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Dr Karen Bickerstaff

Associate Professor in Human Geography

 3306

 +44 (0)1392 723306

 Amory C411

 

Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK

Overview

I am a human geographer working at the interface of risk theory, science and technology studies and environmental justice studies.  I have pursued these interests through a diversity of projects that range from the experience of urban air pollution, to the politics of nuclear waste and the design of experimental energy technologies.

I have previously held research and lecturing posts at the University of East Anglia (Environmental Sciences), the University of Durham (Geography) and Kings College London (Geography).

I currently sit on the editorial board for Geoforum

Broad research specialisms

  • Risk, knowledge and uncertainty
  • Low carbon energy and heat – policies, planning and technologies
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Environmental democracy, justice and citizenship
  • Nuclear and air quality policy and controversy

Office hours

w/b 20th May Mon (12.00), Weds (10.00)

 

Research group links

Research

Research interests

I am a human geographer working at the interface of risk theory, science and technology studies and environmental justice studies.  My research falls into three broad categories:

Risk in place

A concern with the experience of environmental and technological hazards – how ‘risk’ is understood and made sense of as part of everyday life and how we might conceptualise the relationship between risk, place and proximity. Research here has focused particularly on the ‘located’ experience of urban air pollution and nuclear installations.  

The politics of energy transitions

This research addresses the social, material and political dimensions of energy transformations – with a particular focus on how low-carbon and efficiency technologies are incorporated into everyday domestic practices and ways of life.  A collaboration with Devon County Council (Rethinking Energy Demand) explores workplace energy demand by tracing interactions between employees, infrastructures, cultures and politics.

My work in this field sits within a broader interest in the social and material geographies of environmental justice – addressing the uneven consequences of infrastructure and policy transformations as well as the fairness of policy processes.  I co-edited a collection on this topic in 2013.

A project with Catherine Butler explores the relationship between welfare and energy policy, and consequences for social justice

Environmental controversies and responsibilities

This research centres on the dynamics of scientific and environmental controversies – both in relation to analysis of discourse (e.g. the role of nuclear power as a response to climate change) and the contested spatial practices of science (e.g. the 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis).  It has also examined the ways in which publics are implicated as political actors in responding to controversies, and includes a number of experiments in public participation in science communication and environmental planning – with an emphasis on the challenges of collaborative decision-making as well as policy discourses and strategies that aim to ‘activate’ individual environmental responsibilities

I welcome enquiries from potential students and others interested in these and more-or-less related areas.

 

Funded research projects

Working-class environmentalisms in the age of transnational markets (2016-2018) A BA/Leverhulme funded project to explore the relationship between working class activism and environmentalism in the UK and India (with Krithika Srinivasan [PI]) 10K

Rethinking Energy Demand (2016-2018) An ESRC Impact award in collaboration with Devon County Council. PI (with Catherine Butler) 20K

Welfare, Employment and Energy Demand: Examining Tensions and Opportunities in the Delivery of Demand Reduction  (2015-18)  Linked to DEMAND (with Catherine Butler [PI], Karen Parkhill, Gordon Walker) 242K

Interdisciplinary Cluster on Energy Systems, Equity and Vulnerability (InCluESEV) (2009-12) The RCUK Energy Programme network on energy systems and justice - a collaboration between researchers and practitioners in fifteen countries.  PI (with Gordon Walker and Harriet Bulkeley) 480K

Carbon, Control and Comfort: User-centred control systems for comfort, carbon saving and energy management (2009-12) An EON/EPSRC funded project to better understand the experience of comfort in domestic dwellings and pilot experimental efficiency devices  (with David Shipworth [PI] and others) 2M

The Waste of the Word (2006-20011)  An ESRC large grant that brought together an interdisciplinary team to address the cultural and material dynamics of global waste flows and economies (with Nicky Gregson, Ray Hudson, Mike Crang [PIs] and others) 3M

Durham University Research Development Fund (2008) (£5,000) Everyday nuclearities: an ethnography of West Cumbria 2008 (PI) 5K

Implementation issues for Deep Geological Disposal (2005) Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. PI (with Peter Simmons)  5K

An evaluation of the Royal Society’s Science in Society Dialogue Process (2002) Royal Society. PI (with Nick Pidgeon) 5K

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Books

Bickerstaff K, Walker G, Bulkeley H (2013). Energy Justice in a Changing Climate Social equity implications of the energy and low-carbon relationship., Zed Books. Abstract.

