Dr Gerald “Gerry” Taylor Aiken
Research Associate, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research
Gerry is an interdisciplinary geographer, with a track record of inter-disciplinary research, and collaboration across all domains within geography. Specifically, his research expertise is in how community is used to value, understand, and respond to the environment. This can be seen in various funded projects, publications, and extensive network collaborations. Since his 2014 PhD–based on Edinburgh–he has built a Luxembourg-based network and research experience, integrating policy and practice connections in French, German, and Luxembourgish speaking networks. Methodologically, Gerald uses a range of qualitative methods, but is particularly fond of ethnographic techniques for the rich, contextual data this provides. He has written on participative action research (PAR) and scholar-activism as a way to position these embedded techniques, usefully.
Two recent examples indicate how this work can be considered world-leading. First, the latest IPCC report outlining how humanity can keep within 1.5C warming, leans on Taylor Aiken’s research on the future promise of sustainable communities. Second, he was commissioned to contribute to the UN report on Just Transition for the COP25 (Madrid) talks. Such impact at the highest level of policy demonstrates the cascading effects of this work on international, national, regional, and local pursuit of sustainability, and the worldwide relevance and recognition of these publications.
Gerald was a Carson Fellow in Munich in 2019 and following his work at the University of Luxembourg was recruited to the Luxembourg Institute of Socioeconomic Research (LISER).
Going forward, this work on communities responding to environmental threats will move in a global direction, towards other case study sites but also a shift towards adaptation as much as mitigation. Together with innovative dissemination of this research to the public, through fora such as the COP26 pop-up exhibition: https://rccglasgow.com/ He aims to bring this expertise on community into conversation with other Crucible members.