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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Professor Simone Abram, DPhil MSt BSc/MEng SFHEA

Co-Director in the Durham Energy Institute

(email at


At Durham, I direct the Masters in Energy and Society, and I am a co-Director of the Durham Energy Institute. From 2016 to 2021, I am also a researcher at the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI), a £5m 5-year, 5-university research centre. My role in CESI is to have a social-science input into integrated energy modelling and to bring an STS (Science, Technology, Society) approach to energy systems integration, This entails bringing anthropological methods and perspectives to the process and conceptualisation of energy modelling, paying attention to the broader societal and ethical issues that may arise out of, or as a consequence of systems-modelling.

From 2016 to 2019, I am also responsible for a European project on People-centred Development Approaches in Practical and Learning Environments (PEOPLE), funded through the Erasmus+ programme. With Professor Sandra Bell and Dr Maria Salaru, we will work with students in collaboration with a telecare company on the design of their products and services. See for further details

I recently helped to found a new European network on energy anthropology under the auspices of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). Our blog can be found at .

I have also recently co-founded a new international network on Energy Ethics, with colleagues at the Utrecht Ethics Institute, and at Eindhoven and Karlsruhe technical universities.

In addition, I am a member of the EASA Future Anthropology Network. And I am series editor of the Berghahn Public and Applied Anthropology series, with Prof Sarah Pink.

I am happy to hear from prospective post-doctoral researchers or phd researchers who wish to work on energy-related topics from an anthropological or interdisciplinary perspective. Please also contact me if you wish to work with me on issues related to local development or tourism development. My regional ethnographic experience covers Scandinavia (primarily Norway), France and England.

Research Interests

  • Energy and Society
  • Inhabitation and Property
  • Practices of Public Participation

Selected Publications

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Research Groups

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Electrifying Anthropology (£13983.48 from Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research)
  • 2016: PEOple-Centred development approaches in Practical and Learning Environments (PEOPLE) (£93013.36 from European Commission)
  • 2016: Systems Integration of Energy Supply and Demand (£209019.83 from Epsrc)