This project studies how to create adaptive knowledge infrastructures that will support and sustain research and management programs through environmental and sociotechnical transitions. The project will build knowledge to help address challenges in science policy and transition management and will provide management and policy recommendations that are applicable to creating adaptive knowledge infrastructures across disciplines and locales. The study explicitly engages with how researchers go beyond participation and play a role in initiating transformation. Looking to Scotland as an exemplar of a nation that is investing heavily in innovation and research for emerging low-carbon technologies will serve to provide a better understanding of how to support these transitions and develop appropriate science-policy measures in the US and globally.
This research project will conduct a large-scale ethnographic case study and transition analysis of renewable energy research, innovation, and development. This project will take advantage of this unique historical juncture in which a nation builds a scientific infrastructure, providing an exemplar of a sustainability transition to a low-carbon sociotechnical imaginary; that is, an imagined form of social life reflected in the design and implementation of a national energy transition project. It will also develop theoretical frameworks for understanding scientific innovation and transformation through novel interdisciplinary engagement of STS and the field of sustainability transitions. Understanding how knowledge infrastructures change has been identified as one of the key research challenges for infrastructure studies.