Mr Laurence Williams

Post:Research Fellow in Environmental Politics (SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit)

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 872582
International:+44 1273 872582
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I joined SPRU as a research fellow in 2018. I currently work on the NERC and ESRC funded project ‘Fracking’, Framing and Effective Participation. The project looks at the socio-political challenges facing shale development in the UK that arise from its contested nature. To do so, the project analyses three distinct areas - policy debates, public perceptions and participatory opportunities - and the relationships between them.

More broadly I am interested in sociotechnical controversies; the planning and regulatory oversight of shale development; public engagement with and participation on science, technology and innovation; and the intersection between science and technology studies (STS) and democratic theory.

I initially joined SPRU in 2014 to conduct a PhD on the English planning system’s oversight of shale gas development and the scope for the accommodation of public views therein. My thesis was submitted in 2018. Prior to my PhD I completed an MA by research at Durham University on the topic of early public perceptions of fracking in the UK in 2013. This work was published in Public Understanding of Science in a paper entitled “Framing ‘fracking’: Exploring Public Perceptions of Hydraulic Fracturing in the United Kingdom”.