Risk, place, identity and sustainability
Risk is increasingly central to a variety of academic disciplines and spheres of public and industrial life. It is perhaps the principal lens through which scientists, industrialists, policy-makers, and the public characterise and debate sustainability issues ranging from climate change to biodiversity loss.
This research programme provides two functions:
- It provides an integrative set of concepts, methods, and analytical approaches to tie together the work going on across the institute.
- It conducts primary research on public and expert understandings of sustainability issues and how they inform governance.
A central element of this work is site-based research, alongside this it is equally important to not lose touch with the fundamental global sustainability challenges facing us. The grand narratives of modernity and technological progress, and how they tie in with unsustainable practices and identity-making, are fundamental issues of the 'risk society' that are not going away.
Our research explores what the concept of place means in characterising environmental and public health problems, how our current methods take account of this (particularly formal models), and how we might do better.