Centre for Energy Ethics, highlighting some OA publications

Kyle Brady
Thursday 28 October 2021

In addition to Open Access week, it is also the Centre for Energy Ethics’ conference on Energy transitions & planetary futures which coincides neatly with the upcoming COP26 summit.

To highlight these events, and to provide a flavour of the high quality research coming out of the Centre for Energy Ethics, here is a small selection of Open Access articles authored by researchers from the Centre, these are all freely and publicly available to read and download from the University’s research repository.

The Centre describes it’s core aim as tackling profound and urgent challenges facing society in relation to balancing the supply of sufficient energy to meet demand with the need for greater climate change awareness and responsibility.

“The Centre provides a rare platform for collaboration across arts, humanities, social and natural sciences. It brings together our different disciplinary strengths as we pursue the guiding question of not only what can we do, but also what should we do in order to create a better energy future for us all.” (https://energyethics.st-andrews.ac.uk/about/)

Drilling for oil in Weld County, Colorado. (Photograph by milehightraveler)
‘Drilling for oil in Weld County, Colorado. (Photograph by milehightraveler)’ https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.13013

1. Projects of devotion: energy exploration and moral ambition in the cosmoeconomy of oil and gas in the Western United States

‘The oil and gas industry in the United States is predicated on a precarious relationship between hope and knowledge. At times the commodity markets are strong and oil producers compete zealously […] at other times prices fall and widespread pessimism reverberates.’

High, M. M. (2019). Projects of devotion: energy exploration and moral ambition in the cosmoeconomy of oil and gas in the Western United States. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute25(S1), 29-46. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.13013

2. Risk and responsibility: private equity financiers and the US shale revolution

‘The US shale revolution could not have unfolded without the financial risk-taking activities of private equity financiers who channeled billions of dollars into US unconventional exploration and production (“fracking”). These financiers are motivated not only by their own capitalist projects but also by feelings of responsibility to take financial risks for the benefit of others’

Field, S. (2021). Risk and responsibility: private equity financiers and the US shale revolution. Economic Anthropology9(1). https://doi.org/10.1002/sea2.12221

3. Power and precariousness in the expert hierarchies of the US hydrocarbon industry

‘Drawing on ethnographic research in Houston, Texas, I explore how oil and gas experts negotiate social power and precariousness within the US hydrocarbon sector. In an industry long associated with corporate power, the careers of experts are precariously balanced on rising and falling hydrocarbon prices. This makes the social power these experts wield as fluid as the commodities they are premised on.’

Field, S. (2021). Power and precariousness in the expert hierarchies of the US hydrocarbon industry. Critique of Anthropology, 41(3), 303-319. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308275X211038608

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