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Robin Grove-White

Emeritus Professor

Robin Grove-White

Email: r.grove-white@lancaster.ac.uk

Personal information

BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics: Worcester College, Oxford University (1971)


2000 - 2004 Professor of Environment and Society, Institute for Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy

1991 - 2000 Director, Centre for the Study of Environmental Change

1989 - 1991 Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Research Policy, Lancaster University

1987 - 1989 Research Fellow, Centre for Environmental Technology, Imperial College, London

1981 - 1987 Director, Council for the Protection of Rural England, London

1972 - 1981 Assistant Secretary and Parliamentary Officer, Council for the Protection of Rural England, London

1963 - 1968 Freelance scriptwriter for TV, radio, cabaret, film, advertising in UK, US & Canada (including 'The Establishment' (London), 'That Was The Week That Was' (BBC), 'The Frost programme' (ITV), 'Marty' (ITV), 'This Hour Has Seven Days' (CBCTV), 'Second City' (Chicago), and McCann-Erickson (Toronto & London)

Research interests

My central concern since entering academia in 1987 has been the development and implementation of new and original social science-based approaches to 'environmental' research. This has entailed intellectual leadership - in synergy with a key collaborator, Professor Brian Wynne - in the creation and rapid development of Lancaster University's Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC).

Since its creation in 1991, CSEC has attracted more than £2.6 million in research grants, for work aimed at the development of a fresh intellectual agenda. This has included two major ESRC research programme awards, a variety of individual research council project grants, nine EU Framework Programme grants, and numerous ad hoc sponsorships from industry, statutory agencies, NGOs and local authorities. By 1998 it had reached a staff of 20, the majority full-time social scientific researchers, and had spawned an extensive range of publications.

My role as director was to contribute both an integrating intellectual vision and the hands-on research leadership which have underpinned most of these results. This has involved innovations in research aspiration and method; the successful negotiation, supervision and maintenance of new patterns of cross-disciplinary research funding and collaboration (from a sociology of knowledge base, but involving disciplines across the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities); and the systematic pursuit of fresh patterns of creative interaction with 'user' bodies as different as the Forestry Commission, the Health and Safety Executive, Greenpeace, World-Wide Fund for Nature, the Hadley Centre, Lancashire and Cumbria County Councils, Unilever, and the European Commission. It has also involved the nurturing of - and, increasingly, partnership with - a growing range of talented young social research associates within CSEC, and creative interaction with dispersed cognate researchers at other centres in the UK, EU, North America, and Australasia.

The activities have been driven by an underlying personal conviction that under contemporary political, geo-political, and cultural circumstances, new modes of research - and more particularly, of research relationship between academia and wider society - are now necessary, particularly in the 'environmental' domain. Most of my own academic publications to date (see below) have sought to elaborate this theme, and to communicate the ways in which CSEC's initiatives are seeking to help bring it to fruition.

Selected publications

Journal Articles and Book Chapters (1996-1998)

Environmental Knowledge and Public Policy Needs: On Humanising the Research Agenda, in S Lash, B Szerszynski & B Wynne (eds) Risk, Environment and Modernity: Towards a New Ecology , (12), pp. 269-286: Sage, 1996

A New Culture? Leisure and Lifestyle, Leisure, Countryside Recreation Network News, October, pp.8-10, 1996

Environment, Risk, and Democracy, in M Jacobs (ed) Greening the Millenium: The New Politics of the Environment, The Political Quarterly/Blackwell, pp.109-122, 1997

The Environmental 'Valuation' Controversy: Observations on its Recent History and Significance , in J Foster (ed) Valuing Nature? , (1), pp. 21-31: Routledge, 1997

Science, Trust and Social Change, in Science, Policy and Risk, Royal Society, pp. 53-58: London, 1997

Currents of Cultural Change, Town and Country Planning, 66-6, pp. 169-171, 1997

Environmental Sustainability, Time and Uncertainty, Time and Society , 6(1), pp. 99-106, 1997

Immoral Maize, THES, 14.3.97, 1997

Maximising the local economic, environmental and social benefits of a university (with H Armstrong & J Darrall), Geojournal 41 (4), pp. 339-350, 1997

The Local Economic Impact of construction projects in a small and relatively self-contained economy: the case of Lancaster University (with H Armstrong & J Darrall), Local Economy 12 (2), pp. 146-159, 1997

Sustainability and Indicators, in P McDonagh & A Prothero (eds), Green Management, (8), pp. 148-153: Dryden Press, London, 1997

Are Surrogate Valuation Methods Useful? A Sceptic's View, in C Roper & A Park The Living Forest: Non-Market Benefits of Forestry, HMSO, London, 1998

Risk Society, Politics and BSE, in J Franklin (ed), The Politics of Risk Society, (6), pp. 50-53: Polity Press in association with IPPR, London, 1998

Monographs and Published Reports (1995-1998)

Corine - Data Bases and Nature Conservation: the New Politics of Information in the European Union (112 pages - with J Rodwell, C Waterton & B Wynne), CSEC & World-Wide Fund for Nature, Godalming, 1995

Uncertain World: Genetically Modified Organisms, Food and Public Attitudes in Britain (64 pages - with P Macnaghten, S Mayer & B Wynne), CSEC & Unilever, London, 1997

Woodland Sensibilities: Recreational Uses of Woods and Forests in Britain (64 pages - with P Macnaghten, C Waterton & S Weldon), CSEC & Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, 1998

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