WASHINGTON, DC—In a September 13, 2007, report* on climate change, the National
Academies of Science stated, “Research into the social sciences, including human
drivers of climate change such as energy consumption, the impact on human
systems such as political institutions and economies, and mitigation and
adaptation options, is much less developed than research on the natural climate
In addition, a House subcommittee on science and technology held
25, 2007, on how social and behavioral research can influence decisions
affecting energy conservation.
While the NAS' and the Subcommittee on
Research and Education's formal recognition of the importance of social sciences
in global climate change is good news, social scientists have been proactive in
pursuing research on this issue.
From November 7-9, 2007, social
scientists and sociologists will tackle the controversial challenges relating to
climate change. Sociologist Loren Lutzenhiser
, Portland State
University, will co-chair and participate in the “Behavior, Energy, and Climate
Change Conference” in Sacramento, CA. The first national conference of its kind,
it will focus on understanding the behavior and decision-making of individuals
This innovative conference will bring together a broad
audience of policy makers, researchers, program managers, nonprofits, faculty,
students, corporations, utilities, evaluators, and others to discuss the social
and behavioral dimensions of energy use, energy conservation and energy
efficiency with the goal of accelerating our transition to an energy-efficient
and low-carbon economy.
Cutting edge social science topics such as
“Insights into Effective Communications and Behavioral Change,” “Accelerating
Technological Change: Example of Getting Consumers to Pay Attention to Fuel
Economy,” and “Individual Behavior in a Social Context: The Impact of Norms,
Networks and Movements” will be discussed.
For more information on the
conference, log onto http://aceee.org.
is titled "Evaluating Progress of the U.S.
Climate Change Science Program: Methods and Preliminary Results."