The Public Engagement Observatory is based in the Science, Society and Sustainability Research Group (3S) at the University of East Anglia. It is led by UKERC Co-Director Professor Jason Chilvers, supported by Dr Helen Pallett (as deputy lead), Dr Tom Hargreaves, Dr Phedeas Stephanides and Dr Laurie Waller.

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Jason Chilvers

UKERC Co-Director and Observatory Lead

Jason is Professor of Environment and Society and Chair of the Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Research Group at the University of East Anglia. He is a Co-Director of UKERC and leads the Public Engagement Observatory.

As a science and technology studies (STS) scholar and geographer, he is concerned with the changing relations between science, democracy and society, particularly in relation to energy, climate change, sustainability and emerging technologies. A key focus of his work is on remaking participation, including new approaches to mapping diverse forms of participation in these contexts.

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Helen Pallett

Observatory Deputy Lead

Helen is a Lecturer in Human Geography of the Environment, and deputy lead of the Public Engagement Observatory.

As a human geographer and STS scholar, Helen is interested in interactions between democracy and developments in science and technology. She is particularly interested in mapping diverse forms of participation in relation to technical systems and policy issues, including low carbon transitions, and the innovation of algorithms and related technologies.

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Tom Hargreaves


Tom is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science and Policy.

Tom’s research focuses on how innovations to promote sustainability impact upon people’s everyday lives. He is particularly interested in the inter-relationships between: the dynamics and evolution of social practices, how technologies are adopted and used in everyday life, and the effects of attempts to govern everyday life to try and steer it in more sustainable directions. In pursuing these interests, his work is situated at the interface between human geography, environmental sociology and science and technology studies.

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Phedeas Stephanides

Senior Research Fellow

Phedeas is an environmental social scientist conducting critically constructive research on the intersections of ecological, technological, and political change.

His work closely engages with contemporary empirical and conceptual debates on the role of civil society in innovation and progress, particularly in sustainability contexts. He has developed this interest through research in three core areas: (a) social movements and community organisations creating radical solutions to climate change and sustainable development, (b) energy publics and their roles in socio-technical transitions to a low-carbon energy system, and (c) smart grid technologies and their impacts on everyday practices.

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Laurie Waller

Senior Research Fellow

Laurie was involved as a researcher in the initial phase of the UKERC Public Engagement Observatory and still contributes to its work. He is currently a Research Associate based in the Department of Geography at the University of Manchester, working on responsible innovation and societal engagement as part of the Greenhouse Gas Removal Hub (CO2RE).

Laurie is a sociologist with a longstanding interest in experimental approaches to participation and public engagement. He is particularly interested in repurposing digital media as methods for analysing and visualising public concerns about climate and environmental change.