UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

At UCL, the academic mission is paramount. Our ambition is to achieve the highest standards in our teaching and research.

Join us for BSc, MSc, and PhD study.

Staff books include:

Stilgoe 2013

UK citizen views on carbon capture and storage: new study

2 January 2014

“Nuclear energy sounded wonderful 40 years ago”

Authors: Simon J Lock*[i], Melanie Smallman, Maria Lee, Yvonne Rydin, UCL


Around the world there is increasing interest from government and industry in the potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to play a part in decarbonization. This paper examines how people with little previous exposure to CCS technology, frame and discuss it, and how in the absence of information, ideas, notions, values and experiences shape opinion. We present data from a series of focus groups held with environmental activists, planning councillors, and adult and youth community group members in London in 2012. We found that views on CCS are shaped strongly by wider factors, particularly trade offs between different energy futures. Lay-critiques were similar to those put forward by environmental groups and were strongly framed by conceptions of nuclear power. We argue that although there is little public disquiet concerning this technology in private opinions were generally negative. This, and the use of nuclear power as a framing device, may present a challenge to policy-makers and industry committed to implementing CCS while promoting education a mechanism for public acceptance.

DOI is: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.024

Corresponding author: Dr Simon J Lock ( Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Page last modified on 14 nov 13 17:42 by Joe Cain

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)
0207 679 1328 office | +44 207 679 1328 international | | @stsucl
postal address:  Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom
street address: 22 Gordon Square, London, WC1E 6BT | maps