Dr. Samuel Randalls
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Department of Geography
University College London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7575
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 7565
Room G14, 26 Bedford Way
Office hours (summer term):
Please email for appointments
Lecturer in Human Geography, UCL
James Martin Fellow, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
PhD, University of Birmingham (“Firms, finance and the weather: the UK weather derivatives market”)
MSc Research in Human Geography, University of Birmingham
BA Geography, University of Birmingham
My research primarily focuses on the relationships between environments, commerce and science, with a particular focus on weather and climate. This research draws upon debates in geography and science and technology studies about nature-culture, the commercialization of science and nature, and the vexed question of scientific expertise. In my research I aim to trace the emergence of new commercial ventures in/of nature and science such as the weather derivatives market. I also aim to explore debates about climate change in culturally and historically nuanced ways that open up a range of perspectives on climate change that go beyond scientific and technocratic responses.
I am currently involved in researching or writing up research on the following topics
- A historical study of weather insurance in the UK and US (with James Kneale), exploring an actuarial science of weather from the mid nineteenth to the mid twentieth century
- A study of the underwater logging industry examining the past practices and current companies, sites and technologies involved in this innovative business (with Gill Petrokofsky). This research was funded by a Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Small Research Grant.
Recently completed work:
- A history of climate stabilization as a concept in climate policy, tracing its emergence as a scientific and economic concept during the 1980s and 1990s (with Max Boykoff and Dave Frame).
- A comparison between debates on precaution and preemption in terrorism and climate change politics, tracing the ways in which these ideas have been joined together with arguably depoliticizing implications (with Marieke de Goede)
- A sociology of weather derivatives markets examining the rise of a financial market in which contracts are traded upon weather indices to financially manage the costs of the weather. This market has implications for business attitudes to weather and climate as well as extending the commercial values of meteorology.
I welcome enquiries from potential graduate students who are interested in researching similar topics. I would be particularly interested in supervising projects on:
1) Histories, geographies and sociologies of meteorology and climate change science particularly non-Anglophone and less well-studied sciences (e.g. corporate science, sciences from the global 'South', biometeorology, histories of climate economics etc)
2) Studies of commercialized sciences and natures (in relation to non-biomedical fields)
3) Cultural studies of weather-society
Primary Teaching Responsibilities
GEOG2009 Environment and Society
GEOG3012 Environmental Management: Critical Perspectives (convener) (not running 2012-13)
GEOGG043 Politics of Climate Change (convener)
GEOGG067 Changing Landscapes: Nature, Culture, Politics (convener)
GEOGG068 Changing Landscapes: Nature Conservation
GEOGG069: Conservation and Environmental Management (convener)
I also guest lecture on the 'Global Security Challenges' (DSCS) and 'Climate Change and Health' (CIHD) modules.
Ling-Yao Chen (2nd supervisor, with Ann Varley)
Jin-ho Chung (2nd supervisor, with Ben Page)
Hannah Fair (1st supervisor)
Henrik Larsen (2nd supervisor, with Le-Yin Zhang, Bartlett DPU)
Sara Peres (2nd supervisor, with Brian Balmer, STS)
MSc Environment, Science and Society Course Convener
Departmental Careers Liaison