Dr Les Levidow

Senior Research Fellow

B.A., Biology, University of Rochester,1972.

M.A., Biology, Temple University, Philadelphia, 1974.

PhD, Technology Policy, The Open University, 1995.

Research Fellow at The Open University since 1989.

Managing Editor of Science as Culture since its inception in 1987; Editor since 2005.

Controversial agricultural technologies, especially agbiotech and bioenergy, as well as alternatives to agri-industrial systems.  These topics provide case studies for several policy-relevant issues: agri-environmental sustainability, European integration, trade conflicts, governance, public participation, regulatory science, the precautionary principle and eco-efficiency. 

Project funding has come from the European Commission and the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).   For a list of past projects, research reports and downloadable papers on agricultural biotechnology, see the Biotechnology Policy Group webpages at http://technology.open.ac.uk/cts/bpg.htm

Research projects:

‘Increasing energy yield from the integration of anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis’, funded by the EPSRC Supergen Bioenergy programme, 2013-16, coordinated by Aston University. 

‘Ecowater: Meso-level eco-efficiency indicators to assess technologies and their uptake in water use sectors’, funded by the European Commission during 2011-14, coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). Project website: http://environ.chemeng.ntua.gr/ecowater/

 ‘Knowledge Production for Sustainable Bioenergy: An analysis of UK decision processes and priorities, funded by the ESRC during 2011-12,

'Co-operative Research on Environmental Problems in Europe (CREPE)’

Publicity Leaflet

Project website: www.crepeweb.net

‘Facilitating Alternative Agro-food Networks (FAAN): Stakeholder Perspectives on Research Needs’

Project website: www.faanweb.eu

 ‘Land-use, biofuels and agri-biotechnology’

Consultancy funded in early 2008 by the Wissenschaftlichen Beirats Globale Umweltveränderungen (WBGU), the Advisory Council on Global Change, Berlin.

Co-operative Research on Environmental Problems in Europe

CRÊPE: Cooperative Research on Environmental Problems in Europe

A project coordinated by the Open University, UK

In ‘co-operative research’, researchers and non-researchers produce knowledge together. Going beyond interdisciplinary academic teams, co-operative research involves civil society in producing knowledge, thus facilitating broader forms of expertise. Also...

ESRC Bioenergy

Knowledge Production for Sustainable Bioenergy: An analysis of UK decision processes and priorities

Main research question:   In what ways do discourses, practices and interests of technoscientific knowledge influence national research priorities for sustainable bioenergy from a wider range of options?

Objectives include:

1.       To identify the ...

Policy Influences on Technology for Agriculture: Chemicals, Biotechnology and Seeds (PITA)

Technological innovation in the agrochemical, biotechnology and seeds industries and in associated public sector research establishments (PSREs) has the potential to deliver more socially and environmentally sustainable farming systems and to improve the quality of life in Europe. This is particularly true of farms on the most fertile land.

However, although policies developed in differe...

Green Economy Agendas: NGOs' Divergent Alliances Around Natural Capital

Linking analytical perspectives on NGOs’ roles, social justice and the neoliberalisation of nature, Les Levidow (DPP, OU) investigates the alliances around approaches to natural capital and how these link environment and development issues.


Knowledge Production for Sustainable Bioenergy: An analysis of UK decision processes and priorities

This brief includes details about the project 'an analaysis of UK decision processes and priorities focused on sustainable energy area. This project has received funding from ESRC in Dec, 2010. 


Sustainable Bioenergy: What UK innovation priorities? Sustaining what futures?


Summary results of a research project carried out during 2011‐12: ‘Knowledge Production for Sustainable Bioenergy: An analysis of UK decision processes and priorities’
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), reference no. RES‐062‐23‐2701
Research team: Les Levidow, Theo Papaioannou and Alexan...

Dr Les Levidow

Development Policy and Practice
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1908 653 496
Fax: +44 (0) 1908 654 825
E-mail: Les Levidow