The debate on fracking provides a context to understand people’s knowledge and experience of science, politics and power. Following the announcement of the moratorium in December 2019, we will share research about unconventional shale gas development in the sciences and social sciences and create discussion space for the exchange of ideas. The workshop will feature a morning of presentation, and structured small group discussions in the afternoon.
Featuring contributions from researchers in Human Geography and Environment, Law, Chemistry and Education:
- Matthew Cotton
explores the context and motivation for this new tentative consensus on shale gas policy across the devolved administrations, reporting upon qualitative sociological and political analysis research conducted over the past 7 years in light of the current (official or unofficial) moratorium across the United Kingdom.
- Joanna Gilmore has been studying the state's response to anti-fracking protests since 2013. Joanna will discuss the recent findings of a national study into the policing of anti-fracking protest in England, and the impact of state definitions of anti-fracking activists on protest and assembly rights.
- The Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories were commissioned by BEIS to undertake a four-year independent programme of pollution measurements around shale gas sites in Lancashire and North Yorkshire, in part to address a public perception of bias in measurements made by either government agencies such as the HSE or Environment Agency, or by the companies operating the sites. This work brought us into contact with all the major players in the fracking debate, and particularly with the industrial developers, local action groups and politicians, regulators and the media. Expressing uncertainty in useful ways and providing straightforward scientific answers to the perennial questions, ‘is it harmful?’ And ‘should we be doing this?' provided some of the greatest challenges.
- Researchers in the University of York Science Education Group have been investigating the knowledge, attitudes and perspectives of youth on fracking and associated protests in England and Northern Ireland, looking at the types of injustice experienced by those near fracking sites.