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Researcher's Profile

David COPE

RCAST Fellow


1967  University of Cambridge, BA
1968  London School of Economics, University of London, MSc
1968  Research Officer, University College London 1970 Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of
1981  Environmental Team Leader, International Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic
         Cooperation and Development 1986  Executive Director, UK Centre for Economic and Environmental
         Development, Cambridge
1997  Professor of Energy and Resource Economics, Department of Economics, Doshisha University
1998  Director, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology of the UK Houses of Parliament (-2012)
2001  PhD, honoraris causa, London Metropolitan University
2008  Associate, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge
2013  Commonwealth Scholarships Commissioner, UK
2014  Foundation Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge
2014  Visiting Professor in Science and Technology Policy, Institute for Technology, Enterprise and
         Competitiveness, Doshisha   University
2015  Visiting Professor, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London
2016  Fellow, RCAST, The University of Tokyo
2012  Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette

Research Interests

Unsurprisingly, given that for 14 years, I was Director of the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Office, my main research interests in recent years have related to ways of delivering concise, independent, analyses and interpretations of current ‘issues’ in science and technology. In particular, I have been concerned with methodological developments and output dissemination in the field of what is commonly called “technology assessment”. I am particularly interested in the role of ‘expertise’ and its juxtaposition with ‘deliberative’, ‘public engagement’ and similar contributions to technology assessment. I have a specific current research interest in “culpability” of expertise, given the constraints on ‘perfect’ knowledge which confront all experts. I have also conducted specific meta-analytical assessments related to numerous scientific and technological subjects, ranging from nuclear plant security and nuclear proliferation to air travel and health.
More recently, I have also been rekindling an older area of research interest – demographic change – and its social and economic consequences. Thus, I am working on a study, to be published by the Parliament of Finland’s “Committee for the Future” on ‘intergenerational relations’ and ‘obligations to the future’, in which I am especially concerned to inform relevant ethical dimensions with quantitative input from demographic analysis.
Besides my own research activities, I have in recent years become increasingly involved in encouraging – and seeking out research support for – bilateral research activities between Japan and the UK (and Europe more widely).

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