Professor Nick Pidgeon - BA Keele, PhD Bristol
I am Professor of Environmental Psychology and Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group within the School. I work on risk, risk perception, and risk communication and as such my research is interdisciplinary at the interface of social psychology, environmental sciences and geography, and science and technology studies. I am currently researching public responses to energy technologies, climate change risks, nanotechnologies and climate geoengineering.
I have in the past led numerous policy oriented projects on issues of public responses to environmental and technological risk issues and on ‘science in society’ for UK Government Departments, the Research Councils, the Royal Society, and Charities. It currently serve as a social sciences advisor to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
I was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association in 2011, and an MBE in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to climate change awareness and energy security policy. In 2006 I chaired a Parliamentary inquiry whose report ‘Is a Cross-Party Consensus on Climate Change Possible – or Desirable?’ recommended the setting up of the UK Climate Change Committee, an institutional innovation subsequently enacted in the 2008 Climate Change Act.
I am currently fully bought out from undergraduate teaching. Ordinarily I contribute to Level 2 social psychology practicals, Level 3 projects and PS3415 (Environmental Psychology), and postgraduate methods teaching (qualitative and mixed-methods research).
Selected publications (2014 onwards)
Full list of publications
Research topics and related papers
Research in my group spans a number of broad topics under the headings of: Risk Perception and Communication; the Environment; Science, Technology and Public Policy; and Sustainability. Current topics studied include –
Public and stakeholder perceptions of climate change and energy futures
Attitudes to sustainable energy systems and scenarios
Energy biographies’ and energy use in everyday life
Public engagement with and governance of climate engineering proposals
Nanotechnology in society
Perceptions of radiological risks (e.g. radon, nuclear power)
May 2014-April 2017. (with TNO Netherlands, University of Warwick, British Geological Survey and European partners)
Economic and Social Research Council (JPI Climate)
European Perceptions of Climate Change – Project Co-ordinators
January 2014-December 2016 (with the Welsh School of Architecture, University of Stuttgart, University of Bergen, Symlog Paris, and the Climate Outreach Information Network)
Engineering and Physical Science Research Council.
Opportunities and barriers to achieving transitions in UK energy and materials use - the role of publics, society and decision-makers
Jan 2015 - September 2018. (with Green Alliance, and the Universities of Leeds, Bath and Nottingham Trent)
Engineering and Physical Science Research Council. UK Energy Research Centre Phase 3.
April 2014 - May 2019 (with Imperial College and the Universities of Leeds, Strathclyde, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UCL London, Oxford, Southampton, Sussex, Exeter, Edinburgh, Warwick, and Aberdeen)
Economic and Social Research Council. Public perceptions of climate change in the aftermath of major national flooding.
June 2014-May 2015 (with the University of Nottingham and the Climate Outreach Information Network)
Natural Environment Research Council
CCS Grand Challenge in Geological Storage: CO2 injection and storage: short and long-term behaviour at different scales.
October 2013- September 2017 (with Imperial College, Heriot-Watt, University of Nottingham and British Geological Survey)
Natural Environment Research Council (Pearson and Corner). Public perceptions of ocean acidification risks.
January 11 – July 13. (with Cardiff School of Earth and Ocean Sciences)
Economic and Social Research Council Strategic Infrastructure Fund Energy biographies: network engagement and installation costs.
July 2013- June 2015 (with Cardiff School of Social Sciences)
Economic and Social Research Council Strategic Infrastructure Fund
The climate crunch.
April 2013-March 2014 (with Universities of Oxford, Lancaster, Sussex, Strathclyde and Durham)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Transformation of the Top and Tail of Energy Networks - Grand Challenge Network
October 2010-September 2015 (with Universities of Manchester, Imperial, Nottingham, Southampton, UCL London, Strathclyde, Loughborough, and Warwick)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Integrated assessment of geoengineering proposals (IAGP).
October 2010 - September 2014 (with Universities of Leeds, East Anglia, Lancaster, Oxford, Bristol and UK Met Office)
Natural Environment Research Council (UK Energy Research Centre Research Fund)
Transforming the UK energy systems: public values, attitudes and acceptability.
January 2011 - December 2012 (with Cardiff Schools of Engineering and Architecture)
Economic and Social Research Council
Energy Biographies: Understanding the dynamics of energy use for energy demand reduction.
October 2010 - September 2014 (with Cardiff School of Social Sciences)
Welsh Assembly Government
Secondment agreement – Climate change knowledge transfer advisor.
September 2010 - September 2012
Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Climate change consortium for Wales.
October 2009 - March 2014 (with Cardiff Schools of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Social Sciences, and City and Regional Planning, as well as C3W partners in the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea).
ESRC Professorial Climate Leader Fellowship
Risk Perception, climate change and public engagement.
October 2008 - September 2011
Public perceptions of climate change and energy futures in Britain.
October 2008 - December 2010
£314,177 (with Cardiff School of Architecture)
Energy futures and risk: exploring public perceptions.
January 2007 - December 2011
£1,008,000 (with Cardiff School of Architecture, Sheffield University, and University of East Anglia)
US National Science Foundation
Centre for Nanotechnology in Society, Theme 3, risk and societal responses.
