Past event

Energy Cafe: Truth, Action and Transition on an energy frontline in Lancashire, UK

Sarah O'Brien, PhD graduand of the CEE and the department of Social Anthropology at St Andrews, discusses the findings from her thesis “Truth, Action, and Transition on an energy frontline in Lancashire, UK”. Sarah carried out ethnographic fieldwork at Preston New Road, a site heralded as having the potential to kickstart the shale gas industry in the UK. 

During the Energy Café, she will share her research experience sharing a life with those resisting the site — what changes were people working towards? What were their aspirations and fears? What issues were at stake on this protest frontline? Sarah will examine forms of engagement with energy infrastructures from the roadside, discussing what this engagement can tell us about our conceptualisations of truth, time, responsibility and action. 

Having worked in a polarised and conflictual space at PNR, with those feeling on the “outside” of large energy infrastructures they seek to resist, she will end her presentation by discussing what her next project focusing on nuclear waste management in France might look like. How can an “energy ethics” approach enable researchers to constructively engage with difficult and sensitive energy issues? Where are differences important to emphasise, and where can commonalities between stakeholders be found? 

Sarah completed her thesis in January 2023, and will be starting a new research position at the University of Manchester as part of the MIMESIS in action project.

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