Prof. Patrick Devine-Wright – Professor in Human Geography

Prof. Patrick Devine-Wright is an environmental social scientist who draws from disciplines such as Human Geography and Environmental Psychology, at the University of Exeter. He specialises in researching significant, policy-relevant environmental problems using an interdisciplinary collaborative approach that is theoretically informed and has clear pathways to impact.

Broad research specialisms:

  • understanding the symbolic and affective dimensions of people-place relations, particularly concepts of place attachment and place identity
  • investigating social and psychological aspects of siting new energy infrastructure such as wind farms and power lines, including ‘NIMBYism’ and public engagement
  • understanding the motivation for pro-environmental and pro-social actions, particularly conceptions of citizenship applied to energy and environmental problems

He is a Lead Author for the IPCC Working Group III in the 6th Assessment Round contributing to a chapter on ‘Demand, Services and Social Aspects of Mitigation’. He contributes the International Energy Agency’s Task 28 on Social Acceptance of Wind Energy and has been a member of the National Advisory Group for EirGrid (the Irish electricity grid operator) since 2013.

He is a member of the Peer Review Group for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy; and was formerly a member of the Social Science Expert Panel advising Defra and DECC. He was an invited member of the National Advisory Group steering the UK Community Renewables Initiatives between 2001 and 2006; and acted as Lead Expert to the Office of Science and Technology’s Foresight Project on Sustainable Energy and the Built Environment (2008).

He sits on the board of several academic journals including Global Environmental Change, Energy Research and Social Science, Journal of Environmental Psychology and Environment and Behavior. He edited a book on ‘Public Engagement with Renewable Energy: From NIMBY to Participation’ published by Earthscan in 2011. A book on ‘Place Attachment’, co-edited with Dr. Lynne Manzo (University of Washington), was published by Routledge in 2013, for which we received the annual 2014 Achievement Award from the US Environmental Design Research Association.

Prof. Devine-Wright is the Leader of the Environment and Sustainability Research Group at the University of Exeter, and his   Staff Profile page can be found here.