SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Friday seminar

SPRU Friday seminars take place every Friday during term time from 1pm in Jubilee Building 144.

Sandwiches will be served from 12.55pm. Coffee will be served from 2pm, during a very short break introducing the discussion sessions. The seminar is followed by a SPRU presentation/discussion on topic related to the seminar.

Contact

For more information, material and seminar suggestions, please contact  SPRU-events@sussex.ac.uk

Mailing list

To be kept up to date with information on forthcoming seminars, please email your name and affiliation to SPRU-events@sussex.ac.uk with 'subscribe' in the subject heading. To unsubscribe, email the same address with 'unsubscribe' in the subject heading.

Autumn term 2016

30th September
Science, the state, and the city
Michael Hopkins & Sir Geoffrey Owen (SPRU & LSE)

Abstract

tbc

Bio

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Background

Summary

7th October
People first PPPs for UN SDGs
Geoffrey Hamilton (UNECE)

Abstract

tbc

Bio

tbc

14th October
The New Production of Users: Changing involvement strategies and innovation collectives
Sampsa Hyysalo (Aalto University)

Abstract

Behind the steady stream of new products, technologies, systems and services in our modern societies there is a prolonged and complicated battle around the role of users. How should designers get to know the users’ interests and needs? Who should speak for the users? How may designers collaborate with users and in what ways may users take innovation into their own hands?

Bio

tbc

21st October
Structure of the resource space, types of higher education institutions and the poor performance of European universities in science
Benedetto Lepori (Università della Svizzera Italiana)

Abstract

tbc

Bio

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28th October
Tools, Rules and Joules: Negotiating the co-evolution of technology, policy and future electricity systems
Elizabeth Wilson (Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

Demands for the creation of sustainable energy systems are fueling the growth of wind and solar technologies and reshaping electricity generation. These technology and policy drivers are also changing how electricity systems are planned and operated. Policymakers, planners, and grid operators are working to integrate variable renewable resources while maintaining system reliability and affordability. These actors need to innovate organizationally to achieve both regional integration and decarbonization, which can be difficult. I will present a comparative study on innovations in renewables integration taking place in the Midwest and Western United States. This study focuses on negotiations within two regional transmission organizations and highlights the governance challenges for renewables integration. By comparing the recent California Independent System Operator (CAISO) initiative to create an energy imbalance market (EIM) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) negotiations necessary to develop the dispatchable intermittent resources (DIR) program, we provide a detailed examination of renewable energy policy implementation in practice. As grid operators in both systems work to improve renewable resource integration while maintaining reliability, affordability, and improving system efficiencies, this comparative study highlights the importance of policy drivers and institutional negotiations which are altering the distribution of benefits and burdens among stakeholders involved in the electric power system. In doing so, this work outlines the evolving political and institutional challenges requiring more coordination, policy innovation, and new institutional paradigms shaping electricity system governance.

Bio

Dr. Elizabeth J. Wilson is a Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy and Law at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She studies how energy systems are changing in the face of new technologies and new societal pressures. Her work focuses on the implementation of energy and environmental policies and laws in practice. She is interested in how institutions support and thwart energy system transitions and focuses on the interplays between technology innovation, policy creation, and institutional decision making. Her recent books include Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing) (with Davies, Klass, Tomain and Osofsky) and Smart Grid (R)evolution: Electric Power Struggles (Cambridge Press) (with Stephens and Peterson). Wilson’s research group is working on an NSF supported grant on decision making in Regional Transmission Organizations.

Paper 1: Electricity governance and the Western energy imbalance market in the United States: The necessity of interorganizational collaboration

Paper 2: Remaking Energy: The Critical Role of Energy Consumption Data

4th November
Ecosystem service governance: innovating for, or with, practice
Eeva Primmer (SYKE, Finnish Environment Institute)

Abstract

tbc

Bio

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11th November
Title tbc
Vadim Grinevich (University of Southampton)

Abstract

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Bio

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18th November
What participatory action-research can say to the socio-technical transition framework?
Alejandra Boni (INGENIO, UPV)

Abstract

The aim of this seminar is to illustrate the potential of participatory video, a specific participatory action-research methodology to contribute to the socio technical transition debate. Our main argument is if the aim of the socio technical transition is looking forward a systemic change towards a more sustainable and equitable future, the way in which we do research matters. Not only the outputs of our research should have the potential of highlighting pathways more sustainable and equitable, but also the process. In this sense, participatory action-research (PAR) can contribute in both dimension, results and process, to the socio-technical transitions. We will illustrate this debate from our PAR’s experience using participatory video with grassroots innovators in Valencia (Spain).

Bio

Alejandra Boni is Associate Professor at the Universitat Politécnica de València, Spain. Research fellow at INGENIO (CSIC-UPV). Honorary Professor of the University of the Free State, South Africa. Vice-president of the International Development Ethics Association. Her research interest are human development, higher education, collective social innovation, participation, development education and communication for social change. @sandraboni4

25th November
Industrial Development and Policy in South Africa: Why is There Not More Success?
Sam Ashman (University of Johannesburg / SOAS)

Abstract

tbc

Bio

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2nd December
Standardising the City: Constructing a Universal Platform
Simon Marvin (Durham University)

Abstract

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) is currently coordinating the formulation of a new set of international standards on smart cities. Drawing on the sociology of standards (Timmermans and Epstein, 2010; Lampland and Leigh-Star, 2009), alongside critical literature on the development of standards rules and codes for urban development, the paper tracks the most recent attempt to create ‘the standard city’. The paper is critically examines three issues. First, we show that much of the effort to develop smart city standards is only partially focused on setting the “technical” standards of the interoperability of systems, hardware and software necessary for the implementation of smart cities. Second, instead the focus of standard setting is on three other issues: – a. defining a data ontology for how urban authorities collect and manage data, b. establishing a framework for specifying how urban authorities develop priorities and purposes for smart technologies and c. formulating processes for the specification and purchasing of smart city software products. Third, the paper shows how smart city standards are less concerned with technological standards and instead more focused on developing a standardised and mobile framework of urban governmental control that reconfigures the urban context to make it amenable to the specification, purchase and implementation of software products. We conclude by arguing that the purposes of standards is to actually reconfigure urban contexts to match the technological and commercial presuppositions of software products and thereby establish a universal logic of urban control.

Bio

tbc

9th December
The ARPA-E Model for Energy Innovation
Laura Diaz Anadon (Harvard University)

Abstract

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Bio

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