Skip to main content

Sociology: People


Ben Twist

Ben Twist
Ben Twist
Edinburgh UK EH8 8BG
+44 (0)131 529 7909
Research Interests
Climate change, Cultural Sociology, Sustainability, Environment, Environmental Sociology, Environmental and Social Change, complexity theory, social practice theory

Supervisors: Claire Haggett and Nick Prior

The Scottish Government's carbon reduction targets will mean significant changes in how we all live. But 'behaviour change' has proved difficult to achieve, certainly at the scale required. Social practice theory provides a better approach but it seems hard to put the theory into practice. I'm exploring whether social practices can be usefully seen as emergent properties of complex social systems. And if so, is it possible to influence the complex social systems so that more sustainable practices emerge? To find out, I've been running buses from His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen.

I am working part-time on my PhD whilst working in the cultural sector on climate change: developing climate strategies and running carbon management projects for the arts, Festivals and the cultural sector more widely;  exploring how cultural practices can be used by non-cultural organisations to achieve their sustainability aims; and generally providing advice and promoting change and sustainability in the sector in Scotland.

My background is in theatre directing, producing and arts management generally. My first degree was in Philosophy (Edinburgh, 1985) and I graduated as an MSc in Carbon Management (Edinburgh) in 2010.