photo of Warren PearceDr Warren Pearce

Senior Lecturer

(BA (Hons), MA, MA, PhD)

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6884-3854

Telephone: 0114 222 6454 (external), 26454 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, G34


Warren joined the Department in March 2016 as Faculty Fellow for iHuman (Institute for the Study of the Human) and then became Senior Lecturer in 2019. From 2012-2016, he was a Research Fellow within the University of Nottingham’s Institute for Science and Society working on Making Science Public, a five-year Leverhulme Trust programme focused on the relationship between science, politics and publics. Warren holds a PhD in Public Policy, a MA in Public Policy and a MA in Research Methods (all University of Nottingham). He also holds a BA in Geography and Politics (University of Sheffield).

Warren is a member of the Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation, and a member of the inaugural Board of Science in Public, the international cross-disciplinary network focused on the relationship between science, technology and publics.


Warren’s research lies at the intersection of science, policy and publics, with three main areas of research interest:

  • Climate change communication and policy
  • Public inclusion in research governance
  • The rise of randomised trials within UK public policy

Warren holds a three-year ESRC Future Research Leaders fellowship (2016-19) to investigate the implications of the social media revolution for the science and politics of climate change. He has published in a wide range of high-impact academic journals across the natural, social and health sciences such as Nature, Nature Climate Change, PLOS-ONE, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews, Policy Sciences, BMC Trials.

He is committed to discussing and debating his research across a range of locations. He was an invited participant in the U.S. Ambassador to the U.K.’s “Digital Dialogue on Climate Change” held at Winfield House in 2015, and an invited speaker at a Royal Society event on science and society in 2015. He has been an invited speaker on climate change and social media at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Open University, University of Exeter, University of Leeds, Tyndall Centre and University of Bristol. Warren’s research regularly appears in the international media, including The Guardian, The Independent, de Volkstrant, Der Spiegel, Scientific American, Research Fortnight and Huffington Post.


Warren is a co-investigator on TERRAIN, a research project developing a tool to cascade the teaching of responsible innovation through SET doctoral training. He has previously designed and delivered individual lectures on climate change policy, interpretive research methods and ethical controversies in social media research for undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students. Warren has also co-designed and delivered a training package on data presentation for regional research observatories.


Publications since 2005

Hollin, G., & Pearce, W. (2019). Autism scientists’ reflections on the opportunities and challenges of public engagement: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(3), 809–818.

Pearce, W., Niederer, S., Özkula, S. M., & Querubín, N. S. (2019). The social media life of climate change: Platforms, publics, and future imaginaries. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 10(2), e569.

Pearce, W., Özkula, S. M., Greene, A. K., Teeling, L., Bansard, J. S., Omena, J. J., & Rabello, E. T. (2018). Visual cross-platform analysis: digital methods to research social media images. Information, Communication & Society, 0(0), 1–20. 

Pearce, W., & Nerlich, B. (2018). ‘An Inconvenient Truth’: A social representation of scientific expertise. In B. Nerlich, S. Hartley, S. Raman, & A. Smith (Eds.), Science and the Politics of Openness: Here be Monsters (pp. 212–229). Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Pearce W, Mahony M & Raman S (2018) Science advice for global challenges: Learning from trade-offs in the IPCC. Environmental Science & Policy, 80, 125-131. 

Pearce W, Hartley S, Helliwell R & O'Neill L (2018) Reply to Tagliabue. EMBO reports, 19(4), e45954.

Oliver K & Pearce W (2017) Three lessons from evidence-based medicine and policy: increase transparency, balance inputs and understand power. Palgrave Communications, 3. View this article in WRRO 

Helliwell R, Hartley S, Pearce W & O'Neill L (2017) Why are NGOs sceptical of genome editing? NGOs’ opposition to agricultural biotechnologies is rooted in scepticism about the framing of problems and solutions, rather than just emotion and dogma. EMBO Reports, 18(12), 2090-2093. View this article in WRRO 

Pearce W, Grundmann R, Hulme M, Raman S, Hadley Kershaw E & Tsouvalis J (2017) A Reply to Cook and Oreskes on Climate Science Consensus Messaging. Environmental Communication: a journal of nature and culture, 11(6), 736-739. View this article in WRRO 

Pearce, W., Grundmann, R., Hulme, M., Raman, S., Kershaw, E. H., & Tsouvalis, J. (2017). Beyond counting climate consensus. Environmental Communication, 11(6), 723–730.

Hartley, S., Pearce, W., & Taylor, A. (2017). Against the tide of depoliticisation: the politics of research governance. Policy & Politics, 45(3), 361–377.

Pearce W & Paterson F (2017) The influence of policy, public service, and local politics on the shift to a low-carbon economy in the East Midlands, The Low Carbon Economy: Understanding and Supporting a Sustainable Transition (pp. 33-57).

Hartley S, Pearce W, McLeod C, Gibbs B, Connelly S, Couto J, Moreira T, Murphy J, Smith R, Staykova M & Walls J (2016) The TERRAIN tool for teaching responsible research and innovation View in WRRO

Pearce, W., Hartley, S., & Nerlich, B. (2016). Transparency: issues are not that simple. Nature, 531(7592), 35–35.

Greenhalgh, T., Annandale, E., Ashcroft, R., Barlow, J., Black, N., Bleakley, A., … Ziebland, S. (2016). An open letter to The BMJ editors on qualitative research. BMJ, i563.

Pearce, W., & Hollin, G. (2015). Reply to “Clarity of meaning in IPCC press conference.” Nature Climate Change, 5(11), 963–963.

Pearce, W., Brown, B., Nerlich, B., & Koteyko, N. (2015). Communicating climate change: conduits, content, and consensus. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6(6), 613–626.

Hollin, G. J. S., & Pearce, W. (2015). Tension between scientific certainty and meaning complicates communication of IPCC reports. Nature Climate Change, 5(8), 753–756.

Pearce, W., Raman, S., & Turner, A. (2015). Randomised trials in context: practical problems and social aspects of evidence-based medicine and policy. BMC Trials, 16(1), 394.

Wesselink, A., Colebatch, H., & Pearce, W. (2014). Evidence and policy: discourses, meanings and practices. Policy Sciences, 47(4), 339–344.

Pearce, W., & Raman, S. (2014). The new randomised controlled trials (RCT) movement in public policy: challenges of epistemic governance. Policy Sciences, 47(4), 387–402.

Pearce, W. (2014). Scientific data and its limits: rethinking the use of evidence in local climate change policy. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 10(2), 187–203.

Pearce, W., Holmberg, K., Hellsten, I., & Nerlich, B. (2014). Climate Change on Twitter: Topics, communities and conversations about the 2013 IPCC Working Group 1 report. PLOS ONE, 9(4), e94785.

Pearce, W., Wesselink, A., & Colebatch, H. (2014). Evidence and meaning in policy making. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 10(2), 161–165.

Pearce, W. (2013). The meanings of climate change policy: implementing carbon reduction in the East Midlands. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.