This paper considers some of the potential consequences of social scientists adopting physical energy terms in their publications in order to appeal to and hopefully influence policy-makers. There are a number of elements to this debate, from the more practical consideration of how energy is discussed by different parties, to more political considerations around the standing, inclusion and power of the social sciences. We also focus on the key issue of communication, the essential ingredient for translating complex information into everyday use, as well as understanding the people at the centre of energy reduction and who, in our opinion, hold the key to change. This paper highlights the importance of journals such as ERSS in providing a ‘safe space’ for social scientists to publish research specific to their discipline and to promote wider discussion in a suitable language.
Bibliographical note© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- social science
- early career researchers
- energy research