Interactions between social science and environmental policy have become increasingly important over the past 25 years. There has, however, been little analysis of the roles that social scientists adopt and the contributions they make. In this paper we begin the process, offering tentative answers to two key questions: in relation to environmental problems: (1) how do social science and public policy interact? and (2) in the future, what types of interactions can social scientists engage in? To answer these questions we build on research in policy studies and science and technology studies, and extend it through public scholarship debates.
Households are sites where a progressive politics of change towards sustainability can be nourished. Efforts to do so, however, must attend to gender dynamics. Our aim is to improve our understanding of how gender and sustainability intersect at the household level and engage with progressive politics in this context. To do so, we present a collaborative autoethnography focused on gender and sustainability in our household covering five years during which we experienced multiple lifecourse transitions. Building on this we answer two questions. First, how does the encounter between personal experiences and scholarship shape conceptual refinement? Second, how do personal experiences and scholarship combine to shape what we understand as progressive politics? This article not only advances the understanding of gender and sustainability in households and progressive politics in this context but also shows that collaborative autoethnography offers a valuable methodological toolkit for advancing research towards progressive politics.