Prof. Suzanne Brunsting

Suzanne Brunsting (ECN), is senior researcher and policy advisor on stakeholder behavior with regard to energy transition and sustainable technologies.

Suzanne Brunsting Career

She is involved as applied behavioral science expert in the Behavioral Insight Teams (BIT) of the ministries of IenM (infrastructure and environment) and EZ (economic affairs).

2007 – 2009: Project leader on development of quit smoking campaigns and online self-help programs for smokers.

2003 – 2007: Ph.d. research and teaching in health behaviour & education at the University of Amsterdam, on the use of mass media campaigns to stimulate healthy behaviour.

Specialties: (consumer) behaviour, social influence, information, education.

Brunsing is specialized in societal acceptability of energy innovations, compares the shale gas debate with the past discussion about underground CO2 storage. Brunsting warns to not make the same mistakes again.


  • 1996 – 2001 University of Amsterdam, Master’s degree in Communication Science


The shale gas debate is roughly dominated by three parties: the industry being an enthusiastic proponent, hesitating politicians and citizens who have their doubts. This is comparable to the situation five years ago when Shell and the national government wanted to start a demonstration project of CO2 capture and storage in Barendrecht. When local politicians and citizens expressed their doubts the national government and industry replied with more research, reports, facts and numbers. This led to more frustration in the community and finally the minister decided to cancel the project due to ‘a lack of public support’.

We should try to avoid that the discussion about climate change and the transition of the energy sector will again be transformed into a local fight against a project. The debate about shale gas therefore should include the technological uncertainties and be open for normative visions.”


Links to projects and researches

Research Group :

Policy Studies

Specialisatie :

Behavioural Science
Cognitive Psychology
Social Psychology


 Westerduinweg 3
       1755 LE Petten