Journal articles

Bickerstaff K, Hinton E, Bulkeley H (2016). Decarbonisation at home: the contingent politics of experimental domestic energy technologies. Environment and Planning A, 48(10), 2006-2025. Abstract.  Full text.
Bickerstaff K, Devine-Wright P, Butler C (2014). Living with low carbon technologies: an agenda for sharing and comparing qualitative energy research. Energy Policy Abstract.  Full text.
Tweed C, Dixon D, Hinton E, Bickerstaff K (2014). Thermal comfort practices in the home and their impact on energy consumption. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 10(1-2), 1-24. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K (2012). "Because we've got history here": Nuclear waste, cooperative siting, and the relational geography of a complex issue. Environment and Planning A, 44(11), 2611-2628. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Lorenzoni I, Jones M, Pidgeon N (2010). Locating scientific citizenship: the institutional contexts and cultures of public engagement. Science Technology and Human Values, 35(4), 474-500. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Simmons P (2009). Absencing/presencing risk: Rethinking proximity and the experience of living with major technological hazards. Geoforum, 40(5), 864-872. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Agyeman J (2009). Assembling justice spaces: the scalar politics of environmental justice in North-east England. Antipode, 41(4), 781-806. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Bulkeley H, painter J (2009). Justice, nature and the city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 33(3), 591-600.
Bickerstaff K (2009). Resisting global toxics: transnational movements for environmental justice. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING A, 41(10), 2537-2539. Author URL.
Bickerstaff K (2009). The geographies of garbage governance: interventions, interactions and outcomes. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING A, 41(10), 2537-2539. Author URL.
Bickerstaff KJ, Simmons P, Pidgeon N (2008). Constructing responsibilities for risk: Negotiating citizen - State relationships. Environment and Planning A, 40(6), 1312-1330. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Lorenzoni I, Pidgeon NF, Poortinga W, Simmons P (2008). Reframing nuclear power in the UK energy debate: nuclear power, climate change mitigation and radioactive waste. Public Underst Sci, 17(2), 145-169. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bickerstaff K (2007). Hazards, vulnerability and environmental justice. JOURNAL OF RISK RESEARCH, 10(4), 585-587. Author URL.
Bickerstaff K, Simmons P, Pidgeon N (2006). Situating local experience of risk: Peripherality, marginality and place identity in the UK foot and mouth disease crisis. Geoforum, 37(5), 844-858. Abstract.
Bergmans A, Elam M, Sundqvist G, Kos D, Simmons P, Bickerstaff K (2005). CARL: a social science research project into the effects of stakeholder involvement on decision-making in radioactive waste management (RWM). Proceedings - 10th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, ICEM'05, 2005, 960-970. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G (2005). Shared visions, unholy alliances: Power, governance and deliberative processes in local transport planning. Urban Studies, 42(12), 2123-2144. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K (2004). Risk perception research: socio-cultural perspectives on the public experience of air pollution. Environ Int, 30(6), 827-840. Abstract.  Author URL.
Poortinga W, Bickerstaff K, Langford I, Niew√∂hner J, Pidgeon N (2004). The British 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis: a comparative study of public risk perceptions, trust and beliefs about government policy in two communities. Journal of Risk Research, 7(1), 73-90. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Simmons P (2004). The right tool for the job? Modeling, spatial relationships, and styles of scientific practice in the UK foot and mouth crisis. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 22(3), 393-412. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G (2003). The place(s) of matter: Matter out of place - Public understandings of air pollution. Progress in Human Geography, 27(1), 45-68. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G (2002). Risk, responsibility, and blame: an analysis of vocabularies of motive in air-pollution(ing) discourses. Environment and Planning A, 34(12), 2175-2192. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Tolley R, Walker G (2002). Transport planning and participation: the rhetoric and realities of public involvement. Journal of Transport Geography, 10(1), 61-73. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G (2001). Public understandings of air pollution: the 'localisation' of environmental risk. Global Environmental Change, 11(2), 133-145. Abstract.
Tolley R, Lumsdon L, Bickerstaff K (2001). The future of walking in Europe: a Delphi project to identify expert opinion on future walking scenarios. Transport Policy, 8(4), 307-315. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G (1999). Clearing the smog? Public responses to air-quality information. Local Environment, 4(3), 279-294. Abstract.

