skip to content


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
Reader in Sociology, Head of Department
Dr. Jonathan  Chaplin
Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics (KLICE)
Dr. Hilary  Cremin
University Senior Lecturer
Professor  Martin  Daunton
Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Professor of Economic History
Master of Trinity Hall (until 2014)
Professor Julian A.  Dowdeswell
Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute
Professor of Physical Geography
01223 336579
Dr Shailaja  Fennell
Lecturer in Development Studies
Professor Andy  Hopper
Professor of Computer Technology, Head of Computer Laboratory
Professor Frank  Kelly
Professor of the Mathematics of Systems
Master of Christ's College
Professor John  Miles
Arup/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Professor in Transitional Energy Strategies
Professor Andy  Neely
Head, Institute for Manufacturing
Professor David  Newbery
Emeritus Professor of Economics
Director of the Energy Policy Research Group
Member of Energy Transitions@Cambridge Strategic Advisory Board
Professor Michael  Pollitt
Professor of Business Economics
Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Research Group
Member of Energy Transitions@Cambridge Strategic Advisory Board
01223 339615
Professor Jaideep  Prabhu
Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business and Enterprise
Director of the Centre for India & Global Business (CIGB)
Dr. David Michael Reiner
University Senior Lecturer in Technology Policy
Director of the MPhil in Technology Policy Programme
Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Research Group
Dr. Bhaskar  Vira
Professor Paul  Warde
Lecturer in Environmental History
Dr. Liz  Watson
University Senior Lecturer

Associate Members

Director, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
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