Professor Judith Petts CBE
Profiles

Professor Judith Petts CBE

Vice-Chancellor

Office of Vice Chancellor

Role

 

National Honour

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), 2012 - for services to scientific research

Qualifications

After graduating with a BA (Hons) Geography from Exeter University in 1975, Professor Judith Petts, CBE, went out into the commercial world, including international banking (Barclays International) and a retail planning consultancy company, returning to research posts at Nottingham University and then Loughborough University from 1980.  She completed her PhD by publications (Loughborough University) in 1996: "Risk Management at the Local Authority Level: Managing the Technical Institutional-Public Interface". She was a lecturer/senior lecturer in Centre for Hazard and Risk Management, Loughborough from 1987, becoming Centre Director in 1997.

In 1999, Professor Petts was appointed to the Chair in Environmental Risk Management at University of Birmingham and became Head of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2001/2. In 2007 she was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor, taking the Research and Knowledge Transfer portfolio. In 2010 Judith moved to the University of Southampton to become the inaugural Dean of the new Faculty of Social and Human Sciences and then in January 2014 was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise.

Professor Petts moved to take up her appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University in February 2016.

Professional membership

EXTERNAL APPOINTMENTS (selected only)

Current

  • Member, Heart of the South West LEP Board, 2016-
  • Trustee, Marine Biological Association, 2018-

Previous

  • Member, Council of BBSRC, 2014-2018
  • Trustee, Sir Alistair Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, 2016-2018
  • Member, NERC Innovation Advisory Board, 2014-2018
  • Member, Global Food Security Programme Advisory Panel, 2015-2018
  • Member of RCUK Publiv Engagement Advisory Panel, 2014-2017
  • Chair, Defra/DECC Social Science Expert Panel, 2012-2016
  • Member DEFRA Science Advisory Council, 2011-January 2016
  • Chair BIS Steering Board of the Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre for Dialogue in Science and Innovation, 2014-2016 (member since 2008)
  • Member of Environmental Advisory Board of Veolia Environmental Plc (previously Onyx),1999-14
  • Member, Government Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Taskforce, 2012-13
  • Member EPSRC Science Advisory Network, 2011- 2013 (May)
  • Member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, April 2005-11
  • Member, EPSRC Council Societal Issues Panel, 2006-11
  • Trustee, ThinkTank Science Museum, Birmingham, 2008-10
  • Member of HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) Panel Geography & Environmental Studies, 2005-8
  • Member of Advisory Board Humana UK Ltd, 2007-9
  • Member of Royal Society, Science in Society Consultative Group, 2005-2008
  • Member ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship Review Panel, 2006-2008
  • Member, Council of NERC 2000-6
  • Member BBSRC DTI/LINK Bioremediation research programme management committee 2001-8
  • Advisor to Research Assessment Exercise Environmental Sciences Panel, 2001
  • Specialist Adviser, House of Lords, Sub Committee C - Inquiry on Draft Incineration Directive 1999
  • Specialist Adviser, House of Commons Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee Inquiry on Sustainable Waste Management 1998
  • Council Director, Institute of Environmental Assessment (Now Institute of Environmental Assessment and Management) 1990-2000
  • Board member of the Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board 1990-1992
  • National Education and Training Advisor, Institute of Wastes Management 1991-1995

Roles on external bodies

Elected Fellow of:

AcSS Academy of Social Sciences - 2006

FRSA  Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce - 2003

FRGS  Royal Geographical Society -1999

Research interests

A human geographer, Judith’s research career has been intensely interdisciplinary both in mode of operation and focus of study. Her research has bridged the gap between the formal approaches to environmental management and the social dimensions, enhancing effective institutional decision-making including the optimisation of consensus in decision-making. The research over some 3 5 years has sat at the interface between science and expert knowledge and decision processes and societal attitudes and responses. Judith’s research has made a significant international contribution to theoretical and empirical development of public engagement and risk communication with direct policy impact. The research has engaged with several contexts including emerging technologies; urban governance; health and wellbeing; climate change; waste management; land contamination; business and environment.

Books & Monographs

Petts, J. (Ed.) Handbook of Environmental Impact Assessment. Blackwell Science, Oxford, 1999, 2 Volumes, 940pp.  

Petts, J., Cairney, T. & Smith, M. Risk-Based Contaminated Land Investigation and Assessment. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1997, 334pp.

Petts, J., (Ed.) Environmental Assessment Good Practice Guide. Construction Industry Research and Information Association, London, 1996, 45pp.

