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CFP 2nd Energy Transition Colloquium






Regulating  climate changehuman healthhuman genomecircular economypandemicsnanosciencesustainable development,  food safety and  security would not be possible without objective and  scientifically sound information. In these science-based areas, scientific arguments and proceedings have often been a way to achieve political agreements in practice (norms and standards). However, in recent times, sound science data has been put in doubt. This is partly caused by the diversity of sources and ideology of scientific information. Since the  role of science in policymaking and public administration is under fire domestically and internationally and scientific data are relativized in the  post-truth era, the very foundations of  rule of law are undermined. Along with this necessity to reassess the importance of  evidence-based legislationcitizens should be a part of and brought back into the policy process.  Inclusive public engagement is therefore not only pivotal to guarantee the legitimacy and legitimization of policy, but also to  align science and technology progress to society’s needs. Laws, regulations and policies could bring alignments between the scientific community, policymakers and citizens by providing a framework aimed at increasing trust between them. This is particularly relevant in the areas of  energy, environment and,  climate.

The abundance of  natural resources in the  Appalachian region coupled with federal and state level incentives for energy companies bring positive spillovers not only with regards to  job creation, but also  energy transition. Particular attention will be paid, in this conference, to  case studies in the US (including, but not limited to,  West VirginiaOhioPennsylvaniaMarylandDelawareNew JerseyKentucky and  Tennessee)and to the identification of different answers in the energy field between the state and federal levels. In addressing energy, a multiscalar and multilevel perspective is essential to better grasp the peculiarities of  energy policy. Because of the  transnational nature of the  environmental crises,  the geographical coverage of the conference is however not limited to the US.  Multilateral, regional, state, and  city responses help to better  design and formulate national energy policy. Therefore, we strongly encourage submissions that focus on national and local experiences inside and outside of the US.  European Countries are also addressing similar issues as the US such as inadequacies of the national grid for integrating renewables and for power distribution, energy diversification of the national portfolio and increasing energy security. As an example,  article 194 TFUE is focused on ensuring the functioning of the market and the security of supply, promoting efficiency and the inter-connection of energy networks.

Any paper submission on the experiences from  Global South countries would be also an asset. Considering the challenges of  environmental degradation, the mainstreaming of  scientifically dubious approaches to energy and environmental policy, the worsening of climate conditions, and the increasing participation of  concerned citizens in environmental  protests and movements, the conference will focus on energy, environment and climate and encourages different perspectives on these topics. One of these perspective research areas, Science, Technology, and Society, in fact, involves different disciplines and expertise including public policy, public administration, geography, sociology, anthropology, history, political philosophy, law (including comparative and international law), communication, as well as other disciplines in  humanitiessocial sciences and  sciences disciplines.

Inclusive public engagement is therefore not only pivotal to guarantee the legitimacy and legitimization of policy, but also to align science and technology progress to society’s needs


I. Public Engagement in Science for Energy Transition

Promoting an  energy transition that  works for all depends upon  shared prosperitysound science and the development of appropriate  technology that is  cleanaffordable and  sustainable. What is the role of public engagement in science in advancing energy transition? Science can serve as a means to  enhance the understanding of citizens, shape  social debateinform public policy and implement policies for the purposes of  sustainable development. Yet, the  role of science in policymaking and industrial decision-making for promoting energy transitions is  under fire domestically and internationally. Not only is  evidence-based science necessary for law and policy, but also for the public to be able to actively participate in scientific inquiry and shape the policy process.  Inclusive public engagement in science for energy transition is therefore not only pivotal to guarantee the legitimacy and legitimization of future energy policy, but also to align science and technology to society’s needs.

  • What is the scope of public engagement in energy transition research?
  • What are the most important (trans)disciplinary energy transition research lines of inquiry and how are different publics engaged?
  • What ethical, moral and political assumptions underly certain lines of inquiry in energy transition research?
  • How do we evaluate the appropriateness of various new energy technologies?
  • How will energy transition research be funded - publicly, privately?
  • Who will be empowered to participate in energy transition research?
  • What role do land-grant universities play in energy transition research?

