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Previous PhD Projects

Images of Electricity: A Semiotic Approach

PhD student: Luba Pirgova-Morgan
PhD supervisors: Professors Nick Pidgeon and Karen Henwood
Funded by: ESRC, EPSRC

This PhD thesis is situated in the social sciences' conceptual context and explores to what extent electricity is not only a part of our lives, but also how and what it changes in relation to our perceptions of the world.  The particular focus of this research is on the images of electricity as created by individuals but circulated in and interpreted by communities and societies.  As electricity is unseen, all communication regarding energy and electricity (just like any other abstract idea) is achieved primarily through the use of images (including visual, narrative and performative types of images). The major focus of the study is on images of electricity produced in times of turmoil, which are further analyzed as signs that are integrated into communication between individuals, within communities, and in a society and understood through the use of shared codes and contextual knowledge/experience.

Christina Demski - Public perception of energy choices and climate change

My PhD research focuses on public perception and evaluation of energy choices in the context of climate change and energy security arguments and framings. In particular, I am interested in attitudes towards renewable energy technologies. A mixed-method approach is used to examine complexities in opinions (including qualified support for wind farms), as well as the underlying values and beliefs that shape perceptions.

Danial Venables - Living with nuclear power: A mixed-methods study of local community perceptions

I am a quantitative researcher working in the Understanding Risk research group.  My current research is concerned with public perceptions of environmental risk.  In particular, I am interested in public attitudes to nuclear power and the proposed programme of new nuclear build in the UK.  My research examines the relationships between perceived risks and benefits, proximity, place attachment and identity, and trust.