Skip to main content

Lucas, Adam Dr

Senior Lecturer

  • Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Senior Lecturer - School of Humanities and Social Inquiry 2014 -
  • Academic Program Director, Bachelor of Arts - School of Humanities and Social Inquiry 2020 -
  • CITE Discipline Cluster Leader - School of Humanities and Social Inquiry 2017

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Environmental and public policy concerns have informed my published research and a substantial body of my teaching responsibilities since the early 1990s. I have two primary research interests: the social, technical and economic factors involved in the development of premodern and early modern machine technologies, and the obstacles and enablers to global action on human-induced climate change and the decarbonisation of global energy systems. I have an international reputation as a researcher in the former field, and a growing national and international reputation in the latter.

    My research in the former field is informed by theories and methodologies developed in social and economic history, post-processual archaeology and the history, philosophy and sociology of science and technology. My research in the latter field is primarily informed by theories and methodologies developed in science and technology studies, policy studies, innovation studies, critical political economy, and environmental sociology.

    I currently have research links with Sussex Energy Group at Sussex University, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the Department of Geography at Glasgow University, and the Department for the History of Science at the University of Oklahoma.

    Together with my research partner Professor Paul Bishop in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow, we were successful in March 2020 in securing a large research project grant from the Leverhulme Trust (UK) focusing on the transition from water-power to steam-power in the British textile industry during the long 19th century. The project combines my interests in history and archaeology with contemporary politics and policy.

    Together with Dr Steven Walton at Michigan Technical University, I am co-editor of Brill Academic Publisher's 'Technology and Change in History' book series, and a regular reviewer for Technology and CultureEnergy Research and Social Science and several other journals in archaeology and the history of science. Dr Walton and I are currently translating Italian, French and German commentaries on De Architectura by the Roman architect and engineer, Vitruvius, which will be published by the University of Oklahoma and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science as part of their Open Online Editions book series.

    In August 2020 I completed editing a special issue of Technology and Culture featuring several groundbreaking papers in the history of early modern technology, which will appear in late 2020, and a book chapter detailing the political obstacles to a sustainable energy transition for a Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism, to be published in 2021 by Edward Elgar.

    I also have a background in journalism and policy development and am a regular contributor to The Conversation, Michael West Media and Pearls and Irritations.


Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Presentations


Other Research Activities


Impact Story


Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Climate change policy
    Climate change communication
    Energy policy
    Innovation studies
    History and sociology of technology (any period)
    History of science (premodern & early modern)

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Towards a Political Economy of Absentee Extractive Ownership: Problems and Solutions for Mitigating Climate Change Lazarevic, Natasa
    Doctor of Philosophy Assetization in the Life Sciences: A Critical Political Economy of Military Biosciences Coquibus Andersen, Tatiana

Outreach Overview


  • I have presented my research in numerous contexts over the last twelve years since I began working at UoW. This includes climate change forums, seminars and conferences organized by NGOs, trade unions, politicians and political organizations in Australia and the UK, including seminars and presentations in NSW Parliament and to state and federal politicians in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

    I have also given numerous interviews to journalists working for local, regional, national and international radio stations, magazines, and newspapers, including media outlets in Australia, the United Kingdom and China. I am regularly asked to provide advice to researchers and investigative journalists regarding my research on climate change and energy policy, including journalists working for ABC News, and independent media and production companies in Australia and overseas.

Reviewer Of


Organizer Of Event


Education And Training


  • Ph.D. in History of Technology/Social & Economic History, University of New South Wales, School of History and Philosophy of Science, Machinariarum nihil ex deo: the role of the Church in the development of powered milling in high medieval England 1998 - 2004
  • Master of Arts - Research in History of Science & Technology, University of New South Wales, School of History and Philosophy of Science, The Ancient Machine: elements of mechanistic discourse and practice in the ancient world 1996 - 1998
  • Master of Social Science in Science & Technology Studies, University of New South Wales, School of Science and Technology Studies, Natives Colonize New Technologies 1993 - 1995

Teaching Overview


  • Over the last twelve years, the STS program has been through six rounds of change management. This constant churn has not only been exhausting for me and my colleagues, it has been largely counter-productive with respect to our ability to produce high quality research, which is supposedly one of the goals of UoW. Indeed, much of this activity appears to have had more to do with university managers achieving key performance indicators in their contracts than facilitating better learning and teaching outcomes for students.

