Anna Leipprand (born 1978) is a fellow with Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC).
She previously worked for the German Advisory Council on the Environment and for Ecologic Institute, where she carried out applied research and consulting on different environmental policy issues. Her areas of work included climate policy and adaptation to climate change, energy policy, and the debate on environmental growth and sustainability. Anna holds a Diploma in Biology and a Master of European Studies from the Berlin universities. Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) she spent a year abroad completing the Zoology Honours Course at University of Edinburgh.
Short description of the doctoral thesis:
In her PhD project she analyses the role of scientific policy advice in the recent developments of German energy policy (Energiewende). It is carried out in cooperation with scientists at MCC and at the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
Public debate on energy policy in Germany has been characterized by strong polarization and by emotions running high. Its implementation requires a multitude of difficult decisions with complex effects on economy, society and environment. Those active in scientific policy advice are also faced with new challenges, given that advice is now being sought on very short-term and specific implementation measures and their consequences. The potential for political conflict thus increases, and polarization and politicization in the scientific arena could become more problematic.
Against this background, the PhD project looks at the role of scientific policy advice in the public debates on current German energy policy, focusing on the relationship between political standpoints, recommendations based on scientific work, and personal value judgments of those involved. The analysis centers on the current discussions on electricity market reform and the extension of electricity grids. In order to study the structure of the public policy process, the role of different actors, and the use of science in their arguments, methodological approaches from political science and from narratology are being used. Secondly, the project looks at new models of cooperation between science, politics and civil society. Its aim is to suggest formats suitable to canalize the public debate on scientific insights and possible political courses of action and thus to promote constructive and transparent use of science in policy-making.
FROM CONFLICT TO CONSENSUS? DISCOURSES ON GERMAN ENERGY TRANSITION