of Environmental Change. This Network speaks to the theme of Histories of Environmental Change by asking how people around the world perceive, narrate, and frame changes in their environment and climate.
  • Human landscapes: the relations, both short- and long-term, between people and environment in the past.
  • Public communication, perceptions, and opposition to energy technologies and social acceptance of new technologies, including carbon capture and storage and nuclear power.
  • Behavioural economics, including investigations into energy consumption and social learning in financial decision making in the energy markets.

Please visit individual faculty profiles to learn more about their research in the Users, Consumers and Social Frameworks theme.


People specializing in this area

Principal Investigators

Dr Alan  Blackwell
Reader in Interdisciplinary Design, Computer Laboratory
Dr. Brendan  Burchell
Professor in the Social Sciences
Professor Julian A.  Dowdeswell
Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute
Professor of Physical Geography
01223 336579
Dr Shailaja  Fennell
Professor of Regional Transformation and Economic Security
Professor Andy  Hopper
Professor of Computer Technology
Dr Ioannis  Lestas
Professor of Control Engineering
Professor John  Miles
Director of Research in Transitional Energy Strategies
Professor Andy  Neely
Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Enterprise and Business Relations
David Newbery
Member of the Energy IRC Steering Committee
Director of the Energy Policy Research Group
Emeritus Professor of Economics
Professor Michael  Pollitt
Professor of Business Economics
Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Research Group
Fellow of Sidney Sussex College
01223 339615
Professor Jaideep  Prabhu
Professor of Marketing
Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business and Enterprise
Director of the Centre for India & Global Business (CIGB)
Fellow of Clare College
David Reiner
Member of the Energy IRC Executive Steering Committee
Professor of Technology Policy
Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Research Group
Dr Sander  van der Linden
Professor of Social Psychology in Society
Director, Cambridge Social Decision-Making Laboratory
Dr. Bhaskar  Vira
Professor Paul  Warde
Member of the Energy IRC Steering Committee
Professor of Environmental History

Associate Members

Deputy Director, Centre for Climate Change Engagement
Dr Agnieszka (Aga)  Iwasiewicz-Wabnig
Maxwell Centre Programme Manager
Knowledge Transfer Facilitator, Cavendish Laboratory
Engagement Manager
Head Future Systems
Dr Beatrix  Schlarb-Ridley
Director of Innovation and Impact

Postdoctoral Researchers

Graduate Students

Visiting Researchers