The Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Network


Public Perceptions of CDU Workshop

January 27, 2014 @ 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sheffield, UK
Katy Armstrong

Carbon Dioxide Utilisation (CDU) technologies hold considerable promise for making economically viable use of carbon dioxide emitted from carbon intensive processes. However, while there is growing interest and investment in the research and development required to test the technical and economic viability of CDU, at present very little is known about the attitudes of the general public to CDU and its deployment. The importance of gauging public opinion of CDU will be fundamental to the long term success of the technology as numerous examples exist to illustrate how public opinion can fundamentally shape the ease and speed with which innovative, new and unfamiliar technologies can be deployed within a real-world context.

 AIM: The aim of this workshop is to provide attendees with a broad and accessible introduction to the importance and means of gauging public opinion of CDU technologies.


OBJECTIVES: This aim will be achieved through a series of presentations and discussion groups. In the morning session attendees will be first introduced the importance of involving the public in scientific and technological innovation, before hearing about some findings from a study investigating public perceptions of CDU. The afternoon session will start with two parallel ‘training sessions’ where attendees will be introduced to the basics of questionnaire and focus group design, and will end with a discussion about the importance of engaging with and using social media.

  TO BOOK – contact Katy Armstrong before 20th January





10:00 – 10:30

Registration and Coffee


10:30 – 10:45

Introduction, aims and objectives for the day

Peter S/Katy A/Chris J

10:45 – 11:30

The importance of involving the public in research

Clive Mitchell, Involve

11:30 – 11:45



11:45 – 12:30

What do the public think of CDU?

Chris J

12:30 – 13:15



13:15 – 14:00

Questionnaire 101

Focus Group 101

Chris J / Chris R

14:00 – 14:45



14:45 – 15:30

Focus Group 101

Questionnaire 101

Chris R / Chris J

15:30 – 16:00

Utilising Social Media

Katy A

16:00 – 16:30

Closing remarks

Peter S/Katy A/Chris J



 Chris Jones is a lecturer in Social and Environmental Psychology at the University of Sheffield. His research interests concern public perceptions of energy generating technologies (e.g., nuclear power stations, wind farms, carbon capture and storage) and household energy use interventions (e.g., smart-monitors). Chris is the head of the Environment and Behaviour Research Group (EBRG) and is an active member of the departmental Social, Health and Environmental Psychology (SHEP) group. Chris has recently been conducting research into public perceptions of Carbon Dioxide Utilisation technologies and is the CO2Chem ‘public perception of CDU’ cluster lead.

 Clive Mitchell is Programme Manager at Involve, currently leading a new programme of work around public engagement in climate change and energy futures. Involve ( are experts in public participation, and our other areas of work include co-leading the UK Government’s Sciencewise programme ( Clive’s deep background is in environmental and public health in local government. He holds a Masters degree in environmental management and health from the University of Surrey, where his dissertation explored public participation in local government decision making.

 Christine Rowland’s research career began in a commercial environment where she honed her practical knowledge of a variety of research processes.  She currently works as a research associate at the newly formed Manchester Centre for Health Psychology at the University of Manchester.   Christine specialises in the measurement and assessment of health-related quality of life using a mixed methods approach comprising surveys, interviews, and focus groups.  She has taught research methods and analysis to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and delivered training for businesses.