Professor of Science & Technology Policy, SPRU and co-director of the ESRC STEPS Centre, University of Sussex

Growing up around southwest England and in Singapore in the 60s and 70s, my undergraduate studies at Edinburgh started out in astronomy, then shifted thro' 'science studies' to a masters in archaeology and social anthropology. I then worked as a field archaeologist and ecology and peace activist in the 80's, going on to co-ordinate the nuclear, disarmament and energy campaigns for Greenpeace International, then later serving on national and international Greenpeace boards. I’ve also worked variously as a building labourer, laboratory technician, hospital porter and factory, farm and mental health care worker. Returning to academia, my doctorate at SPRU was in science and technology policy, where I've worked since 1995 as an interdisciplinary "policy-engaged" researcher, trying to wrestle with challenges of empowerment, environment and human wellbeing in the politics of knowledge and innovation. The 'research' tab here gives key research questions, but the general idea is to assist in efforts to 'democratise progress'.

Formerly Research Director for SPRU (2006-13) and the Sussex Management School (2009-2012), my current work here involves research and postgraduate teaching on democracr and sustainability in science and technology. Among many projects, I co-direct the ESRC-funded joint IDS-SPRU STEPS Centre, am Deputy Director for the DEFRA-funded joint Surrey-Sussex Research Group on Sustainable Lifestyles, and the Director of a spin-off University Enterprise on Multicriteria Mapping. A longstanding member of the Sussex Energy Group, I'm SPRU PI for collaborative initiatives on governance of climate geoengineering and the discontinuing of technological systems. I'm also involved in projects on reframing general concepts of security, understanding energy security, mapping science systems and exploring 'responsible innovation'. I serve on the Research Committee of the ESRC and on editorial boards for the Journal of Risk Research, Minerva, Nature EMBO Reports, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management and Environmental Innovation and Societal Transition.


  • –present
    Professor, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)