Petts, J., & Eduljee, G. Environmental Impact Assessment for Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1994, 485pp

Academic Journals (post 2000)

Davoudi, S, Harper, G, Petts, J. & Whatmore, S. (2015) Judging research quality to support evidence-informed environmental policy. Environmental Evidence, 4:9

Parker M, Acland A, Armstrong HJ, Bellingham JR, Bland J, et al. (2014) Identifying the Science and Technology Dimensions of Emerging Public Policy Issues through Horizon Scanning. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96480. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096480

Jaroszweski, D., Chapman, L. & Petts, J (2013) Climate change and freight road safety: a multidisciplinary exploration, Climatic Change DOI 10.1007/s10584-013-0836-y

Sutherland, W.J., et al (2012) A collaboratively-derived science-policy research agenda. PLoSONE 7(3): e31824. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031824

Jaroszweski, D., Chapman, L. & Petts, J (2010) Assessing the potential impact of climate change on transportation: the need for an interdisciplinary approach. Journal of Transport Geography, 18(2), 331-335

Harvatt, J., Petts, J & Chilvers, J. “Understanding householder responses to natural hazards: flooding and sea-level rise comparisons” Journal of Risk Research, 2010, 1-21

Bull, R., Petts, J. & Evans, J. “The importance of context for effective public engagement: learning from the governance of waste” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 53(8), 2010, 991-1009

Damery, S., Draper,H.,Wilson,S., Greenfield,S.,Ives,J., Parry,J., Petts, J., & Sorell. T.“Clinical ethics: Healthcare workers’ perceptions of the duty to work during an influenza pandemic”, J Med Ethics 2010;36:12-18 doi:10.1136/jme.2009.032821  

Richards, K., Batty, M., Edwards, E., Findlay, A., Foody, G., Frostick, L., Jones, K., Lee, R., Livingstone, D., Marsden, T., Petts, J., Philo, C., Simon, D., Smith, S., & Thomas, D. “The nature of publishing and assessment in Geography and Environmental Studies: evidence from the Research Assessment Exercise 2008” Area, 41(3), 2009, 231-

Damery, S., Wilson, S., Draper, H., Gratus, C.,  Greenfield, S.,  Ives, J.,  Parry, J.,  Petts, J , & Sorell, T  “Will the NHS continue to function in an influenza pandemic? A survey of healthcare workers in the West Midlands, UK” BMC Public Health 2009, 9:142doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-142

Ives, J., Greenfield, S., Parry, J.M., Draper, H., Gratus, C., Petts, J.I., Sorrell, T & Wilson, S. “Healthcare workers’ attitudes to working during pandemic influenza: a qualitative study” BMC Public Health 2009, 9:56 doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-56

Petts, J. “Public Engagement to build trust: false hopes? Journal of Risk Research, 11(5-6), 2008, 821-835

Bull, R., Petts, J., & Evans, J. “Social learning from public engagement: dreaming the impossible?” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management , 51(5), 2008, 701-716

Petts, J., Owens, S., & Bulkeley, H. “Crossing boundaries: interdisciplinarity in the context of urban environments” Geoforum, 39, 2008, 593-601 (online from 2006)

Dalziel, R., Skelcher, C., Petts, J., & Damery, S. “Risk and the design of public spce: implications for local governments” Public Administration and Management International Journal, 12(4), 2007, 1-38

Petts, J. “Learning about learning: lessons from public engagement and deliberation on urban river restoration” Geographical Journal, 173(4), 2007, 300-311

Petts, J. “Managing public engagement to optimise learning: reflections from urban river restoration” Human Ecology Review, 13(2), 2006, 172-181

Petts, J, & Brooks, C., “Expert conceptualizations of the role of lay knowledge in environmental decision-making: challenges for deliberative democracy. Environment and Planning A, 38, 1045-1059

Owens, S., Petts, J. & Bulkeley, H. “Boundary work: knowledge, policy and the urban environment” Environment and Planning C, 2006, 24, 633-643 (editors of special issue)

Niemeyer, S., Petts, J., Hobson, K “Rapid climate change and society: assessing responses and thresholds” Risk Analysis,  25(6), 1443-1456

Petts, J. “Enhancing environmental equity through decision-making: learning from waste management” Local Environment, 10(4), 1-13, 2005

Petts, J. “Health, responsibility and choice: contrasting negotiations of air pollution and immunization information” Environment and Planning A, 37 , 791-804, 2005

Petts, J “Health risk communication and amplification: learning from the MMR vaccination controversy. Health, Risk and Society, 6(1), 2004, 7-23

Petts, J. “Barriers to participation and deliberation in risk decisions: evidence from waste management”. Journal of Risk Research, 7(2), 2004, 115-134

