Thursday, February 27, 2014

Job at SPRU

Senior Research Fellow in Innovation and Energy Demand
SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research
School of Business, Management and Economics

Full time, Fixed Term for four years (with the possibility of an extension)
Salary range: starting at £46,400 and rising to £53,765 per annum
Expected start date: May 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter

Applications are invited for a Senior Research Fellow to join a new £3.7 million Research Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED), led by the Sussex Energy Group (SEG). This full time position is for a period four years, with a possible extension thereafter. The Sussex Energy Group at SPRU is one of the UK’s largest independent energy policy research groups and is a partner in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the UK Energy Research Centre.

The Centre began work in June 2013 and involves an interdisciplinary team of social scientists from the Sussex Energy Group, the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester and the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford. The Centre is developing a socio-technical understanding of how ‘low-energy innovations’ emerge, how they diffuse and what impacts they have. These themes are studied through a number of projects from a range of disciplinary angles (e.g. innovation studies, socio-technical transitions, economics) and are linked to wide-ranging stakeholder engagement activities. Topics for the first round of projects include low carbon urban transport, the energy implications of 3D printing, successes and failures in low energy innovation, the diffusion of energy service contracting, achieving low energy non-domestic buildings and rebound effects in UK road transport.

SEG wishes to appoint a highly motivated individual with suitable academic experience to contribute to this wide-ranging research programme. Applications are invited from established researchers with a strong track record in a relevant discipline and expertise in energy and climate policy. The successful candidate will be expected to help shape the Centre’s research programme, design and lead research projects, conduct empirical research, participate in funding bids, engage with stakeholders and contribute to the broader work of the Sussex Energy Group.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Checking In

I haven't been blogging much lately - things have been very busy (started teaching, trips etc.) so I haven't had time to blog on papers I have read, policy issues and the like and several projects are near completion but not quite there and so I neither have anything to report on them nor any preliminary literature review etc. I can put up as blogposts. That pretty much covers the sources of content for this blog. This should change over the next month or so as some of these projects are finalized.

There is a little news to report. My paper on "Energy and Economic Growth: The Stylized Facts" (one of the almost complete papers) was accepted for the IAEE conference in New York City. So, I expect I will go to that meeting in mid-June. We got another revise and resubmit on the traditional and modern energy paper. Another, because we already had an R&R from another journal that then rejected our revised version. The AARES conference this month was a lot of fun. It looks like some of the papers will be re-presented here in Canberra for AARES members that couldn't make it to the conference. I'll let you know when my paper is scheduled. I also will present a paper on the same topic (emissions and growth) as a seminar at the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics here at ANU on 1 April. Maybe there is a reason why that date was still free :)

Last Thursday and Friday I had a research meeting with Jack Pezzey and Astrid Kander. We discussed our work on modelling the Industrial Revolution. I think we have a viable strategy for overcoming this setback. Location: Coogee Beach. Astrid has been visiting Sydney for this month working with researchers at the University of New South Wales and so Coogee was the perfect place for her to stay. Certainly, a great place for a meeting :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Working in Policy and Working in Academic Research

Interesting blogpost on the differences. These are of course the extreme poles between someone doing solo-authored work in economic theory and someone work hands on in government or international policy. Academic research in economics is increasingly done in teams. Most of my ongoing projects are coauthored at the moment. Despite Deirdre McCloskey's criticisms, we are also very interested in the magnitude of effects - for example the size of the rebound effect or the climate sensitivity. And if you want to get a grant (at least in Australia) you have to convince academics outside your discipline. If you want to have a policy influence you have to convince non-academics. As someone at a school of public policy that is an important part of our mission. I also prefer to answer important questions even if it is hard to give a good answer to them, rather than less important questions which can be answered better. Of course, if we can't say anything novel enough to publish we have to drop the topic. There is a "sweet spot" where the question is both important and can be answered well, but that is difficult to find.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Great New Intuitive Way to Access Climate Data

It can be hard to understand how interpret global climate data sets in the way they are usually presented. This new Google Earth based interface is really good if you just want averaged data for a few gridboxes or station level data. It is also good for visualizing the distribution of station data that supports the gridbox values. For more discussion see this blogpost on Real Climate.