Energy, Organizations and Society Workshop (EOS)

An energy revolution is unfolding fitfully through contested policies, innovations, and cultural processes in the United States and across the world. Energy is critical to advanced capitalism. For many developing nations, the absence of reliable energy is as significant a problem as nutrition, healthcare, and education. In the developed world, energy politics are bound up with the welfare state and strategic defense issues, health concerns with pollution from carbon-based fuels, climate change debates, jobs, industrial winners and losers, and even lifestyles.

These dimensions of the energy revolution and changes to them may be as socially and economically significant as the application of fossil fuel energy to mechanical systems that accompanied the Industrial Revolution. Like the Industrial Revolution, the contemporary energy revolution is more than a simple technological shift.

Energy is a central concern in the natural sciences that weigh in on environmental issues and the development of renewable energy forms such as wind and solar. The only social science that has developed a sustained study of energy is economics through the study of energy markets and decision-making. There are sociologists, political scientists, management scholars and others who are involved in energy discussions and policymaking but energy is not an institutionalized category of study or debate in these fields.

We believe that social scientists should be tracking, studying, and examining the reality and implications of this energy revolution on our culture and society. By sponsoring EOS we seek to begin a dialogue among social scientists interested in and concerned about the changes associated with the energy revolution as well as all the manifestations of it from policy to cultural processes.

The EOS workshop will be held at the University of California Davis on October 14-15, 2011. The workshop is hosted by the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, with support from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, and the involvement of the UC Davis Department of Sociology. Pre-registration is required and will be limited to 76 participants. Here is a preliminary workshop schedule.

On Friday, October 14th, the workshop will begin with an optional “Energy Efficiency 101 for Social Scientists” morning session. Paper sessions will begin after lunch on Friday. Saturday October 15th will be a full-day of paper sessions.

We look forward to welcoming you to the first of what we hope will be many EOS workshops!