Simone Abram: ethnography, ethics in energy governance and sustainability challenges




Simone Abram is a professor of anthropology at Durham University where she is also a Director of the Durham Energy Institute, and is the current Chair of the Association of Social Anthropologists in the UK. She holds a BSc/MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, an MSt and DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Simone’s research projects span across multiple fields and a wide range of interests with a strong focus on energy. Simone is currently a researcher at the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI), a £5m 5-year, 5-university research project, in which she brings anthropological methods and perspectives to the process and conceptualisation of energy modelling, and at the Include research centre for socially inclusive energy transitions, based in Oslo Norway. Additionally, Simone has recently helped to found a new European network on energy anthropology, is a member of the EASA Future Anthropology Network and a series editor of the Berghahn Public and Applied Anthropology series with Prof Sarah Pink.

Corina and Maria talk to Simone about the anthropology of energy, ethics in the field of energy governance and sustainability dilemmas for individuals and communities alike. What questions brought Simone, an engineering graduate, to anthropology? Simone reflects on her own ethnography learning process, the challenge of entering a new knowledge area and the fresh perspectives brought by engaging with other disciplines. We explore other questions such as: can energy possibly have an international ethical foundation and how to reconcile different epistemological notions in order to arrive at a common understanding? What about the balance between social inequality and sustainability measures? Simone shares her thoughts and experiences as a researcher, academic and an individual actively engaged in community building practices.


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Mentioned in Podcast:

Durham Energy Institute,

Arctic encounters: Contemporary Travel/Writing in the European High North,

Just Transition: Pathways to Socially Inclusive Decarbonisation,

Wendy Parker on climate modelling,

Timothy Morton,

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