Welcome to understandgreen.com, the clearinghouse for all things related to my research and teaching. I am Associate Professor of Political Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in the Department of Social Sciences. I am also a research affiliate at Argonne National Laboratory’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.
“Understand green” – the term is used extensively and prompts debate. I pick apart its most widely accepted definition – long-term-orientation and sustainability – and examine how science and technology and their generation relate to human purpose and maximize public value. I focus on information transfer problems in the context of environmental, energy, and science policies, looking particularly at the connections between publicly funded R&D and environmentally-related outcomes, how the public responds to the relevant science, and how the government incentivizes change in the public and private sectors. More specifically, I research the following:
- national innovation systems, particularly problems associated with non-collaborative R&D, the tendency for S&T clusters to develop, and limits to international technology transfer;
- the Northeast Asian region (i.e., Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan), where varying combinations of technocracy and democratic institutions thwart epistemic community building efforts to reduce transboundary air pollution;
- the politicization of science, i.e. how people understand and respond to the science and technology of environmental and energy issues, particularly climate change, and how our elected officials convey such information;
- the technology of politics, such as how politicians use social media to signal the traditional media and how people interact in online climate change discussions;
- key environmental policies such as the carbon tax and public funding for large-scale R&D projects.