Geoscience and Society

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The Geoscience and Society team focusses on developing interdisciplinary research that crosses the boundary between the earth and social sciences. Its research focus includes how society engages with, values and perceives the subsurface and how this impacts on a range of issues including ownership and governance, competing uses of the subsurface, or what the subsurface can offer us – what opportunities it holds for society. In understanding the way society understands and values the subsurface, we can begin to look at how issues of social distrust can be addressed, and inform the reshaping of local and national policies.

Current collaborations/projects

Sarah Jenkins, University College London.

University College London: PhD – Sarah Jenkins. Communicating uncertainty: The role of communication format in maximising understanding and maintaining credibility.
(Supervisors: Hazel Napier (BGS), Adam Harris (UCL)).


United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project. Photo credit: © Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL).

Anglia Ruskin University: PhD – how different user engagement theories are being applied in local and integrated renewable energy projects.
(Supervisors: Corinna Abesser, Hazel Napier (BGS), Melanie Rohse, Rosie Robison (ARU)).


Drilling rig. Photo taken by Brighid O Dochartaigh, BGS © UKRI 2019.

Lancaster University: PhD (CASE) – Jack Hemingway. Exploring the Resilience of Groundwater Governance in East Africa.
(Supervisors: Brighid O Dochartaigh (BGS), Alexandra Gormally (LU)).


Krafla Geothermal Power Plant. Photo taken by Hazel Napier, BGS © UKRI 2019.

Lancaster University: Krafla Magma Testbed – Opportunities and challenges that may arise from proposed deep geothermal drilling at Krafla volcano.
(Alexandra Gormally (LU), Hazel Napier (BGS)).


View accross the Cheshire Energy Research Field Site, looking westwards from Helsby Hill. Photo credit: © Peter Corcoran 2017, (Source https://www.bgs.ac.uk/ukgeoenergyobs/ & https://www.ukgeos.ac.uk/research/funding)

Stirling University: UK Geoenergy Observatories – Attitudes towards publically–funded energy decarbonisation science, ways in which different 'publics' engage with potential subsurface energy technologies and their role in a future energy mix.
(Jennifer Dickie and Eilidh Watson (Stirling University), Hazel Napier, (BGS)).


Coast view, looking north from Cunning Point, by Lowca, West Cumbria. Photo taken by M McCormac. BGS © UKRI 2019.

Leicester University/Stirling University: People's awareness, understanding of, and reactions to changing energy landscapes.
(Martin Phillips (Leicester University), Jennifer Dickie (Stirling University), Hazel Napier (BGS).


La Soufrière volcano, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Photo taken by Hazel Napier, BGS © UKRI 2019.

University of West Indies, Seismic Research Centre: Value of social media in improving risk reduction in Caribbean communities.
(Hazel Napier, Anna Hicks (BGS), Stacey Edwards (SRC)).


Underwater seabed monitoring. Photo taken by Paul Lusty, BGS © UKRI 2019.

Strathclyde University/Heriot-Watt University: GCRF ONE OCEAN Hub: Re-focusing multi-scalar, integrated ocean management for SDG synergies.
(Elisa Morgera (Strathclyde University), Paul Lusty, Tracy Shimmield (BGS)).


Contact Hazel Napier for more information.