Main Pages
Future Events
Previous Events
Previous Contributors
About The Great Debate
Buy books from Amazon

Previous Contributors to The Great Debate

Phil Macnaghten

Phil Macnaghten
Phil Macnaghten, Professor of Geography at Durham University, was Founding Director of the Institute of Hazard and Risk Research (IHRR) from September 2006 to August 2008. He holds a Visiting Professorship at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Senior Associate of Demos, and an Honorary Professor in the Institute for Advanced Studies at Lancaster University. He advises the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council on nanotechnology and is a member of the UK’s Engineering and Physical Science’s Nanotechnology Strategic Advisory Team.

From a background in social psychology, his early research focused on the cultural dimensions of environmental policy nd their intersection with everyday practice. He developed a form of engaged scholarship, combining conceptual work with critical policy development in the domains of leisure policy, sustainability policy, technology policy, forestry policy and environmental behaviour change. More recently, he has worked broadly on questions of the governance of new and emerging technologies and on the challenges of ‘upstream’ forms of public deliberation. He is currently leading the European Commission project DEEPEN (Deepening Ethical Engagement and Participation with Emerging Nanotechnologies), involving a consortium of leading European scholars in the social sciences and philosophy, and constituting one of Europe’s primary endeavours in exploring the ethical challenges nanotechnology poses.

Phil Macnaghten was on the panel of Geo-engineering: Pipe Dream or Reality? in March 2010 and Playing it Safe: Science and the Risk Society in March 2004.


Contested Natures

Contested Natures (Theory, Culture & Society)
by Phil Macnaghten and John Urry

This book explores the changing significance of nature in daily life. The authors argue that there is no singular `nature'; out there waiting to be saved. Rather, the authors provide a novel and compelling account of multiple 'natures'. Nature is shown as irreducibly contested and embedded.

Selected Publications


Kearnes, M.B., Macnaghten, P.M. & Wilsdon, J. 2006. Governing at the Nanoscale: People, policies and emerging technologies. London: Demos.
Macnaghten, P. and Urry, J. 2000. Body and Society. 6(3-4) (Guest editors of Special Double Issue on 'Bodies of Nature'; also published as edited book [Sage, 2001])
Macnaghten, P. and Urry, J. 1998. Contested Natures. London: Sage


Macnaghten, P. 2010. Researching technoscientific concerns in the making: narrative structures, public responses and emerging nanotechnologies. Environment & Planning 42(1): 23-37.
Davies, S., Kearnes, M & Macnaghten, P. 2009. All things weird and scary: Nanotechnology, theology and cultural resources. Culture and Religion 10(2): 201-220.
Macnaghten, P. 2008. Nanotechnology, risk and upstream public engagement. Geography 93: 108-113.
Macnaghten, P. 2006. 'Nature' Theory, Culture & Society. New Encyclopedia of Knowledge - New Archive of Knowledge Project 23(2-3): 347-349.
Kearns, M., Grove-White, R., Macnaghten, P., Wilsdon, J. & Wynne, B. 2006. From Bio to Nano: Learning the Lessons, interrogating the Comparison. Science as Culture 15(4): 291-307.
Grove-White, R., Kearnes, M.B., Macnaghten, P.M. & Wynne, B. 2006. Nuclear Futures: Assessing Public Attitudes to New Nuclear Power. The Political Quarterly 77(2): 238-246.
Kearnes, M. & Macnaghten, P. 2006. Re-imagining nanotechnology. Science as Culture 15(4): 279-290.
Macnaghten, P.M., Kearnes, M.B. & Wynne, B. 2005. Nanotechnology, governance, and public deliberation: What role for the Social Sciences? Science Communication 27(2): 268-291.
Macnaghten, P. 2004. Animals in their nature: A case study on public attitudes to animals, genetic modification and 'nature'. Sociology 38(3): 533--551.
Macnaghten, P. 2003. Embodying the environment in everyday life practices. The Sociology Review 51: 63-84.
Macnaghten, P. and Urry, J. 2000. 'Bodies in the woods', Body and Society, 6, 3-4: 166-182
Myers, G. and Macnaghten, P. 1998. 'Rhetorics of environmental sustainability: places and commonplaces', Environment and Planning A, 30: 333-353
Macnaghten, P. and Jacobs, M. 1997. 'Public identification with sustainable development: investigating cultural barriers to participation', Global Environmental Change, 7: 1-20
Macnaghten, P. 1995. 'Public attitudes towards the countryside: a case study on ambivalence', Journal of Rural Studies, 11: 135-147
Macnaghten, P. and Urry, J. 1995. 'Towards a sociology of nature', Sociology, 29: 203-220

Research Monographs

Macnaghten, P. 2001. Animal Futures: Public attitudes and sensibilities towards animals and biotechnology in contemporary Britain. Lancaster
Grove-White, R., Macnaghten, P. and Wynne, B. 2000. 'Wising Up: The public and new technologies'. Lancaster
Macnaghten, P., Grove-White. R., Waterton, S. and Weldon, S. 1998. 'Woodland Sensibilities'. Lancaster
Grove-White, R., Macnaghten, P. Mayer, S and Wynne, B. 1997. 'Uncertain World: genetically modified organisms, food and public attitudes in Britain'. Lancaster
Macnaghten, P. Grove-White, R,. Jacobs, M and Wynne, B. 1995. 'Public Perceptions and Sustainability in Lancashire'. Preston: Lancashire County Council

Top of page

Useful Links books by Phil Macnaghten

Phil Macnaghten staff page at Durham University

Centre for the Study of Environmental Change

Does environmentalism turn humanism on its head? Phil Macnaghten

Sustaining Architecture in the Anti-Machine Age Contents

Top of page

| Home | Future Events | Previous Events | People | Articles | Reviews | AboutUs |

© C J M Hewett, 2010