Chapters

Bickerstaff K (2013). Climate change, human security and the built environment. In Grasso M, Redclift MR (Eds.) Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 361-361.
Bickerstaff K, Waker G, Bulkeley H (2013). Making sense of energy justice. In Bickerstaff K, Waker G, Bulkeley H (Eds.) Energy Justice in a Changing Climate, London: Zed, 1-13.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G, Bulkeley H (2013). Procedural justice in energy system transitions: the case of CCS. In Bickerstaff K, Walker G, Bulkeley H (Eds.) Energy Justice in a Changing Climate, London: Zed, 158-181.
Bickerstaff K, Agyeman J (2010). Assembling justice spaces: the scalar politics of environmental justice in north-east england. In  (Ed) Spaces of Environmental Justice, 193-218.
Fuller S, Bickerstaff K, Khaw FM, Curtis S (2010). Communication About Persistent Environmental Risks: Problems of Knowledge Exchange and Potential of Participative Techniques. In  (Ed) Risk Communication and Public Health.  Abstract.
Tolley R, Bickerstaff K, Lumsdon L (2003). Social and cultural influences on the future of walking - the experts' opinion. In  (Ed) Sustainable Transport, 238-251.

Publications by year


2016

Bickerstaff K, Hinton E, Bulkeley H (2016). Decarbonisation at home: the contingent politics of experimental domestic energy technologies. Environment and Planning A, 48(10), 2006-2025. Abstract.  Full text.

2014

Bickerstaff K, Devine-Wright P, Butler C (2014). Living with low carbon technologies: an agenda for sharing and comparing qualitative energy research. Energy Policy Abstract.  Full text.
Tweed C, Dixon D, Hinton E, Bickerstaff K (2014). Thermal comfort practices in the home and their impact on energy consumption. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 10(1-2), 1-24. Abstract.

2013

Bickerstaff K (2013). Climate change, human security and the built environment. In Grasso M, Redclift MR (Eds.) Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 361-361.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G, Bulkeley H (2013). Energy Justice in a Changing Climate Social equity implications of the energy and low-carbon relationship., Zed Books. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Waker G, Bulkeley H (2013). Making sense of energy justice. In Bickerstaff K, Waker G, Bulkeley H (Eds.) Energy Justice in a Changing Climate, London: Zed, 1-13.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G, Bulkeley H (2013). Procedural justice in energy system transitions: the case of CCS. In Bickerstaff K, Walker G, Bulkeley H (Eds.) Energy Justice in a Changing Climate, London: Zed, 158-181.

2012

Bickerstaff K (2012). "Because we've got history here": Nuclear waste, cooperative siting, and the relational geography of a complex issue. Environment and Planning A, 44(11), 2611-2628. Abstract.

2010

Bickerstaff K, Agyeman J (2010). Assembling justice spaces: the scalar politics of environmental justice in north-east england. In  (Ed) Spaces of Environmental Justice, 193-218.
Fuller S, Bickerstaff K, Khaw FM, Curtis S (2010). Communication About Persistent Environmental Risks: Problems of Knowledge Exchange and Potential of Participative Techniques. In  (Ed) Risk Communication and Public Health.  Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Lorenzoni I, Jones M, Pidgeon N (2010). Locating scientific citizenship: the institutional contexts and cultures of public engagement. Science Technology and Human Values, 35(4), 474-500. Abstract.

2009

Bickerstaff K, Simmons P (2009). Absencing/presencing risk: Rethinking proximity and the experience of living with major technological hazards. Geoforum, 40(5), 864-872. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Agyeman J (2009). Assembling justice spaces: the scalar politics of environmental justice in North-east England. Antipode, 41(4), 781-806. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Bulkeley H, painter J (2009). Justice, nature and the city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 33(3), 591-600.
Bickerstaff K (2009). Resisting global toxics: transnational movements for environmental justice. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING A, 41(10), 2537-2539. Author URL.
Bickerstaff K (2009). The geographies of garbage governance: interventions, interactions and outcomes. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING A, 41(10), 2537-2539. Author URL.

