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Workshop on Social Science and the Alternative Energy Future

The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Thursday-Friday, May 19-20, 2011

Click here for workshop report.
Click here for complete list of speaker bios.
Click below for various multimedia presentations.

Steven Knapp, became the sixteenth president of George Washington University in August 2007. His priorities include enhancing the university’s partnerships with neighboring institutions, expanding the scope of its research, strengthening its worldwide community of alumni, enlarging its students' opportunities for public service, and leading its transformation into a model of urban sustainability. Knapp is a member of the Council on Competitiveness, the Federal City Council, and the Council on Foreign Relations. A specialist in Romanticism, literary theory, and the relation of literature to philosophy and religion, Knapp taught English literature at the University of California, Berkeley, before serving as Dean of Arts and Sciences and then Provost of the Johns Hopkins University. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy in 2011.
Leslie C. Berlowitz is President and William T. Golden Chair of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an independent policy research institute and one of the nation’s oldest learned societies. She oversees its five research areas: science and technology policy; global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education. Berlowitz established two residential fellowship programs for young scholars: the Hellman Fellowship in Science and Technology Policy and the Visiting Scholars Program. Before joining the Academy in 1996, she was vice president for Academic Advancement at New York University. A Fellow of the American Academy, she was named an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Northeastern University in May 2011. Video (5 min.)
Steven E. Koonin serves as the Under Secretary for Science in the U.S. Department of Energy, a post he has held since May 2009. Koonin joined the California Institute of Technology faculty in 1975 and served as the seventh Provost from 1995 to 2004. As the Chief Scientist at BP between 2004 and early 2009, Koonin developed the company’s long-range technology strategy for alternative and renewable energy sources and played a central role in establishing the Energy Biosciences Institute. Koonin has been involved in scientific computing throughout his career and is a strong advocate for research into renewable energies and alternate fuel sources. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy in 1991. Video (41 min.) | Slides
Myron Gutmann is the Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF). He is also Professor of History and Information as well as Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining NSF, he was director of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Gutmann has broad interests in interdisciplinary historical research, especially health, population, economy, and the environment. As Director of ICPSR, he was a leader in the archiving and dissemination of electronic research materials related to society, population, and health, with a special interest in the protection of respondent confidentiality. Video (28 min.)
Nicholas M. Donofrio is a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation and a former Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology at IBM. At IBM, Donofrio held numerous technical management positions and, later, executive positions in several of IBM’s product divisions. He was also Vice Chairman of the IBM International Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Governors for the IBM Academy of Technology. The holder of seven technology patents, he is member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves on numerous boards He is a member of the U. S. Department of Energy’s Secretary of Energy Advisory Board and was appointed an IBM Fellow in 2008. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy in 2005. Video (25 min.)
Robert W. Fri is Visiting Scholar and Senior Fellow Emeritus at Resources for the Future. Fri has served as Director of the National Museum of Natural History, President of Resources for the Future, and Deputy Administrator of both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Research and Development Administration. Fri is active with the National Academies, where he is National Associate and recently chaired the Panel on Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change for the NAS study America’s Climate Choices. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy in 2010 and chairs the Academy’s Alternative Energy Future project. Video (5 min.)

PANEL A: Behavior and decision-making related to energy efficiency
How individuals and communities respond to technological changes in the energy system is crucial to the success of energy policy. This session examined several critical questions pertaining to how individuals and households make decisions about using energy. For example, what household incentives are likely to be most effective in influencing energy-related decisions? How can policy-makers anticipate and address resistance to change?
Thomas Dietz, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science and Policy, and Assistant Vice President for Environmental Research, Michigan State University, Chair
Paul C. Stern, Study Director, National Research Council. Slides
Charlie Wilson, Lecturer, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Slides
Marsha Walton, Senior Project Manager, NYSERDA. Slides
PANEL B: Public acceptance of new energy technology
This session addressed the challenges related to acceptance of new energy technologies that introduce new factors into collective decision-making, both within communities and among institutions. Industry, academic, and public policy perspectives will highlight the complexities of the social dimensions of adopting new energy technology solutions, with attention to issues of privacy, equity, and individual rights.
Douglas Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Chair
Juliana Birkhoff, Vice President of Programs and Practice, RESOLVE. Slides
Eugene Rosa, Professor of Sociology, Washington State University. Slides
Jeanne Fox
, Commissioner, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Jennifer Layke, Director, Institute for Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls Inc.
PANEL C: Incorporating behavior in policy analytic tools
This panel built on the previous two discussions to examine how individual and institutional attitudes and behavior could be more effectively integrated into available tools for developing policy, with special attention to how energy-economic modeling could incorporate actual behavior patterns.
James Sweeney, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Chair
Alan Krupnick, Research Director, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Energy Economics and Policy, Resources for the Future. Slides
John A. "Skip" Laitner, Director of Economic and Social Analysis, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Slides
Holmes Hummel
, Senior Policy Advisor for Policy & International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy
PANEL D: Policy durability and adaptability
This session examined the extent to which policy durability and adaptability will be necessary to achieve an alternative energy future. Government officials and experts discussed the tension between the provision of consistent and long-term signals and the need to make policy responsive to new information. They also explored the complications that stem from relying on quick fixes for enduring energy problems.
Kelly Sims Gallagher, Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy, Tufts University, Chair
Kevin Carroll, Chief of the Energy Branch, Office of Management and Budget
Margo T. Oge, Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phil Sharp, President, Resources for the Future
PANEL E: Federalism
This panel addressed questions of how federalism relates to energy policy. Key issues included legal and political obstacles to the effective implementation of energy policy; the division of responsibility between the federal government, states, and localities; and possible alterations to the allocation of power among these levels of government that would facilitate the transition to an alternative energy future.
Ann Carlson, Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles, Chair
Marilyn Brown, Professor of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology. Slides
Barry Rabe, Professor of Public Policy, University of Michigan. Slides
Paul Centolella, Commissioner, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Slides
PANEL F: How do regulations need to change?
Changing the energy system will require new regulations as well as alterations to existing policies that inhibit this response. For example, implementation of carbon capture and storage technologies will require a regulatory regime that does not yet exist. In addition, a variety of existing tax policies must be modified so as not to discourage investments in alternative energy technologies and energy efficiency. This panel examined how energy regulations could be altered to promote the spread of new technologies.
Granger Morgan, Professor and Head, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University. Slides, Chair
Edward A. (Ted) Parson, Professor of Law and Professor of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan. Slides
Robert R. Nordhaus, Member, Van Ness Feldman. Slides
Jonathan Cannon, Professor of Environmental Law, University of Virginia. Slides

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