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. During the spring of 2016, I will be a visiting researcher at Argonne National Laboratory’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.
Why “understand green”? What is “green”?
The word is used ad nauseum, but there is still no consensus about its meaning, and it is is often used in conflicting ways. I approach this dilemma by picking apart its most widely accepted definition: long-term-orientation and sustainability. Specifically, I examine how science and technology and their generation relate to human purpose and maximize public value.
To “understand green”, thus, I focus on information transfer problems in the context of environmental 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 a mixture of technocracy, authoritarianism, and democracy has allowed Japan to lead epistemic community building efforts as well as mitigate the negative environmental effects of economic growth;
- the politicization of science, e.g., how people understand environmental and energy issues, particularly climate change, and how our elected officials convey such information;
- the technology of politics, such as how our elected officials use polarizing language and frame environmental policies in the context of social media-based statements;
- key environmental policies such as the carbon tax.