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Academic’s outstanding contribution to social sciences recognised by British Academy

21 July 2023

Professor Nick Pidgeon

A Cardiff Professor has been recognised with a prestigious Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to the humanities and social sciences.

Professor Nick Pidgeon of the University’s School of Psychology has become a Fellow of the British Academy for his research into environmental psychology.

Over the last 15 years, Professor Pidgeon has been at the forefront of research into risk communication, with his work spanning beliefs about climate change, sustainable energy behaviours and environmental risks, and transforming the UK to deliver a net zero society.

Working at the interface of social psychology, environmental sciences, human geography, and science and technology studies, Professor Pidgeon has led numerous policy-oriented projects on issues of public responses to environmental and technological risk and on ‘science in society’ for UK Government Departments, the Research Councils, the Royal Society, and Charities.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Pidgeon was part of a working group sharing his extensive risk communication and behavioural sciences insight to both the UK and Welsh governments.

Election to the British Academy’s Fellowship is a mark of distinction, with only a very small number of scholars in any field elected each year who have achieved distinction in any branch of the humanities and social sciences.

Professor Pidgeon, who leads the University’s Understanding Risk Research Group, said: "I am both honoured and delighted to be elected to the Academy. Our world now faces multiple environmental challenges, many of which are human in their origins. I look forward to contributing to the important work of the Academy in advancing our understanding of how society can forge a more sustainable future for all.

"This award also reflects the collegiate collaborations I have had with many faculty colleagues, including from Social Sciences, Psychology, Engineering, Earth Sciences and other Schools across the University who have worked with me to deliver key research projects on sustainability, climate change and energy, as well as the many early career researchers who have worked with me in the Understanding Risk research group over the years."

Professor Pidgeon joins a community of over 1,600 leading minds that make up the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Welcoming the Fellows, the President of the British Academy, Professor Julia Black, said:"It is with great pleasure that we welcome yet another outstanding cohort to the Academy’s Fellowship. The scope of research and expertise on display across our newly elected UK, Corresponding and Honorary Fellows shows the breadth and depth of knowledge and insight held by the British Academy and which we work hard to harness to help shape the world.

"With the vast expertise and wide-ranging insights brought by our new Fellows, the Academy continues to showcase the importance of the SHAPE disciplines in opening fresh seams of knowledge and understanding, while simultaneously advancing the well-being and prosperity of societies worldwide. I wholeheartedly congratulate each of our new Fellows on this achievement and look forward to working together."

Current Fellows of the British Academy include the classicist Professor Dame Mary Beard, the historian Professor Rana Mitter and philosopher Professor Baroness Onora O’Neill, while current Honorary Fellows include Melvyn Bragg, Baroness Brenda Hale and Gary Younge.

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