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The aim of this chapter is two-fold. First, the authors present a practical application of multidisciplinary research based on the experience of editing a book comprised of multidisciplinary cases and focusing on two chapter cases. There are many theoretical accounts of how one may approach multidisciplinary research, but here the authors aim to offer a practical account of how the theoretical goal of multidisciplinary research can play out in the ‘real world’. After addressing the current conceptual understanding of multidisciplinary versus interdisciplinary research, the authors will explain how useful these concepts, in fact, are when applied to the typical constraints that many academics face today in conducting joint research. The authors, who are both editors of the book, will provide lessons for future multidisciplinary collaboration and suggestions for developing methods of multidisciplinary research.
This chapter presents a critical appreciation of the influential encyclical letter of Pope Francis on the environment, Ladauto Si’, issued on the eve of COP 21 in 2015. After placing the document in the context of earlier papal statements and noting its immediate impacts, the chapter sets out the theological, diagnostic and normative substance of the document and explores the multiple challenges it presents to diverse actors in the field of energy policy, from consumers through to global institutions. The chapter appreciates the originality, radicality and inspirational quality of the document but observes that it leaves much work for these actors if its message is to be effectively translated into workable, strategic environmental and energy policy guidelines. The document does well at the macro-level of broad cultural analysis and at the micro-level of illustrative concrete examples but falls short at the meso-level in terms of defining guidelines for specific sectors such as technology, markets and states.
Political science does not offer a distinct subdiscipline to address the subject of energy. Insofar as political science has addressed energy, it has focused on issues often neglected by other disciplines, notably the role of geopolitics and international relations, and the domestic politics of resource-rich states. Apart from the different subfields, we examine different approaches including realism, constructivism, liberalism and Marxism. The rise and fall and rise again of academic articles on energy in leading political science journals is reviewed and linked to exogenous forces such as the price of oil. Two distinct energy topics which have received attention are nuclear power and the oil crises of 1973–79 because of their wider geopolitical ramifications. Perhaps the most prominent or consistent thread through studies of the politics of energy is the question of energy security or energy independence. Finally, in recent years, energy has increasingly emerged as a focus for study in environmental politics and climate change politics in particular.
Energy policy making is complex, and policy makers have traditionally relied on evidence and assessments dominated by a handful of disciplines from the natural and physical sciences. These assessments have often focused on technological solutions with the implicit message that the answer to policy needs lies in identifying and developing the right technology. Historically, however, problems arise in the implementation process of new technologies. These obstacles may be better understood, and either alleviated or avoided, through a more holistic analysis of energy policy requirements that includes multidisciplinary approaches from the social sciences and humanities. This chapter introduces the main ideas of the book, including an overview of each chapter and the most important arguments of the book.
The final chapter presents responses to the content of the entire book by policy practitioners who have dealt with the realities of constructing and implementing policies. They include essays by Emily Shuckburgh, OBE, deputy head of the Polar Oceans Team at the British Antarctic Survey; John Deutch, currently Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former Deputy Secretary of Energy in the United States; and Lord Ronald Oxburgh, who is a British parliamentarian, member of the House of Lords, a former chairman of Shell and himself a geologist and geophysicist. These ‘technologists’ offer three different perspectives on the topic of ‘good energy policy’. Finally the editors provide the main lessons learned from the book and offer suggestions for future directions of multidisciplinary research in energy policy.
In this chapter, we discuss the evolution of the field of ‘ethics of nuclear energy’, regarding its past, present and future. We will first review the history of this field in the previous four decades, focusing on new and emerging challenges of nuclear energy production and waste disposal, in light of several important developments. Four of the most pressing ethical challenges will be further reviewed in the chapter. First, what is a morally ‘acceptable’ nuclear energy production method, if we consider the existing and possible new technologies? Second, provided a new tendency to consider nuclear waste disposal with several countries, what would be the new ethical and governance challenges of these multinational collaborations? Third, how should we deal with the (safety) challenges of the new geographic distribution of nuclear energy, tilting towards emerging economies with less experience with nuclear technology? Fourth, nuclear energy projects engender highly emotional controversies. Neither ignoring the emotions of the public nor taking them as a reason to prohibit or restrict a technology – we call them technocratic populist pitfalls respectively – seem to be able to guide responsible policy making.
This chapter sets out the contribution to ‘good energy policy’ that might be forthcoming from the (perhaps unfamiliar) field of ‘public theology’. It argues that an environmental public theology would commend a ‘grounded’ energy policy – one rooted in an explicit conception of a ‘good’ or ‘virtuous’ human life. After defining ‘public theology’, it identifies five convergent stances relevant to energy policy that seem to be emerging today among representative of most world religions: (i) nature as a ‘divine’ ordering marked by integration, equilibrium and harmony rather than as infinitely exploitable; (ii) a call for human ‘stewardship’ of nature; (iii) an acceptance of climate science and an urgent call to shift away from fossil fuels; (iv) scepticism towards unlimited economic growth and its attendant ‘consumerism’; (v) locating energy questions within a broader commitment to a just social order characterised by both an equitable global distribution of access to energy and a decentralisation of energy supply (‘environmental subsidiarity’).
Drawing on political science, economics, philosophy, theology, social anthropology, history, management studies, law, and other subject areas, In Search of Good Energy Policy brings together leading academics from across the social sciences and humanities to offer an innovative look at why science and technology, and the type of quantification they champion, cannot alone meet the needs of energy policy making in the future. Featuring world-class researchers from the University of Cambridge and other leading universities around the world, this innovative book presents an interdisciplinary dialogue in which scientists and practitioners reach across institutional divides to offer their perspectives on the relevance of multi-disciplinary research for 'real world' application. This work should be read by anyone interested in understanding how multidisciplinary research and collaboration is essential to crafting good energy policy.
This study aimed to determine the proportion of patients hospitalised with mania who had capacity to consent to treatment, to determine the predictors of capacity and to explore the relationship between detained status and capacity. Fifty in-patients with mania participated in a clinical interview to assess capacity.
Nineteen patients (38%) had overall capacity. Capacity was predicted by higher IQ, lower severity of manic symptoms and more episodes of depression; it was not related to voluntary or detained status. The domains of capacity were not hierarchical.
Many patients hospitalised with mania have capacity to make an informed choice regarding treatment even when compulsorily detained. Their capacity should be reviewed frequently and measures adopted to enhance capacity.