Sean Field
  • KY16 9AL

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

Sean is the Director of Policy at the Centre for Energy Ethics and a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology.

Sean’s work explores issues of sustainability, energy, finance, ethics, climate change, sustainability, resource extraction, and transition. Since late-2018, Sean’s European Research Council funded Energy Ethics research has focused on how financial professionals evaluate energy. This ethnographic work explores the calculation of risks, the performance of financial expertise, the valuation of energy resources, and the integration of ESG into energy investment practices. It follows on his SSHRC-funded PhD research on the financialisation of agricultural commodity markets and global food supply chains.

Currently, Sean leads the Financial Pathways branch of the Scottish Research Alliance for Energy, Homes and Livelihoods, funded by the Scottish Funding Council. This work engages with local authorities, financial institutions, government, and civil society organisations to explore how meeting Scotland’s goal of reaching net zero by 2045 might be achieved and how. 

Sean regularly contributes to local, national, and international discussions of energy, energy finance, and energy policy. His interviews, analysis and commentary have been featured by BBC Radio, The Associated Press, The Courier newspaper, The Sunday National newspaper, The Xinhua News Agency and have been reprinted by agencies such as The Washington Post.

He is co-founder and co-organizer of the Energy Café, and the founder of the Energy and Climate Finance Network. He is also a member of the Centre for Responsible Banking & Finance.


Profile Keywords

Sustainability; Energy; Finance; Ethics; Climate Change; Sustainability; Resource Extraction; Transition; Net Zero; Markets

Teaching activity

At the University of St Andrews, Sean co-convened the Anthropology of Energy (SA4064) module, which was awarded a Golden Dandelion Prize for excellence in teaching environmental sustainability, and he co-convened the Environmental Ethics at Work Vertically Integrated Project. He is also a contributing lecturer to the SciencesPo: Exécutive Master Trajectoires Dirigeants Promotion in the Business School, and has been a contributing lecturer to the Ethnographic Encounters (SA2002) module.

Prior to arriving at St Andrews, he convened undergraduate modules in Economic Geography, Energy and Society, Business and Industrial Geography, Human Resources Management, Applied Ethics, and Research Methods, as well as a postgraduate module in the Economics of Social Policy.   


Heather Cameron. 2023-24 (co-supervision). “Net Zero: Values, imaginations and experiences among the Scottish Financial Industry.” MRes Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews.

Gabriel Wigny. 2024-25 (co-supervision). “Climate Finance: how to fix the hurdles that prevent funds from reaching net-zero housing projects in Scotland?” Laidlaw Fellowship, Department of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews.

Frederick (Freddie) Ludvig Medintsev. 2023 (co-supervision). “Forecasting the Price of Benchmark Crudes: An Alternative to Counting Barrels Using Time Series Methods and Deep Learning”. MSc Applied Statistics and Datamining, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews.

Thomas Bunting. 2022. “An analysis of institutional investor priorities in the global energy sector: Case Study on The University Superannuation Scheme”. St Andrews Research Internship Scheme, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews.

Yu Hsuan Amy Yang. 2018 (co-supervision). “Precision Agriculture in Taiwan: Barriers and Strategies for Technology Development and Adoption”. MSc Sustainability Management, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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