Dr Vanessa Bowden
Learning and Teaching
- Phone:(02) 4968 6726
Dr Vanessa Bowden is a sociologist in the Enabling Pathways Program whose reearch investigates the interface between our understandings of the environment with science, policy and social justice.
While we might often think of environmental issues as directed by scientific understandings, issues such as climate change reveal the complexities around our trust in science, politics and concern for the economy. Understanding the ways in which these issues intersect is a key focus of Dr Bowden’s research.
Dr Bowden is currently working with Professor Daniel Nyberg on two research projects; looking at the social dynamics of climate adaptation in Lake Macquarie, Australia and a three year ARC funded project on Energy Transitions in Australia.
- Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
- Bachelor of Arts, University of Newcastle
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Newcastle
- Climate Change
- Environmental Sociology
- Reflexive Modernisation
- Risk Society
- Social Theory
Fields of Research
|441007||Sociology and social studies of science and technology||100|
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Associate Lecturer||University of Newcastle
Learning and Teaching
|Associate Lecturer||University of Newcastle
Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Journal article (15 outputs)
Bowden V, Nyberg D, Wright C, '"We're Going Under": The Role of Local News Media in Dislocating Climate Change Adaptation', ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION-A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE, 15 625-640 (2021)
Wright C, Nyberg D, Bowden V, 'Beyond the discourse of denial: The reproduction of fossil fuel hegemony in Australia', Energy Research and Social Science, 77 (2021)
Despite growing public concern over the worsening climate crisis, tangible action to reduce carbon emissions and limit fossil fuel use remains limited. This is particularly appare... [more]
Despite growing public concern over the worsening climate crisis, tangible action to reduce carbon emissions and limit fossil fuel use remains limited. This is particularly apparent in carbon-rich nations which promote the extraction, export and use of coal, oil and gas as key drivers of economic activity. We examine this contradiction between growing public demands for climate action and the continued dominance of fossil energy in Australia, now the world's largest exporter of coal and gas. Through a qualitative analysis of media coverage and industry public relations during the period 2008¿2019, we show how the fossil fuel hegemony has been maintained and extended in the face of growing social and political critique. We identify the key discourses that the Australian fossil fuel sector has employed in reproducing hegemony and delaying action on climate change. This extends previous theorisations of moral and intellectual leadership by detailing how the fossil fuel sector embeds particular technical claims into the climate change debate. Second, we expand knowledge of political strategy to show how corporate discourses aimed at maintaining hegemony are extended through the state as an ideological promoter.
Scurr I, Bowden V, ' The revolution s never done : the role of radical imagination within anti-capitalist environmental justice activism', Environmental Sociology, (2021)
Many individuals become involved in activism due to concerns about contemporary structural conditions and likely (negative) futures arising from them. While negative perceptions a... [more]
Many individuals become involved in activism due to concerns about contemporary structural conditions and likely (negative) futures arising from them. While negative perceptions are important for driving initial involvement, visions of positive alternative futures to work towards can be crucial for motivating and shaping activist engagement. Positive visions serve as a goal as well as a potential blueprint to inform practices such that the ¿means match the ends.¿ In this paper, we explore Khasnabish and Haiven¿s concept of the ¿radical imagination¿ as a practice in sustaining and shaping social movement engagement through a shared vision of an alternative future. We emphasise the processes of organising and grounding action in practices of the present, which forms part of a ¿praxis of prefiguration¿¿informing many aspects of community building and activism. While the radical imagination shared by anti-capitalist activists is sometimes depicted as a utopian dream, we suggest that it is, rather, a hopeful imagining in constant conversation with ideological positions and organising practices, situated against and within the margins of capitalist society. These ideological commitments and future imaginings shape the ways that anti-capitalists engage with overlapping environmental and social issues and the wider landscape of political action.
