Social Science

As a relatively new technology, not much is known about public attitudes towards geonengineering.  The potential impact of the technology on so many different populations suggests that the public need to be informed and involved with discussions concerning how to move forward.  A number of questions present themselves. What methods of public involvement are appropriate?  Are people likely to approve of the testing and deployment of climate engineering technologies?  Are there particular populations whose needs take on increased significance in the geoengineering discussion? Will different populations across the globe adopt different views over its acceptability?  Will the inclusion of sections of the public "upstream" in the development of these technologies change the nature of the discussion about deployment and perhaps even change the development of the technologies themselves?  

In order to answer some of these questions, social science research engaging the public on some of the key questions concerning geoengineering has begun.  Here we provide links to some of the key studies that have been conducted to date (as well as some reports generated by early workshops that have included the public). Click on a map to find references to the studies.  At the bottom of the page are a few introductory readings on why the social science of climate engineering is important.

Alaska, USA            Australia             Canada                China

Alaska                        Australia Map                       Canada                       China                                                                            

Ethiopia           Fiji                Germany               India                                  

Ethiopia    Fiji               Germany                          India                                                   

Japan              Kenya              Korea        New Zealand  

 Japan               Kenya           Korea       New Zealand Map                                                                  

Philippines      Senegal       South Africa     Solomon Islands  

 Philippines               Senegal           South Africa              Solomon Islands                                     

Sweden         United Kingdom      United States

Sweden                                          United Kingdom                                        United States

Some Introductory Resources:

Carr, W. A., Preston, C. J., Yung, L., Szerszynski, B., Keith, D. W., & Mercer, A. M. (2013). Public engagement on solar radiation management and why it needs to happen now. Climatic change 121(3): 567-577.

Corner A., Pidgeon N., Parkhill K. (2012). Perceptions of Geoengineering: Public attitudes, stakeholder perspectives & the challenge of 'upstream' engagement. WIRES Climage Change, 3(5), 451-466. (10.1002/wcc.176) 

Parkhill K., Pidgeon N., Corner A., and Vaughan N. (2013). Deliberation and responsible innovation: a geoengineering case study. In Owen R, Bessant J, Heintz M (eds) (pps. 219–239) Responsible innovation. Wiley, London

Stirling A. (2008) Opening up and closing down: power, participation and pluralism in the social appraisal of technology. Science, Technology, and Human Values 33:262–294.

Wilsdon J., Willis R. (2004) See-through science: why public engagement needs to move upstream. Demos, London