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Mr Robert Butler

Profile summary

  • Research Student
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Social Sciences & Global Studies
  • Geography
  • robert.butler

Professional biography


MA English (Cambridge University)

Professional affiliations

Fellow of the RSA
Member of The Critics' Circle
Member of the Open Space Research Centre, Open University

Research interests

My research on the representation of coal in British theatre comes out of a longstanding interest in culture and climate change. I was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday (1995-2000), wrote five books for the National Theatre (2000-2006) and edited the Methuen Student Edition of Michael Frayn's "Copenhagen" (2003). Since 2007 I have worked for The Economist's Intelligent Life magazine as the "Going Green" columnist, online editor (nominated for a British Society of Magazine Editors award) and associate editor. I have co-edited - with Dr Joe Smith and Dr Renata Tyszczuk - "Culture and Climate Change: Recordings" (2011) and "Culture and Climate Change: Narratives" (2014). For 25 years, I have been a trustee of an environmental charity, the Ashden Trust, editing publications on air pollution, aviation and renewable energy. I also co-edited the website, the Ashden Directory of Theatre and Environment (2000-2014), where I wrote a daily blog, Ashdenizen, on culture and climate change. Many of these blogposts appear in "Landing Stages" (2015).


Gathering around stories: Interdisciplinary experiments in support of energy system transitions (2017-07-28)
Smith, Joe; Butler, Robert; Day, Rosie; Fyfe, Hamish; Goodbody, Axel; Llewellyn, David; Rohse, Mel; Smith, Bradon; Tyszczuk, Renata; Udall, Julia and Whyte, Nicola
Energy Research & Social Science, 31 (pp. 284-294)