Bowden V, Gond J-P, Nyberg D, Wright C, 'Turning Back the Rising Sea: Theory performativity in the shift from climate science to popular authority', ORGANIZATION STUDIES, (2021)
Bowden V, Nyberg D, Wright C, ' I don t think anybody really knows : Constructing reflexive ignorance in climate change adaptation', British Journal of Sociology, 72 397-411 (2021) [C1]
Responding to the existential threat of climate change is often seen as requiring greater reflexivity. Imbued with notions of resilience and reflection, reflexivity is assumed to ... [more]
Responding to the existential threat of climate change is often seen as requiring greater reflexivity. Imbued with notions of resilience and reflection, reflexivity is assumed to contribute to pro-environmental change. However, as the need to manage climate impacts becomes more immediate, political struggles over climate adaptation have become increasingly apparent. These impacts occur most often within local communities, in the context of competing economic interests and differing interpretations of climate science. Thus while it is increasingly difficult to deny climate change, conflicting priorities can lead to ignorance. In these circumstances, how communities build and share knowledge, and negotiate responses is central. Based on a study of a vulnerable region in Australia, we identify three processes through which the local community mobilized to disrupt local climate change adaptation. These included emphasizing uncertainty about the science of climate change, encouraging fear about property prices, and repositioning property owners as victims of climate adaptation policy. We argue that this response to climate adaptation constitutes the production of reflexive ignorance, which reinforces skepticism around scientific authority and defends particular economic interests.
Bowden V, Nyberg D, Wright C, 'Truth and power: deliberation and emotions in climate adaptation processes', ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS, 30 708-726 (2020)
Bowden V, Nyberg D, Wright C, 'Planning for the past: Local temporality and the construction of denial in climate change adaptation', Global Environmental Change, 57 1-9 (2019) [C1]
Bowden VM, ''Life. Brought to you by' ...coal? Business responses to climate change in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia', Environmental Sociology, 4 275-285 (2018) [C1]
Leahy TS, Bowden V, 'Don't Shoot the Messenger: How Business Leaders Get Their Bearings on a Matter of Science', Journal of Sociology, 52 .219-234 (2016) [C1]
Siegel P, Broom A, Bowden V, Adams J, de Barros NF, 'Attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine amongst oncology professionals in Brazil', Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 27 30-34 (2016)
Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are popular amongst cancer patients in the Brazilian context, however little is known about oncology health professionals' attit... [more]
Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are popular amongst cancer patients in the Brazilian context, however little is known about oncology health professionals' attitudes toward the role of CAM and their perspectives on the potential for integration into oncological care. In this study, drawing on a series of interviews with oncology professionals (i.e. doctors, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacologists and psychologists), we provide insight into their views on the rise, validity, and role of CAM in cancer care. The results reveal two key dynamics in relation to CAM in cancer care in Brazil. First, that doctors, nurses and other allied professionals hold considerably different views on the value and place of CAM, and in turn ascribe it varying levels of legitimacy potentially limiting integration. Second, that while some health professionals may articulate a degree of support for CAM, this is limited by perceptions of CAM as lacking efficacy and intruding on their respective jurisdictional claims. Further research is needed in the Brazilian context to explore patient and professional perspectives on experiences on CAM in cancer care, including how oncology professionals' varying positions on CAM may influence what patients are prepared to use, or discuss, in the context of cancer care.
Leahy TS, Bowden VM, Threadgold SR, 'Stumbling towards collapse: Coming to terms with the climate crisis', Environmental Politics, 19 851-868 (2010) [C1]
|Show 12 more journal articles|
Conference (2 outputs)Edit
Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||1|
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
20171 grants / $1,500
Funding body: English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, University of Newcastle
|Funding body||English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, University of Newcastle|
|Scheme||New Staff Early-Stage Researcher Scheme|
|Type Of Funding||Internal|
Number of supervisions
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2020||PhD||Solarpunk: Ideologies of Resistance, Resilience, and Hope||PhD (Sociology & Anthropology), College of Human and Social Futures, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
|2019||PhD||Justifying Action on Climate Change: A Qualitative Analysis of Australian Climate Movement Organisations Post Paris Agreement 2015||PhD (Management), College of Human and Social Futures, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|