    Nevertheless, in each instance of change management, my colleagues and I in STS did our best to comply with what was asked of us. This has ultimately led to around 20 subject codes being deleted from the STS program since 2008. I will be the only staff member of three in STS as of July 2021, with only five subjects remaining in the discipline and the STS major suspended in 2019.

    Since taking up my current position in March 2008, I've taught twelve different subjects at UoW, most of which were located in the Science and Technology Studies discipline. This has included the first year subjects STS 100 Knowledge, Culture & Social Change: Science, Technology and Society (discontinued), STS 112 The Scientific Revolution, and STC 100 Society, Culture and Technology.

    I have also taught three second year subjects which have had several name changes over the last ten years, and which are now called: STS 216 Environmental Sustainability, Risk and Governance, STS 209 Science and Culture, and STS 238 Changing Images of Nature from the Renaissance to the Present (discontinued). I have also taught the third year capstone subject, STS 302 Climate Change Policy, Possible Futures, since 2008, which has been growing steadily in popularity over that time.

    Since 2017 I have been the course coordinator for the Environmental Humanities major, which has also been steadily growing in popularity.

    I have been working with colleagues in HSI on several Public Policy Minors, which we have been trying to introduce since 2018, as well as a Minor in Science Communication in 2020.

    I have moved all of my teaching online during the COVID pandemic, which has been extremely time-consuming but has also led to the improvement of online teaching materials offered to those students enrolled in the subjects I teach. I hope to be able to move back to face-to-face classes in 2021.

Keywords


    • climate change policy
    • energy policy
    • technological innovation
    • industrial innovation
    • policies studies
    • politics of technology
    • sociology of technology
    • history of technology
    • environmental sociology
    • medieval social & economic history
    • ancient & medieval science & technology


Full Name


  • Dr Adam Robert Lucas

Mailing Address


  • School of Humanities & Social Inquiry

    University of Wollongong

    Wollongong

    New South Wales

    2522

    Australia

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Environmental and public policy concerns have informed my published research and a substantial body of my teaching responsibilities since the early 1990s. I have two primary research interests: the social, technical and economic factors involved in the development of premodern and early modern machine technologies, and the obstacles and enablers to global action on human-induced climate change and the decarbonisation of global energy systems. I have an international reputation as a researcher in the former field, and a growing national and international reputation in the latter.

    My research in the former field is informed by theories and methodologies developed in social and economic history, post-processual archaeology and the history, philosophy and sociology of science and technology. My research in the latter field is primarily informed by theories and methodologies developed in science and technology studies, policy studies, innovation studies, critical political economy, and environmental sociology.

    I currently have research links with Sussex Energy Group at Sussex University, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the Department of Geography at Glasgow University, and the Department for the History of Science at the University of Oklahoma.

    Together with my research partner Professor Paul Bishop in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow, we were successful in March 2020 in securing a large research project grant from the Leverhulme Trust (UK) focusing on the transition from water-power to steam-power in the British textile industry during the long 19th century. The project combines my interests in history and archaeology with contemporary politics and policy.

    Together with Dr Steven Walton at Michigan Technical University, I am co-editor of Brill Academic Publisher's 'Technology and Change in History' book series, and a regular reviewer for Technology and CultureEnergy Research and Social Science and several other journals in archaeology and the history of science. Dr Walton and I are currently translating Italian, French and German commentaries on De Architectura by the Roman architect and engineer, Vitruvius, which will be published by the University of Oklahoma and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science as part of their Open Online Editions book series.

    In August 2020 I completed editing a special issue of Technology and Culture featuring several groundbreaking papers in the history of early modern technology, which will appear in late 2020, and a book chapter detailing the political obstacles to a sustainable energy transition for a Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism, to be published in 2021 by Edward Elgar.

    I also have a background in journalism and policy development and am a regular contributor to The Conversation, Michael West Media and Pearls and Irritations.


