Process and Chemical Engineering – Book Chapters

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    Whose transition? A review of citizen participation in the energy system
    (Routledge, 2022-12) Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
    Writing in the late 1980s, Jon Fiske describes reality as “always encoded [and most especially] by the codes of our culture”. The energy transition is one of the latest sets of realities that comes with its own encoded messaging and nomenclatures. Citizens are increasingly expected to actively participate in the energy domain and play their part in transitioning to low-carbon energy systems. Terms like “energy citizen” have been used to describe (the accepted forms of) this participation, typically in quite prescriptive and rather limited roles, such as active consumer and prosumer. However, as with other manifestations of citizen-consumer ideals, where the framing is presented as the embodiment of freedom, the vagueness of such terms lock citizens out of what could potentially be a transformative conceptualization for transitioning to more equitable and empowering energy experiences. This chapter will examine how under-theorized and contested concepts like the “energy citizen” are already framing our collective experience(s) of the energy transition and asks for whom is the emerging energy system designed?
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    Engineering with Social Sciences and Humanities; necessary partnerships in facing contemporary (un)sustainability challenges
    (Springer Nature, 2023-01-17) Byrne, Edmond P.; Keohane, Kieran; Revez, Alexandra; Boyle, Evan; McGookin, Connor; Dunphy, Niall P.; O'Neill, Claire; Harris, Clodagh; Hughes, Ian; Sage, Colin; Barry, John; Ó Gallachóir, Brian; Mullally, Gerard
    Traditionally, the relationship between engineering, social sciences, and the humanities (SSH) has often been, to varying degrees, fraught, imbalanced and/or non-existent. Engineering has oftentimes been guilty of envisaging SSH as either providing a ‘soft’ window dressing or counterbalance to ‘hard’ projects representing ‘real’ progress, or to be used to more effectively ‘communicate’, for example in overcoming public reticence around such projects. The stories, histories, (her)stories, myths, language, text, images, art, provocations and critical insights which emanate from and characterize SSH are in this (dulled and marginalized) context more likely to be conceived as mere frivolous pursuits to help fill and support leisure time or promote cultural pursuits. This, we argue, not just feeds into the disconnect between respective disciplinary approaches, but seriously and dangerously miscomprehends the value (and values) that SSH can and indeed must bring to the table, in particular when facing emerging and emergent contemporary interconnected challenges around (un)sustainability. SSH can also benefit from such authentic and pragmatic engagement with engineering and science, while highlighting the necessary and invaluable contribution it can make to society, and across our universities, in particular in facing contemporary meta-challenges. This chapter draws upon academics and practitioners from both sides of the house in an Irish university context, who have journeyed together upon such pathways. The terrain and nature of some of these journeys are described, including some of the inherent difficulties and challenges. We highlight the need for journeying together with ‘disciplinary humility’, as equal partners, if we hope to make authentic progress. Finally, some historic and contemporary examples of potential points of convergence are proposed.
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    Metaphor, transformation and transdisciplinarity
    (Routledge, 2021-07-30) Sage, Colin; Hughes, Ian; Byrne, Edmond P.; Mullally, Gerard
    Metaphor, along with narrative and other linguistic devices such as myth, fable, parable, and allegory, enables us to make sense of the world around us and shape how we think and act individually and collectively in relation to society and the natural world. The chapter considers the properties of metaphors and how they can promote or curtail action towards transformative change in the direction of sustainability. The notion of transformation itself is examined and is taken to represent profound changes in the ways we understand economy, society, and the place of technology. Indeed, it calls for a recalibration of the popular imagination – and this is where metaphor, myth, and fable have such a vital role to play. As an introduction to the book, the chapter explains the structure of the volume comprising four parts each of which explore different dimensions of metaphor from the ways it shapes our relationship with science and technology to the rich terrain of psychoanalysis, creativity, and artistic practice. Each of the subsequent 13 chapters are briefly described and demonstrate the spirit of transdisciplinary collaboration which informs their quite different analyses, but which share a commitment to sustainability representing an authentic societal and environmental flourishing.