This week, the Green Impact blog interviews Christopher Jones, an academic taking part in our SusSEd series! This post is by Lee Morris and Veronica Love, two students volunteering for Green Impact. If you or your team would like to contribute to the blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For today’s interview we sought out Dr Christopher Jones, a lecturer in Social and Environmental Psychology at the University of Sheffield since 2011.
Christopher is one of the speakers at the University’s upcoming “Sustainability Skills and Education” (SusSEd) talks, speaking on the 14th of February in the appropriately named ‘For the Love of CO2: Public Perceptions of Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Technologies’. The SusSEd talks will be delivered between the 9th February and the 16th March on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes (12:10 – 1:00PM).
The first question posed to Christopher was; What is your role within the University? Christopher, as an environmental psychologist, works primarily as a lecturer within the University. He is also a researcher with an interest in public perceptions of new energies and technologies and also in encouraging pro-environmental behaviour.
Next we asked what an environmental psychologist is, to which he informed us that he looks at the relationships between people and aspects of the natural and built environment, effectively studying the interface between people and environment and using this as a context to study. Furthermore, environmental psychologists can do a variety of different jobs such as territoriality. It all boils down to understanding how people respond to environmental change (Just look at Donald Trump’s climate change denial!).
We were curious as to how Christopher became involved in such a specific and unlikely branch of psychology. He told us that it was actually down to chance and natural progression. Having completed a PhD thesis on attitude formation and change a career opportunity in the sphere of climate change came up and as his father had worked in this sphere also it felt natural for him to follow this interest and he is very glad to have fallen into this job where real growth, on a global scale, is possible.
Based upon his upcoming SusSEd talk we were curious to find out some more about what Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Technologies (CDU’s) were. Without giving too much away, Christopher told us that CDU’s are a family of new technologies which make use of the current Carbon Dioxide levels in order to produce things we need and use daily such as plastic, cement and transport fuels. Christopher’s role is to engage the public in this new technology and make sure that they understand it, especially given that public opinion can determine whether a technology is used or not through support or protest. Christopher also told us that few people really know what this technology is and so it is important for them to understand it properly else it will not be used.