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News & Events

Taking action on climate change

One of the School's Impact Case Studies from our 2014 REF submission, that by Professor Nick Pidgeon on climate change, has been subsequently selected by the Higher Education Funding Council and the journal Nature as an example at the Leading Edge of UK University Impact. As a result the case study was featured in a March 2015 supplement of Nature.


Energy public engagement research features in EU policy briefing


'Read about the Understanding Risk group's contribution to the UK Chief Scientist's new report on Innovation: Managing Risk Not Avoiding It'


Corner, A., Capstick, S., and Pidgeon, N. (2014). Public perceptions of ocean acidification: Summary findings of two nationally representative surveys of the British public conducted during September 2013 and May 2014. Understanding Risk Research Group Working Paper 14-01, Cardiff University.


Communicating climate science report released on the C3W website (02/04/2014).


View the recent CSaP distinguished lecture at Cambridge University, where the UK Chief Scientist Sir Mark Walport discusses the climate and energy attitudes work of the Understanding Risk group [view].


Energy Policy, Media Representations, and Public Perceptions of Nuclear Power in the UK and Japan after the Fukushima Disaster

On 19 and 20 September 2013 Wouter Poortinga will be hosting a UK-Japan Seminar on Nuclear Power and Fukushima in Cardiff. This seminar brings together academics from Japan and the UK to discuss topics around public perception, risk communication, media representations and energy policy in relation to nuclear power.

Upcoming Conferences
Members of the Understanding Risk group will be presenting at the following upcoming conferences:

Sackler Colloquium The Science of Risk Communication II
The US National Academy of Sciences is hosting its second Sackler colloquium on this topic in Washington, to continue the dialogue about science communication. Building on last year's dynamic and information-packed program, this year's event will present an update on the state of research on science communication and its implications for all those striving to engage and interact with broad publics.

10th biennial conference on Environmental Psychology
The conference is held in Magdeburg, Germany and will bring together people from all over the world interested in the field of environmental psychology to meet, share experiences, present research, and discuss ideas with regard to the state of the art in environment and behaviour research. More information about the conference can be found here.

Energy Transitions conference in Karlsruhe Germany hosted by the Helmholtz Institute in October 2013. Find more information about the conference here.


Launch of the UKERC funded research report ‘Transforming the UK Energy System: Public Values, Attitudes and Acceptability – synthesis report’.

This event held at the Royal Society on 16th July 2013 launched the findings from a synthesis analysis of research undertaken into public values, attitudes and acceptability of whole energy system change during 2011 and 2012. The research encompassed both discussion groups with members of the public from across Britain and a nationally representative survey. The full findings can be found on our reports pages.

Energy Biographies team host workshop on Multi-modal Research and Public Engagement

As part of the Energy Biographies project and in collaboration with Goldsmiths a workshop was held in Cardiff on 4th and 5th July 2013 with the aim of taking forward thinking about the value of multi-modal research for public engagement. The workshop dealt with issues relating to the analysis of multi-modal data and materials, and with the potential for their use in innovative public engagement activities. Check out the Energy Biographies website for more info on the event.


'Climate Transitions: Connecting People, Planet and Place' PhD Conference
'Three of our PhD researchers Catherine Cherry, Sam Hubble and Erin Roberts (along with fellow PhD student Catherine Cherry) helped to organise the very successful Tyndall Centre PhD conference 'Climate Transitions: Connecting People, Planet and Place'. 80 delegates from institutions across the UK and further afield attended the conference - held at Cardiff University 3rd-5th April. The conference was a resounding success, with a range of high quality presentations from PhD students on topics ranging from the visual impact of wind turbines to the effects of climate change on Ghanaian farming, and from community energy schemes to modelling the role that tax policies can have upon urban density construction. In addition to being presented with insights into the diverse inter-disciplinary climate research that is being undertaken across the world, delegates also had the opportunity to network and socialise with people from a range of backgrounds and to forge new research links, which we hope will be continued through the conference's online presence, twitter feed and LinkedIn page.

A dinner debate entitled 'Fracking with the future: Is there a role for shale gas in a sustainable energy transition?' prompted much discussion on a topic that is receiving increasing media attention, while a panel debate on the question 'Do climate researchers have a responsibility to lead sustainable lives?' forced delegates to think about themselves as researchers and citizens, and reflect upon the range of potential positive and negative impacts of their research. 

Finally, Dr Warren Pearce of Nottingham University presented a science communication workshop, where delegates were invited to enter our blog competition. Look out for the winning entry which we hope will be published on the Guardian website in the near future.'


National Survey of Public Perceptions of Climate Change in Wales
A new representative survey conducted in November and December 2012 shows the impacts that last year's flooding events have had on public beliefs about climate change. [report] [press release]


Communicating Climate Science
The National Meeting will be held on Wednesday 7th November 2012 at 14.00 hours. [detailed information] [report].


Divided Public: Climate Surve Shows Skepticism and Alarm Rising Over the Past Decade
Two analyses highlight the growing polarization of public attitudes toward climate change, as well as the role “psychological distance” plays in levels of concern. Click here to see the report. 


Public Attitudes Towards Whole Energy System Change
An interim findings briefing is now available on the results from deliberative workshops undertaken as part of the UKERC funded project Transforming the UK Energy System: Public Values, Attitudes and Acceptability. Click here to see the report. 


Gas Fracking Needs Public Dialogue
19th April 2012

The controversial Blackpool 'fracking' – fracturing shale rock to extract gas – may continue after a government-appointed panel has concluded that proper guidelines and monitoring could ensure safe extraction. For article please click here.


House of LordsHouse of Lords
Science & Technology Committee
Risk perception and energy infrastructure
Wednesday 18 January
Professor Nick Pidgeon in attendance


Nano Risk Perception Special Issue
Risk Analysis is generously making all the articles in our Special Issue on Nano Risk Perception free until April 1 2012. For articles please click here.


Call for papers:
Royal Geographical Society Annual International Royal Geographical SocietyConference
3-5th July 2012, Edinburgh.
The Understanding Risk Group is organising a symposium at the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2012 titled, "Acceptability of low carbon transitioning: Conflict, resistance and (in)security", for further information on how to submit an abstract (deadline 20/01/12) click here. The session is sponsored by the Energy Geographies Working Group.



Science CafeScience Cafe -BBC Radio Wales
Adam Walton and a panel of guests choose their top science stories of the year.
Dr Lorraine Whitmarsh talks about public perceptions of nuclear and climate change risk. To listen again click here.