Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies, Professor of Environment and Society and Sociology


Timmons Roberts is Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University and the Executive Director of the Climate Social Science Network. He has taught in and directed environmental science and policy programs at Brown, the College of William and Mary, and Tulane University. Timmons was a James Martin 21st Century Professor at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute in 2006-2007 and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution from 2012-2020. He completed his B.A. in Biology from Kenyon College and his Ph.D. at The Johns Hopkins University in the Sociology Department's Program in Comparative International Development.

Timmons' research focuses on the politics of climate change. Co-author and editor of sixteen books and edited volumes, and of over one hundred articles and book chapters, Timmons' current research focuses on social drivers of action and inaction on climate change. After fifteen years studying tensions between the global North and South at the United Nations climate negotiations, he has expanded his research into what explains the failure to address climate change in the United States. Current studies examine lobbying in state legislatures and influence over agencies and commissions.

Timmons' approach to research is to learn about social change by participating with leading engaged actors in the real world. His Climate and Development Lab at Brown partners with research institutions, NGOs, and organizations at the local, national and international levels around the world. He is a leader in Rhode Island's efforts to plan for climate change. He teaches courses on equity and the environment, on globalization and the environment, and practicum group workshop courses on local, national and global environmental policy issues. He recently served on the Board on Environmental Change and Society of the National Academy of Sciences, and was awarded the Frederick Buttel Awards for distinguished scholarship from the American Sociological Association and the International Sociological Association.

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