Selected Publications


Presentations


Other Research Activities


Impact Story


Potential Supervision Topics


  • Climate change policy
    Climate change communication
    Energy policy
    Innovation studies
    History and sociology of technology (any period)
    History of science (premodern & early modern)

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Towards a Political Economy of Absentee Extractive Ownership: Problems and Solutions for Mitigating Climate Change Lazarevic, Natasa
    Doctor of Philosophy Assetization in the Life Sciences: A Critical Political Economy of Military Biosciences Coquibus Andersen, Tatiana

Outreach Overview


  • I have presented my research in numerous contexts over the last twelve years since I began working at UoW. This includes climate change forums, seminars and conferences organized by NGOs, trade unions, politicians and political organizations in Australia and the UK, including seminars and presentations in NSW Parliament and to state and federal politicians in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

    I have also given numerous interviews to journalists working for local, regional, national and international radio stations, magazines, and newspapers, including media outlets in Australia, the United Kingdom and China. I am regularly asked to provide advice to researchers and investigative journalists regarding my research on climate change and energy policy, including journalists working for ABC News, and independent media and production companies in Australia and overseas.

Reviewer Of


Organizer Of Event


Education And Training


  • Ph.D. in History of Technology/Social & Economic History, University of New South Wales, School of History and Philosophy of Science, Machinariarum nihil ex deo: the role of the Church in the development of powered milling in high medieval England 1998 - 2004
  • Master of Arts - Research in History of Science & Technology, University of New South Wales, School of History and Philosophy of Science, The Ancient Machine: elements of mechanistic discourse and practice in the ancient world 1996 - 1998
  • Master of Social Science in Science & Technology Studies, University of New South Wales, School of Science and Technology Studies, Natives Colonize New Technologies 1993 - 1995

Teaching Overview


  • Over the last twelve years, the STS program has been through six rounds of change management. This constant churn has not only been exhausting for me and my colleagues, it has been largely counter-productive with respect to our ability to produce high quality research, which is supposedly one of the goals of UoW. Indeed, much of this activity appears to have had more to do with university managers achieving key performance indicators in their contracts than facilitating better learning and teaching outcomes for students.

    Nevertheless, in each instance of change management, my colleagues and I in STS did our best to comply with what was asked of us. This has ultimately led to around 20 subject codes being deleted from the STS program since 2008. I will be the only staff member of three in STS as of July 2021, with only five subjects remaining in the discipline and the STS major suspended in 2019.

    Since taking up my current position in March 2008, I've taught twelve different subjects at UoW, most of which were located in the Science and Technology Studies discipline. This has included the first year subjects STS 100 Knowledge, Culture & Social Change: Science, Technology and Society (discontinued), STS 112 The Scientific Revolution, and STC 100 Society, Culture and Technology.

    I have also taught three second year subjects which have had several name changes over the last ten years, and which are now called: STS 216 Environmental Sustainability, Risk and Governance, STS 209 Science and Culture, and STS 238 Changing Images of Nature from the Renaissance to the Present (discontinued). I have also taught the third year capstone subject, STS 302 Climate Change Policy, Possible Futures, since 2008, which has been growing steadily in popularity over that time.

    Since 2017 I have been the course coordinator for the Environmental Humanities major, which has also been steadily growing in popularity.

    I have been working with colleagues in HSI on several Public Policy Minors, which we have been trying to introduce since 2018, as well as a Minor in Science Communication in 2020.

    I have moved all of my teaching online during the COVID pandemic, which has been extremely time-consuming but has also led to the improvement of online teaching materials offered to those students enrolled in the subjects I teach. I hope to be able to move back to face-to-face classes in 2021.

Keywords


    • climate change policy
    • energy policy
    • technological innovation
    • industrial innovation
    • policies studies
    • politics of technology
    • sociology of technology
    • history of technology
    • environmental sociology
    • medieval social & economic history
    • ancient & medieval science & technology


Full Name


  • Dr Adam Robert Lucas

Mailing Address


  • School of Humanities & Social Inquiry

    University of Wollongong

    Wollongong

    New South Wales

    2522

    Australia

Geographic Focus