Steve Rayner

Director, Institute for Science, Innovation & Society, U. Oxford

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The Director of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society at the University of Oxford, Rayner describes himself as "an 'undisciplined' scholar, committed to changing the world through social science."

Steve Rayner is a widely known interdisciplinary expert in the fields of science and climate change policy, and an early critic of the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations framework for climate change. Rayner argues that climate change is a "wicked" problem encompassing complex and open-ended information that cannot be solved by a simple top-down solution, such as the Kyoto Protocol. Rayner was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and also served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the second, third, and fourth assessment reports. Following Barack Obama's election in 2008, Wired magazine featured Rayner on their Smart List of 15 people the president should listen to.


Watch Steve Rayner discuss "Why the Kyoto Protocol Failed and a New Way Forward"




Steve Rayner in the News

"Oblique Strategies" The Economist (May 11 2010)



Publications by Steve Rayner

Unnatural SelectionHealey, P & S. Rayner (eds) 2008. Unnatural Selection: Challenges of Engineering Human Nature and Lifespan. Earthscan, London



Markets, Distribution, and Exchange after Societal CataclysmCantor, R., S. Henry, S. Rayner 2000. Markets, Distribution, and Exchange After Societal Cata-clysm, Books for Business, Toronto


Human Choice and Climate Change

Rayner, S. & E.L. Malone (eds) 1998. Human Choice and Climate Change: An International Assessment, Volume 1-4, Battelle Press, Columbus, Ohio



Burch, S., H. Schroeder, S. Rayner, J. Wilson, (submitted) "Novel Multi-Sector Networks and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Small Businesses in the Multi-Level Governance of Climate Change." Environment and Planning


Patel, T. & S. Rayner 2013, (in press) "A Transactional Cultural Analysis of Corporate Sustainability Reporting Practices: Six Examples from India." Business and Society, 52(3).


Rayner, S. 2012, "Uncomfortable Knowledge: The Social Construction of Ignorance in Science and Environmental Policy Discourses," Economy and Society, 41(1):107-125 


Ng, R. & S. Rayner 2010. "Integrating Psychometric and Cultural Theory Approaches to Formulate an Alternative Measure of Risk Perception." Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science, 23(2):85-100.


Hultman, N., D. Hassenzahl, S. Rayner 2010. "Climate Risk: A Critical Review of Tools, Techniques, and Approaches." Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 35:283-303.


Rayner, S. 2010. "How to Eat an Elephant: A Bottom-up Approach to Climate Policy." Climate Policy, 10(6):615-621.


Pielke Jr., Roger, Gwyn Prins, Steve Rayner & Daniel Sarewitz, "Lifting the Taboo on Adaptation," Nature 445(8): 597-598 (2007).