Dr Eric Jensen has two main research specialisms: Public engagement and media. He also contributes to the development of impact evaluation methodology and social change theory. His research on the impacts of public engagement cuts across a wide range of settings, from zoos to conservation training programmes to museums (e.g. Natural History Museum, University of Cambridge Museums) to festivals (e.g. Cambridge Science Festival and the Cheltenham Festivals). Recent projects have also investigated the impacts of online public engagement with research (e.g. the JISC-funded PERO Project) and the role of digital technology in evaluating arts and culture experiences (NESTA and AHRC-funded 'Qualia' project). He is also participating in CUSP (Center for Urban Science and Progress), based at New York University.
His research on science in the media has included a detailed investigation of coverage of the issue of therapeutic cloning in the US and UK. He has a forthcoming book on this topic, under contract with Ashgate. Current research projects include a three-year study of conservation education at ZSL London Zoo (funded by the Greater London Authority), a project researching the use of student volunteers within UK festivals that involve universities in public engagement (funded by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement) and a mixed methods external evaluation studies of the Cambridge Science Festival and the Cambridge Festival of Ideas (funded by the University of Cambridge). As Associate Education Fellow at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, he is also advising and contributing to the EU-Zoos-XXI project on science engagement activities at European zoos (funded by the European Research Council). Finally, Eric is an advisory board member for the 'Science for Global Citizenship' project (funded by the Department for International Development) and contributor to the Informing Science Outreach and Public Engagement (ISOTOPE) project (funded by NESTA and the Open University). Eric's recent publications include peer-reviewed journal articles in Public Understanding of Science ('Mediating subpolitics in US and UK science news'), Culture & Psychology ('A cyclical model of social change'), New Genetics & Society ('Celebrity life politics in US and UK journalistic coverage of therapeutic cloning research'), Media, Culture & Society ('Between credulity and scepticism: Sightings of the fourth estate in 21st century science journalism') and Psychology & Society ('Science learning at the zoo'), as well as two chapters on science communication practice and methods in the Oxford University Press volume Investigating Science Communication in the Information Age. Jensen's books include 'Culture & Social Change: Transforming Society through the Power of Ideas' (Information Age) and 'The Therapeutic Cloning Debate: Global Science and Journalism in the Public Sphere'.
Eric is teaching the undergraduate module Media Sociology (with Steve Fuller) and convenes and teaches the module 'Social Research Methods' and the postgraduate module: 'Researching Science, Media and Public Policy'. Papers accessible at: http://warwick.academia.edu/EricJensen/Papers.
Other on-going (as of 2014) projects include a rapid evidence assessment on the topic of informal food assistance and household food security (commissioned by the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [Defra]), a critical review project funded under the 'Cultural Value' theme for the Arts & Humanities Research Council on the topic of 'The Role of Technology in Evaluating Cultural Value' (particularly in the context of arts and culture experiences) and a combined research and best practice project funded by the Higher Education Academy on the topic of integrating public engagement within UK higher education social sciences teaching. He is also conducting research on public engagement with the arts at the National Gallery and on public engagement with literature at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Tel: +44 (0)24 765 24771
Email: sociology at warwick dot ac dot uk
Department of Sociology University of Warwick CV4 7AL