ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
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Professor Karen Bickerstaff

Last modified: February 26, 2024
ACCESS Leadership Team

Professor in Human Geography
University of Exeter


The sector(s) I work in: Academic




About the organisation(s) I've worked for

Organisation name:

University of Exeter

About my experience and expertise

Personal statement:

I am an environmental geographer and my work focuses on:

i) The place-based dimensions of living with technological and environmental risks, this has included research on urban air pollution, hazardous infrastructure (such as nuclear facilities) and the impacts of climate change;

ii) Geographies of environmental injustice, with a particular interest in debates around energy justice, particularly in relation to future Net Zero and low carbon policy;

iii) social transformation around sustainability and climate goals and, related to this, the intersection between social science and policy-making.

Key topic areas of research or interest:

  • Social science perspectives on energy, net zero, nuclear infrastructure, urban air pollution, climate change
  • Environmental (risk) perception, experience and policy
  • Environmental justice and energy justice
  • Low carbon and net zero policy
  • Place, planning, engagement and (energy) infrastructure


Guilbert S, Bickerstaff K, Bethel A, Garside R, Devine-Wright P and Gatersleben B (2022) ACCESS – Rapid Evidence Summary (for Defra): Defra 25-Year Environment Plan

Bickerstaff K (2022). Living on with Sellafield: nuclear infrastructure, slow violence and the politics of quiescence. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Bickerstaff K, Hinton E, Bulkeley H (2016). Decarbonisation at home: the contingent politics of experimental domestic energy technologies. Environment and Planning A, 48(10), 2006-2025.

Bickerstaff K, Walker G, Bulkeley H (2013). Energy Justice in a Changing Climate Social equity implications of the energy and low-carbon relationship., Zed Books.

Bickerstaff K (2012). “Because we’ve got history here”: Nuclear waste, cooperative siting, and the relational geography of a complex issue. Environment and Planning A, 44(11), 2611-2628.

Bickerstaff K, Lorenzoni I, Jones M, Pidgeon N (2010). Locating scientific citizenship: the institutional contexts and cultures of public engagement. Science Technology and Human Values, 35(4), 474-500.

Bickerstaff K, Agyeman J (2009). Assembling justice spaces: the scalar politics of environmental justice in North-east England. Antipode, 41(4), 781-806

Bickerstaff K, Simmons P (2004). The right tool for the job? Modeling, spatial relationships, and styles of scientific practice in the UK foot and mouth crisis. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 22(3), 393-412

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