Petts, J. “Barriers to deliberative participation in EIA: Learning from waste policies, plans and projects” Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 5(3), 2003, 269-293

Sadhra, S., Petts, J., McAlpine, S., Pattison, M & MacRae, S. “Workers’ understanding of chemical risks electroplating case study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59, 2002, 689-695

Rivett, M., Petts, J., & Butler, B. “Remediation of contaminated land and groundwater: experience in the UK”. Journal of Environmental Management, 65(3), 2002, 251-268

Petts, J. “Evaluating the effectiveness of deliberative processes: waste management case studies”. Journal of Environmental Planning & Management,44(2), 2001, 207-226 ;

Petts, J. “Municipal Waste Management: Inequities and Decision Optimisation” Risk Analysis, 20(6),  2000, 821-832

Petts, J. “From public communication to involvement: implications for industry”, Process Safety and Environmental Protection, Transactions of the Institution of Chemical Engineers: part B,  78 (B4), , 2000, 270-279

Petts, J., "The Regulator-Regulated Relationship and Environmental Protection: Perceptions in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises". Environment and Planning C, 18, 2000, 191-206

Rocks, S.A., Schubert, I., Soanne, E., Black, E., Muckle, R., Petts, J., Prpich, G. & Pollard, S. (2017) Engaging with comparative risk appraisals - public views on policy priorities for environmental risk governance. Risk Analysis, 37(9), 1683-1692. Doi:10.1111/risa.12735