January 2006 - December 2015 (with University of California Santa Barbara, and University of British Columbia)
Professor Susan Baker, School of Social Science, Cardiff University
Dr Rhoda Ballinger, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University
Dr Catherine Butler, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
Dr Adam Corner, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
Professor Ian Hall, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University
Professor Karen Henwood, School of Social Science, Cardiff University
Professor Nick Jenkins, School of Engineering, Cardiff University
Professor Terry Marsden, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University
Professor Paul Milbourne, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University
Dr Karen Parkhill, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
Professor Peter Pearson, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University
Dr Wouter Poortinga, Welsh School of Architecture & School of Psychology, Cardiff University
Professor Yacine Rezgui, School of Engineering, Cardiff University
Mr Dan Venables, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
Dr Lorraine Whitmarsh, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
Professor Richard Eiser,
School of Psychology, University of Sheffield
Professor Mike Hulme, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Dr Chris Jones, School of Psychology, Sheffield University
Dr Irene Lorenzoni, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Dr Tee Rogers-Hayden, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Mr Peter Simmons, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Dr Alexa Spence, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham
Dr Nem Vaughan, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Postgraduate research interests
I am interested in the interaction between individuals and society, broadly defined, and the many problems that pose contemporary risks to people, particularly in relation to environmental or technological issues. This involves work on people’s perceptions of such risks and their benefits, on trust in governments and institutions to manage the risks, and on deliberative processes for resolving risk disputes. I have worked on a variety of issues over the years including nuclear power, GM food, chemical hazards and climate change, as well as on workplace safety cultures. I take an interdisciplinary approach to many of these issues, and hence my work spans social psychology, science and technology studies and environmental sciences. Prospective PhD students with an interest in the environment, from any of these disciplines, are encouraged to contact me.
If you are interested in applying for a PhD please submit a formal application here.
Mr Andrew Roberts (registered SOCSCI)
Identity, Place and Renewable Energy Developments in South Wales
Ms Elspeth Spence
Public Perceptions of Ocean Acidification
Mr Robert Sposato
Public Perceptions of Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Ms Luba Pirgova
Visions of Electricity: A Semiotic Approach
Ms Erin Roberts (registered SOCSCI)
A study of landscapes of consumption in Rural North wales.
Mr Sam Hubble
Visions of Domestic Electricity Use in a Changing Sociotechnical System Visions of Domestic Electricity Use in a Changing Sociotechnical System
Ms Catherine Cherry
Exploring Discourses of Decarbonisation: The Social Construction of Low Carbon Housing
Dr Merryn Thomas (PhD Cardiff)
Public and expert perceptions of sea-level change on the Severn Estuary.
Dr Stuart Capstick (PhD Cardiff)
Climate change discourses in use by the UK public: commonalities and variation over a fifteen year period
Public perceptions of renewable energy technologies.
Dr Dan Venables (PhD Cardiff)
Living with nuclear power: A mixed methods study of local community perceptions.
Professor John Fisk (PhD Birkbeck College)
Component Probabilities and the Conjunction Fallacy.
Professor Edward Borodzicz (PhD Birkbeck College)
Crisis Communication and Risk
Dr Susan Hunter (PhD University of East Anglia)
The place of Forestry in Modern Welsh Life and Culture.
Dr Wouter Poortinga (PhD University of East Anglia)
Trust and Risk Perception of GM food.
Dr Susan Wilkinson (PhD University of East Anglia)
Consumer Attitudes Towards Functional Foods.
Dr Miguel de Franca Doria (PhD University of East Anglia)
Perceptions of Tap-water Risks.
Dr Carl Macrae (PhD University of East Anglia)
Risk Assessment of Aviation Incident Reports.
Dr Katherine Haynes (PhD University of East Anglia)
Risk Communication of Volcanic Hazards in Monserrat.
1975 - 1979: Bachelor of Arts, First Class Joint Honours in Mathematics and Psychology, University of Keele
Subsidiary subjects: Computer Science; Philosophy of Natural Science (Distinction)
1980-1983: Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology, University of Bristol
Title: Strategies and Heuristics in Individual Decision Making
Awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to climate change awareness and energy security policy
Member of the Department of Energy and Climate Change Community Representation Working Group for long-term disposal of the UK’s radioactive wastes (2015-2016)
Vice-Chair of the Social Sciences Expert Panel of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Department for Energy and Climate Change (2012-2016)
Member of the Science Advisory Group to the Chief Scientist at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (2010-2013)
2011 Awarded Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association
Formerly member of the 2001 and 2008 Psychology Panels for the Research Assessment Exercise
Formerly member of the Royal Society Risk study group (1992) and nanotechnologies study group (2003/4)
2003 Awarded Fellowship of the Society for Risk Analysis International
2006 - Present: Professor of Environmental PSychology, School of Psychology, Cardiff University.
1999-2006: Professor of Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Centre for Environmental Risk, school of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
1995-99: Senior Lecturer in Psychology, School of Psychology University of Wales Bangor
1989-95: Lecturer in Applied Psychology, Birkbeck College University of London
1983-88: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Departments of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol and Sociology University of Exeter