Keen to see more applied environmental policy research


“I would like to see a great deal more applied environmental research in social sciences,” says Sverker C. Jagers, the newly appointed Zennström Professor of Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University. Professor Jagers studies how it can be made easier for politicians to pass uncomfortable legislation that may save the climate, such as carbon taxes.

Although Jagers took up his guest professorship at the Department of Earth Sciences in the autumn, when we meet in his office the bookshelves are still bare. As yet, he has not had time to install himself properly. During 2023, he will be in Uppsala for one week each month and working one week remotely from Gothenburg, where he is director of the Centre for Collective Action Research, which among other things assists politicians in making “evidence-based policy decisions”.

“This is not a matter of promoting policies but of finding out what policymakers need in order to make better decisions. And of asking ourselves as researchers how we can prepare the necessary basis for doing so.”

Solutions-oriented research

Sverker Jagers, Zennström Professor of Climate
Change Leadership at Uppsala University.
Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

During his tenure at Uppsala University, Jagers will encourage more social scientists to not only analyse social problems but also to involve themselves in solutions-oriented research. One example might be experimental research concerning how politicians can design climate policy instruments so that they enjoy the highest possible level of public acceptance.

“Most social scientists are interested in things such as understanding the difficulties of sustainable development, or developing theories that explain why negotiations fail, for example. I would like to see more applied research that takes a scientific approach to exploring the various routes available to navigate past all the problems and challenges that we social scientists are so good at finding.”

Read the full article here. 

News from the Department of Earth Sciences

Last modified: 2022-09-30