Key publications are highlighted

Journals
Articles
Rocks SA, Schubert I, Soane E, Black E, Muckle R, Petts J, Prpich G & Pollard SJ 2017 'Engaging with Comparative Risk Appraisals: Public Views on Policy Priorities for Environmental Risk Governance' Risk Analysis 37, (9) 1683-1692 , DOI PEARL
Davoudi S, Harper G, Petts J & Whatmore S 2015 'Judging research quality to support evidence-informed environmental policy' Environmental Evidence 4, (1) , DOI
Parker M, Acland A, Armstrong HJ, Bellingham JR, Bland J, Bodmer HC, Burall S, Castell S, Chilvers J 2014 'Identifying the Science and Technology Dimensions of Emerging Public Policy Issues through Horizon Scanning' PLoS ONE 9, (5) e96480-e96480 , DOI
Jaroszweski D, Chapman L & Petts J 2013 'Climate change and road freight safety: a multidisciplinary exploration' Climatic Change 120, (4) 785-799 , DOI
Sutherland WJ, Bellingan L, Bellingham JR, Blackstock JJ, Bloomfield RM, Bravo M, Cadman VM, Cleevely DD, Clements A 2012 'A Collaboratively-Derived Science-Policy Research Agenda' PLoS ONE 7, (3) e31824-e31824 , DOI
Harvatt J, Petts J & Chilvers J 2011 'Understanding householder responses to natural hazards: flooding and sea‐level rise comparisons' Journal of Risk Research 14, (1) 63-83 , DOI
Bull R, Petts J & Evans J 2010 'The importance of context for effective public engagement: learning from the governance of waste' Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 53, (8) 991-1009 , DOI
Jaroszweski D, Chapman L & Petts J 2010 'Assessing the potential impact of climate change on transportation: the need for an interdisciplinary approach' Journal of Transport Geography 18, (2) 331-335 , DOI
Damery S, Draper H, Wilson S, Greenfield S, Ives J, Parry J, Petts J & Sorell T 2009 'Healthcare workers' perceptions of the duty to work during an influenza pandemic' Journal of Medical Ethics 36, (1) 12-18 , DOI
Draper H, Sorell T, Ives J, Damery S, Greenfield S, Parry J, Petts J & Wilson S 2009 'Non-Professional Healthcare Workers and Ethical Obligations to Work during Pandemic Influenza' Public Health Ethics 3, (1) 23-34 , DOI
Richards K, Batty M, Edwards K, Findlay A, Foody G, Frostick L, Jones K, Lee R, Livingstone D 2009 'The nature of publishing and assessment in Geography and Environmental Studies: evidence from the Research Assessment Exercise 2008' Area 41, (3) 231-243 , DOI
Damery S, Wilson S, Draper H, Gratus C, Greenfield S, Ives J, Parry J, Petts J & Sorell T 2009 'Will the NHS continue to function in an influenza pandemic? a survey of healthcare workers in the West Midlands, UK' BMC Public Health 9, (1) , DOI
Ives J, Greenfield S, Parry JM, Draper H, Gratus C, Petts JI, Sorell T & Wilson S 2009 'Healthcare workers' attitudes to working during pandemic influenza: a qualitative study' BMC Public Health 9, (1) , DOI
Petts J 2008 'Public engagement to build trust: false hopes?' Journal of Risk Research 11, (6) 821-835 , DOI
Bull R, Petts J & Evans J 2008 'Social learning from public engagement: dreaming the impossible?' Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 51, (5) 701-716 , DOI
Draper H, Wilson S, Ives J, Gratus C, Greenfield S, Parry J, Petts J & Sorell T 2008 'Healthcare workers' attitudes towards working during pandemic influenza: A multi method study' BMC Public Health 8, (1) , DOI
Petts J, Owens S & Bulkeley H 2008 'Crossing boundaries: Interdisciplinarity in the context of urban environments' Geoforum 39, (2) 593-601 , DOI
Petts J 2007 'Learning about learning: Lessons from public engagement and deliberation on urban river restoration' Geographical Journal 173, (4) 300-311 , DOI
Dalziel R, Skelcher C, Petts J & Damery S 2007 'Risk and the design of public space: Implications for local governments' Public Administration and Management 12, (4) 4-38
Petts J 2006 'Managing public engagement to optimize learning: Reflections from urban river restoration' Human Ecology Review 13, (2) 172-181
Owens S, Petts J & Bulkeley H 2006 'Boundary Work: Knowledge, Policy, and the Urban Environment' Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 24, (5) 633-643 , DOI
Petts J & Brooks C 2006 'Expert Conceptualisations of the Role of Lay Knowledge in Environmental Decisionmaking: challenges for Deliberative Democracy' Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 38, (6) 1045-1059 , DOI
Niemeyer S, Petts J & Hobson K 2005 'Rapid Climate Change and Society: Assessing Responses and Thresholds' Risk Analysis 25, (6) 1443-1456 , DOI
Petts J 2005 'Enhancing environmental equity through decision-making: Learning from waste management' Local Environment 10, (4) 397-409 , DOI
Petts J 2005 'Health, Responsibility, and Choice: Contrasting Negotiations of Air Pollution and Immunisation Information' Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 37, (5) 791-804 , DOI
Petts J 2004 'Barriers to participation and deliberation in risk decisions: evidence from waste management' Journal of Risk Research 7, (2) 115-133 , DOI
Petts J & Niemeyer S 2004 'Health risk communication and amplification: learning from the MMR vaccination controversy' Health, Risk & Society 6, (1) 7-23 , DOI
Petts J 2003 'Barriers to Deliberative Participation in EIA: Learning from Waste Policies, Plans and Projects' Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 05, (03) 269-293 , DOI
Sadhra S, Petts J, McAlpine S, Pattison H & MacRae S 2002 'Workers' understanding of chemical risks: Electroplating case study' Occupational and Environmental Medicine 59, (10) 689-695 , DOI
Rivett MO, Petts J, Butler B & Martin I 2002 'Remediation of contaminated land and groundwater: experience in England and Wales' Journal of Environmental Management 65, (3) 251-268 , DOI
Petts J 2001 'Evaluating the Effectiveness of Deliberative Processes: Waste Management Case-studies' Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 44, (2) 207-226 , DOI
Petts J 2000 'Municipal Waste Management: Inequities and the Role of Deliberation' Risk Analysis 20, (6) 821-832 , DOI
Petts JI 2000 'Sustainable Communication' Process Safety and Environmental Protection 78, (4) 270-278 , DOI
Petts J 2000 'The Regulator — Regulated Relationship and Environmental Protection: Perceptions in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises' Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 18, (2) 191-206 , DOI
Petts J & Butler B 1999 'Contaminated-Land Information and Guidance: User Evaluation' Water and Environment Journal 13, (5) 347-352 , DOI
Petts J, Herd A, Gerrard S & Horne C 1999 'The climate and culture of environmental compliance within SMEs' Business Strategy and the Environment 8, (1) 14-30 , DOI
Petts J 1998 'Environmental Responsiveness, Individuals and Organizational Learning: SME Experience' Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 41, (6) 711-730 , DOI
Petts J 1998 'Trust and waste management information expectation versus observation' Journal of Risk Research 1, (4) 307-320 , DOI
Petts J 1997 'The public—expert interface in local waste management decisions: expertise, credibility and process' Public Understanding of Science 6, (4) 359-381 , DOI
Petts J 1995 'Waste Management Strategy Development: A Case Study of Community Involvement and Consensus-Building in Hampshire' Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 38, (4) 519-536 , DOI
Petts J & Eduljee G 1994 'Integration of monitoring, auditing and environmental assessment: waste facility issues' Project Appraisal 9, (4) 231-241 , DOI
Petts J 1994 'Effective Waste Management: Understanding And Dealing With Public Concerns' Waste Management & Research 12, (3) 207-222 , DOI
Petts J 1994 'Risk communication and environmental risk assessment' Nuclear Energy 33, (2) 95-102
Petts J 1992 'Incineration Risk Perceptions and Public Concern: Experience in the U.K. Improving Risk Communication' Waste Management & Research 10, (2) 169-182 , DOI
Petts J 1988 'Planning and hazardous installation control' Progress in Planning 29, 1-75 , DOI
Petts JI, Withers RMJ & Lees FP 1987 'The assessment of major hazards: The density and other characteristics of the exposed population around a hazard source' Journal of Hazardous Materials 14, (3) 337-363 , DOI
Petts J 1987 'Planning control for hazardous installation - the effectiveness of HSE advice' Planner 73, (3) 22-24
Petts J, Withers J & Lees F 1986 'Expert evidence at inquiries into major hazards' Project Appraisal 1, (1) 3-10 , DOI
Chapters
Petts J 2015 'Innovating governance?' Governing Agricultural Sustainability: Global Lessons from GM Crops 205-211
Lee RG & Petts J 2013 'Adaptive Governance for Responsible Innovation' Responsible Innovation John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 143-164 , DOI
Petts J, Draper H, Ives J & Damery S 2010 'Risk Communication and Pandemic Influenza' Risk Communication and Public Health Oxford University Press 147-162 , DOI
Murdock G, Petts J & Horlick-Jones T 0 'After amplification: rethinking the role of the media in risk communication' The Social Amplification of Risk Cambridge University Press 156-178 , DOI

