Planetary Praxis

A research group investigating social life, technology and the planetary through practice-based research.

Planetary Praxis is a research group led by Professor Jennifer Gabrys in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Our research focuses on planetary problems, from air pollution to deforestation and climate change. We especially consider how technological approaches to observing and managing these problems influence social life, and how they facilitate or limit democratic engagement and equality.

Our research includes working with communities to monitor air pollution with digital sensors, building toolkits for citizens to monitor their own air quality, studying how citizen data influences or challenges environmental decision making, and investigating smart environments including cities and forests as they become increasingly digital.

Terrestrial Laser Scanning of a “Plenterwald” Forest in Southwest Germany, 2014. Source:

We undertake practice-based and participatory research to test technologies in practice. Collaboration with communities and stakeholders is a central part of our research methods. We also seek to critique, repurpose, and transform digital technologies to be more conducive to social and environmental justice.

Planetary Praxis projects have received funding from the European Research Council (313347, 77921, 866006), the CamPo (Cambridge-Sciences Po) Grants Scheme, and the University of Cambridge ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.

View Planetary Praxis Projects for more information on our specific research areas.