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The reality of cross-disciplinary energy research in the United Kingdom: A social science perspective

Mallaband, B and Wood, G and Buchanan, K and Staddon, S and Mogles, NM and Gabe-Thomas, E (2017) 'The reality of cross-disciplinary energy research in the United Kingdom: A social science perspective.' Energy Research and Social Science, 25. 9 - 18. ISSN 2214-6296

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Abstract

© 2016 The Authors Cross-disciplinary research is essential in understanding and reducing energy usage, however the reality of this collaboration comes with many challenges. This paper provides an insight into the integration of social science in energy research, drawing on the expertise and first hand experiences of a range of social science researchers (predominantly Early Career Researchers (ECRs)) working on UK cross-disciplinary projects in energy demand. These researchers, participants in a workshop dedicated to understanding the integration of social science in energy research, identified four groups of challenges to successful integration: Differing expectations of the role of social scientists; Working within academia; Feeling like a valued member of the team; and Communicating and comprehension between disciplines. Suggestions of how to negotiate those challenges included: Management and planning; Increasing contact; Sharing experience; and Understanding team roles. The paper offers a definition of ‘success’ in cross-disciplinary energy research from the perspective of social science ECRs, comprising external, internal and personal components. Using the logics of interdisciplinarity, this paper suggests that integration of the social sciences in the projects discussed may be partial at best and highlights a need to recognise the challenges ECRs face, in order to achieve full integration and equality of disciplines.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2016 10:27
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 12:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18318

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