2008

Bickerstaff KJ, Simmons P, Pidgeon N (2008). Constructing responsibilities for risk: Negotiating citizen - State relationships. Environment and Planning A, 40(6), 1312-1330. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Lorenzoni I, Pidgeon NF, Poortinga W, Simmons P (2008). Reframing nuclear power in the UK energy debate: nuclear power, climate change mitigation and radioactive waste. Public Underst Sci, 17(2), 145-169. Abstract.  Author URL.

2007

Bickerstaff K (2007). Hazards, vulnerability and environmental justice. JOURNAL OF RISK RESEARCH, 10(4), 585-587. Author URL.

2006

Bickerstaff K, Simmons P, Pidgeon N (2006). Situating local experience of risk: Peripherality, marginality and place identity in the UK foot and mouth disease crisis. Geoforum, 37(5), 844-858. Abstract.

2005

Bergmans A, Elam M, Sundqvist G, Kos D, Simmons P, Bickerstaff K (2005). CARL: a social science research project into the effects of stakeholder involvement on decision-making in radioactive waste management (RWM). Proceedings - 10th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, ICEM'05, 2005, 960-970. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G (2005). Shared visions, unholy alliances: Power, governance and deliberative processes in local transport planning. Urban Studies, 42(12), 2123-2144. Abstract.

2004

Bickerstaff K (2004). Risk perception research: socio-cultural perspectives on the public experience of air pollution. Environ Int, 30(6), 827-840. Abstract.  Author URL.
Poortinga W, Bickerstaff K, Langford I, Niew√∂hner J, Pidgeon N (2004). The British 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis: a comparative study of public risk perceptions, trust and beliefs about government policy in two communities. Journal of Risk Research, 7(1), 73-90. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Simmons P (2004). The right tool for the job? Modeling, spatial relationships, and styles of scientific practice in the UK foot and mouth crisis. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 22(3), 393-412. Abstract.

2003

Tolley R, Bickerstaff K, Lumsdon L (2003). Social and cultural influences on the future of walking - the experts' opinion. In  (Ed) Sustainable Transport, 238-251.
Bickerstaff K, Walker G (2003). The place(s) of matter: Matter out of place - Public understandings of air pollution. Progress in Human Geography, 27(1), 45-68. Abstract.

2002

Bickerstaff K, Walker G (2002). Risk, responsibility, and blame: an analysis of vocabularies of motive in air-pollution(ing) discourses. Environment and Planning A, 34(12), 2175-2192. Abstract.
Bickerstaff K, Tolley R, Walker G (2002). Transport planning and participation: the rhetoric and realities of public involvement. Journal of Transport Geography, 10(1), 61-73. Abstract.

2001

Bickerstaff K, Walker G (2001). Public understandings of air pollution: the 'localisation' of environmental risk. Global Environmental Change, 11(2), 133-145. Abstract.
Tolley R, Lumsdon L, Bickerstaff K (2001). The future of walking in Europe: a Delphi project to identify expert opinion on future walking scenarios. Transport Policy, 8(4), 307-315. Abstract.

1999

Bickerstaff K, Walker G (1999). Clearing the smog? Public responses to air-quality information. Local Environment, 4(3), 279-294. Abstract.

Karen_Bickerstaff Details from cache as at 2019-05-22 15:05:41

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External Engagement and Impact

Editorial responsibilities

Editorial Board Member  -  Environment and Planning A

Editorial Board Member – Geoforum


External Examiner Positions

Karen is currently External Examiner for the MSC Environmental Policy and Regulation at the LSE (2013-2018)

She has previously worked as external examiner for Masters Programmes at the Lancaster Environment Centre (2013-2017)

Teaching

Undergraduate:

  • GEO1310: Geographies of Environment and Sustainability (Convenor)
  • GEO3137: Carbon Societies: risk, consumption and governance (Convenor)

 

Modules

2018/19


Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

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