Press Release

07 November 2014

The question of how to provide clean, secure and affordable energy to the UK has been a source of debate for a number of years. But recently, one technology has caused more debate than others: fracking.

David Cameron recently announced fracking will be “good for the country”. As a result this technology could soon be used in large parts of the UK, including the South East. Though it has the potential to tap significant onshore fossil fuel reserves, this method of energy extraction is highly contentious. Its supporters say it can be safely regulated. Its detractors say it is harmful to the environment and human health.

As part of their Engaging Sociology series, the Sociology Programme at Canterbury Christ Church University will host a public debate, ‘Fracking in the UK’, on Wednesday 19 November in Augustine House.

The event will provide a rare opportunity to bring together some of the top experts and campaigners on both sides of the debate to deliberate this complex issue. The panel will be chaired by the University’s Dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Science and Professor of Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility, Janet Haddock-Fraser.

Professor Haddock-Fraser, said: “Canterbury Christ Church University is committed to the values of public engagement, debate and education. As part of this we are extremely pleased to welcome experts, public figures and citizens from around the country to deliberate on the issue of fracking, a subject of international, national and local significance, both in the short-term and with regard to long-term sustainability.”

The debate will start at 7.30pm with a panel discussion which will then be opened up to the audience providing the opportunity for questions to be addressed to any of the speakers, finishing around 9.30pm.

To book a place for Fracking in the UK, Wednesday 19 November, Augustine House 7.30-9.30pm, visit the University’s Online Shop here:

Notes to Editor

Engaging Sociology is a new initiative within the Sociology programme at Canterbury Christ Church University. Sociology’s focus on social life and societal issues means that its research and insights are of interest not only to academics and students but also to the general public and policy makers. Through open debates, public lectures and community and school involvement, the Sociology team are committed to ensuring that our discipline has practical and valuable application.

Expert panel

  • Chair: Janet Haddock-Fraser

Dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Science at Canterbury Christ Church University and Professor of Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility

  • Ian Driver

Green Party Councillor at Thanet District Council and a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Thanet South

  • Professor Paul Stevens

Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs)

  • Julie Wassmer

Former Vice Chair of East Kent Against Fracking

  • Michael Hill C.Eng. MIET

Chartered Electrical Engineer, member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (old IEE), and an Expert Adviser to the EU Commission on Shale Gas.

  • Nick Riley MBE

Director of Carboniferous Limited

  • David Smythe

Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow

  • Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams C.Eng FIMMM MEI

Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining and a Member of The Energy Institute


Augustine House
Rhodaus Town
Kent, CT1 2YA
United Kingdom

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:16:00