Reports & invited lectures

·     ESRC Seminar Series, ‘Critical Perspectives on Public Engagement in Science and Environmental Risk’. UEA, Birmingham, Durham, Sussex, Demos, Co-I, 2008-10

·     NHS Patients’ Benefit Programme, ‘Health workers perceptions and response to pandemic flu’. £176k, Co-I, 2007-8

·     CABE-Space, ‘Risk in the Design of Public Space. £59k. Co-I, 2006

·     Environment Agency: Environmental Inequalities. Lead Staffordshire University. £30k, 2005-6

·     ESRC Collaborative CASE Studentship, Social Learning, Citizenship and the Role of Public Involvement: A Waste and Resources Management Context. Onyx Environmental 2004-7

·     ESRC Environment and Human Behaviour Programme, Predicting Thresholds of Social Behavioural Responses to Rapid Climate Change, £39k, PI, 2003-4

·     EU LIFE Project SMURF (Sustainable Management of Urban Rivers and Floodplains) – Lead Environment Agency. PI on community involvement in river restoration £122k, 2003-5

·     NERC COAPEC, Climate Information for the Health Sector (CIHS), £153k, Co-I, 2002-4

·     ESRC Transdisciplinary Seminar Series, Knowledge and Power: Exploring the Science/Society Interface in the Urban Environments Context, 2002-4

·     EU: Framework V: MERIT project, component on Stakeholder Engagement in Catchment Management Planning. CEH Wallingford lead contractor, £70k, 2001-4

·     Environment Agency, Participatory Risk Assessment, with PDA International and ERM, £87k, PI 2000-02

·     Department of Health, Risk Literacy and the Public. £68k, PI, 2000-02

·     Environment Agency – Public Consultation Methods, ENTEC lead consultant, with Pat Delbridge International, 2000-02

·     Health and Safety Executive: Design of Effective Risk Messages, £81k, PI, 1999-00

·     Environment Agency: Survey of Remediation Techniques for Contaminated Land in England and Wales., £32k, PI, 1999-00

·     Health and Safety Executive: Social Amplification of Risk, with Loughborough and Surrey, £172k, PI, 1999-01

·     Environment Agency, Contaminated Land Assessment Information and Methods: An Evaluation and Benchmarking, with DG Environmental, £35k, PI, 1998-9

·     ESRC Global Environmental Change Research Programme: Business Attitudes to Environmental Compliance, £82k, PI, 1995-7

·     Energy Technology Support Unit, Department of Trade and Industry: Implementation and development of public consultation programme on energy-from-waste, £34k, PI, 1995-8

·     Department of the Environment: Public Risk Perceptions and Communication: Issues for Waste Management, £33k, PI, 1995-8

·     Energy Technology Support Unit, Department of Trade and Industry Study of the effectiveness of Hampshire County Council's Community Consultation programme for waste management, £30k, PI, 1994-7.

Health and Safety Executive, Evaluation of the Effectiveness of HSE's Advice to Local Authorities on Major Hazards, £ 25k, PI, 1985-7