news & events

Travelling seminar series

Over the 2013-14 academic year, members of the Publics then, now and beyond network will be organising a travelling seminar series. These events will will be hosted by members’ home institutions, with support from the Open University’s Faculty of Social Science, and feature both internal and external speakers.

Past events

Upcoming events

Seminar 3: Making Energy Publics

Thursday 3rd April, 10.30 until 16.30. UEA London, 102 Middlesex St.

A seminar organised by Jason Chilvers and Helen Pallett of the 3S Group at UEA, as part of the OU Publics then, now and beyond network’s travelling seminar series.

Speakers: Andrew Barry (UCL); Linda Soneryd (University of Gothenburg); Alison Mohr (University of Nottingham); Tom Hargreaves and Noel Longhurst (UEA); Nick Mahony and Hilde Stephansen (Open University).

What publics think, know, say and do has become a central concern of energy research and policy. Existing approaches tend to imagine an external public existing in a natural state waiting to be revealed, engaged, or mobilised by science and democracy. Yet, energy publics are actively brought into being by the ways one seeks to know and move them. This seminar – a collaboration between the Open University Publics then, now and beyond network and the EPSRC Realising Transition Pathways Project – explores the possible academic and practical value of radically rethinking energy publics as being emergent and coproduced in relation to social, technical and political orders. In doing so it has three main areas of concern and possible contribution.

  1. To consider competing theoretical explanations for the coproduction, making and mediation of energy publics – including the relative roles of technologies, objects, issues, procedures, settings, imaginaries, and forms of human action in shaping (and being shaped by) instances and practices of public formation.
  2. To open up a more ‘system-wide’ and symmetrical exploration of the diverse sites and forms of making energy publics – ranging from public deliberations on energy policy through to performing smart technologies in the home, and from grassroots energy innovations through to forms of public protest – than mainstream social science theories and approaches which attend to specific parts of the energy ‘system’ and/or particular publics (like rational actors, consumers, deliberative citizens, civil society, users, everyday practitioners).
  3. To consider how relations between science, governance and society would need to be reconfigured in order to better account for the inherent uncertainties, diversities, materialities, and competing visions of emergent energy publics?

To register for the event, click here. If you have any questions, please email Helen Pallett:



  1. Pingback: First event in the network’s 2013-14 travelling seminar series | publics then, now & beyond
  2. Dominic Walker


    I’m very interested in the kinds of themes the seminar on 7th November looks to be investigating however unfortunately I will be unable to attend the event. Is there any way I could have some of the presentation or discussions emailed to me at all please? My email is and I would greatly appreciate any notes to help with my research!


  3. Pingback: Smart publics? Second event in our travelling seminar series | publics then, now & beyond
  4. Pingback: Making Energy Publics: third event in our travelling seminar series | publics then, now & beyond

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