II. Investment, Innovation and Intellectual Property in a Global Energy Transition

Corporate investment in  research and development of renewable and other energy transition  technologies depends a great deal upon  regulatory frameworks and  intellectual property regimes that protect  innovation in the energy sector. Global  competition in this sector has raised complex national and transnational legal challenges in the protection of creative research and technology development.  Big data's, and other emerging technologies, role in the environmental field remain underexamined in literature and require further research. These technologies have the potential to play an important role in the  global energy transition.

  • How to bridge technology transfer and energy innovation?
  • How to design an appropriate IPRs Regime for energy transition?
  • What is the role of Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Know-How in the energy transition?
  • What is the role of State and Non-State Actors in questioning and supervising the energy transition?
  • How to leverage emerging technologies for the energy transition?

III. Affordability, Commoning and Innovation in the Regional Energy Transition

Energy  transition is often envisaged as a  global affair. International treaties, national investments, and global corporate actors dominate the news headlines.  Energy transition has so far been framed as a task in the hands of private businesses. Indeed, energy transitions will take shape through  regional, municipal and other local implementation efforts. By doing so, positive trickle down effects could be gained along with a better alignment with  local people's needs and priorities. Over the next few years, we are likely to find more and more  renewable energy transition initiatives led by  citiescounties and even  regional development actors. What we really need is a shift in the perspective by looking at ways to understand the transition as a  common good of humanity at the  service of the local.

  • How to engage local State and Non State actors for the energy transition?
  • Which stories and incentives have cities, counties and regional development actors already put in place for the energy transition?
  • Why and how do we strengthen the relationship between Natural Resources and Community Development?
  • What is the role of Public-Private Partnerships in the Energy transition?
  • How to develop innovative public-private partnership for shifting the focus from profit maximization to social benefits?
  • How to craft inclusive Energy Policy for Sustainable Economic and Community Development at the local level?
  • How to scale up renewable energy projects implemented at the local level?
  • What are the policies (i.e., Benefit Sharing Agreements, Industrial Reorganization and Job Creation) to boost Innovation and Energy Efficiency with the local dimension at the center ?
  • How to draw from experiences and initiatives from the Global South to facilitate the energy transition in the US?

Power Line Grids photo


The international conference will follow an hybrid format. It is organized by three core themes, divided in three 2-days events, to facilitate the participation of speakers from around the world. On April 27 and 28, 2022 the conference will be held both in person at West Virginia University, Morgantown, USA and online with an hybrid format. The May and June dates will be fully online.





Applications should be submitted via the following  Google Form ( by March 25, 2022. The abstract submitted after the deadline will be assessed on a rolling basis. If you need any information, please contact the Conference Chair at the following email address:

Please include the following information in the google form:

  • The author’s name and affiliation;
  • A 500-700-word abstract;
  • The author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications, if applicable;
  • The author’s contact details, including e-mail address and phone number;
  • The author's preferred date to present at the conference and their preference to present in person or online;
  • Co-authored papers are also welcomed.


This call is open to all senior and junior academics, as well as, business professionals and practitioners who are members of international organizations or NGOs that work in these areas.


The organizers plan to publish papers that are presented, in a format to be discussed at the time of the conference. However, potential options that the organizers envisage include the publishing of a book collection book collection in the Palgrave MacMillan (Spring Nature, Switzerland) multidisciplinary gLAWcal book series on “ Global Issues", or a special issue/symposium in relevant peer-reviewed SSCI or US Journals.



West Virginia University (WVU), Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics, Department of Public Administration


The international conference is organized by the Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics, Department of Public Administration of West Virginia University, USA.

The event is in collaboration with the WVU Center for Resilient Communities (CRC), the WVU Eberly College Interdisciplinary Research Collaborative on Global Challenges and Local Response Initiatives & WVU Eberly College Interdisciplinary Research Collaborative on Climate, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Interest Group on International Environmental Law and Interest Group on Intellectual Property Law, and gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, UK.