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Teaching Fellows

Dr James Porter



Teaching Fellow



Room K4.10






James is a Human Geography Teaching Fellow who returned to King’s in 2017. His work takes a truly interdisciplinary approach, learning the scientific practices of different fields from flood risk modelling and climate change projections to neuroscience techniques, to understand the real concerns faced by scientists, policymakers, and everyone in-between, in the construction and use of knowledge. After securing an ESRC-funded studentship, his PhD at King’s College London focused on the role science and politics play in floodplain development (and why we continue to build in risky places). For his PostDoc, he joined a Wellcome Trust project to explore how neuroscientists cope with doing controversial research, before taking up an ERC research fellowship at the University of Leeds to trace how climate knowledge is produced and used in adaptation decision-making. Most recently, he has worked as research fellow on an ESPRC project at the University of Sheffield, to understand why collaborative-innovation in water often fail.

Research interests
  • Flood risk management and climate change adaptation
  • Environmental science and policymaking
  • Experts and decision-support tools
Selected publications

PORTER, J.; Dessai, S. Mini Me: Why Climate Scientists Misunderstand Users and Their Needs (Online First), Environmental Science & Policy.

Skelton, M; PORTER, J.; Dessai, S.; Bresch, D.; Knutti, R. (Online First) The social and scientific values that shape national climate scenarios: a comparison of the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, Regional Environmental Change, DOI: 10.1007/s10113-017-1155-z

Smith, A.; PORTER, J.; Upham, P. (2017) “We cannot let this happen again”: Media and Policy Responses to the Somerset Floods, UK, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 60(2), 351-369.

PORTER, J.; Demeritt, D.; Dessai, S. (2015) The Right Stuff? Informing Adaptation to Climate Change in British Local Government, Global Environmental Change.

PORTER, J.; Dessai, S.; Tompkins, E. (2014) What Do We Know About UK Household Adaptation to Climate Change? A Systematic Review, Climatic Change, 127, 371-379.

PORTER, J.; Randalls, S. (2014) Politics of Expectations: Nature, Culture and the Production of Space, Geoforum, 52, 203-205.

PORTER, J.; Demeritt, D. (2012) Flood Risk Management, Mapping and Planning: The Institutional Politics of Decision-Support in England, Environment & Planning A, 44(10), 2359-2378.

PORTER, J.; Williams, C.; Wainwright, S.; Cribb, A. (2012) On being a (modern) Scientist: Risks of Public Engagement in the UK Interspecies Embryo Debate, New Genetics & Society, 31(4), 408-423. 


James contributes to a wider range of modules for both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses, on topics from risk communication to research skills. He currently contributes to the following modules:


  • 7SSG5165 Environmental Science and Policymaking
  • 7SSG5208 Climate Change and Culture
  • 7SSG5177 Global Environmental Change 2: Earth System Dynamics
  • 7SSG5002 Practising Social Research Undergraduate
  • 6SSG3061 Current Research in Geography
  • 5SSG2063 Research Tutorials
  • 4SSG1008 Geography Tutorials: Critical Thinking and Techniques 


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