Georgia Tech Center for Sustainable Communities Research and Education (SCoRE) senior director, Jennifer Hirsch, presented a paper to a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine workshop, Developing and Assessing Ideas for Social and Behavioral Research to Speed Efficient and Equitable Industrial Decarbonization. 

The two-day workshop was organized by the National Academies’ divisions of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and Engineering and Physical Sciences and the Boards on Environmental Change and Society and Energy and Environmental Systems. The workshop sought to “lay the foundation for a national interdisciplinary social sciences research program to support an efficient and equitable clean energy transition in the industrial sector.” Sponsors included the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. It built on the National Academies 2023 publication, Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions.

Hirsch’s paper, “The Crucial Role of Just Process for Equitable Industrial Decarbonization: An Action Research Agenda for Carbon Management and Other Emerging Technologies,” was one of four commissioned by the National Academies. Lead author Hirsch collaborated with five co-authors from across the country. Workshop proceedings will be published in early summer, 2024.

She and four of her co-authors serve as Community Benefit Plan (CBP) leads on Direct Air Capture Hub or CarbonSafe projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and Hirsch and SCoRE are the CBP leads for the Southeast Direct Air Capture Hub, led by the Southern States Energy Board.

SCoRE is a new center at Georgia Tech that grew out of the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain. Established in August 2023 within the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS), its mission is to engage faculty, students, and staff in long-term, strategic research and education collaborations with community partners, focusing on sustainability in the Atlanta region, the state of Georgia, and the Southeast. Its key research partners are the sustainability cluster of IRIs, including BBISS, the Strategic Energy Institute, and the Renewable Bioproducts Institute. 

Workshop materials are available on the workshop website. Hirsch’s paper can be found here and her PowerPoint presentation is here. Her recorded presentation can be found within this video at time stamp 59:30.