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Jonathan Gilligan

JonathanGilligan

Associate Professor
jonathan.gilligan@vanderbilt.edu
Personal Calendar
Office: 5735 Science & Engineering Bldg
Phone: (615) 322-2420
Bangladesh ONR Project

Education

Ph.D. Yale University, 1991
B.S. Swarthmore College, 1982

Specializations

  • Environmental Policy
  • Risk Management
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Global Climate Change

Curriculum Vitae

 

What's New

May 2010: "Design Principles for Carbon Emissions Reduction Programs," by P.C. Stern, G.T. Gardner, M.P. Vandenbergh, T. Dietz, and J.M. Gilligan. Environmental Science & Technology, electronic publication ahead of print: May 10, 2010.

May 2010: "Implementing the Behavioral Wedge: Designing and Adopting Effective Carbon Emissions Reduction Programs," by M.P. Vandenbergh, P.C. Stern, G.T. Gardner, T. Dietz, and J.M. Gilligan, Environmental Law Reporter, in press.

May 2010: US Patent #7,713,733 B2, ``Device and Methods for Detecting the Response of a Plurality of Cells to at Least One Analyte of Interest,'' D. Cliffel, F.J. Baudenbacher, J.P. Wikswo, S. Eklund, R.R. Balcarcel, and J.M. Gilligan.

Apr. 2010: U.S. Patent #7,704,745 B2, ``Apparatus and Methods for Monitoring the Status of a Metabolically Active Cell,'' F.J. Baudenbacher, J.P. Wikswo, R.R. Balcarcel, D. Cliffel, S. Eklund, J.M. Gilligan, O. McGuinness, T. Monroe, A. Prokop, M. Stremler, and A. Werdich.

Apr. 2010: "Energy and Climate Change: Key Lessons for Implementing the Behavioral Wedge," by A.R. Carrico, M.P. Vandenbergh, P.C. Stern, G.T. Gardner, T. Dietz, and J.M. Gilligan. Submitted to Journal of Energy and Environmental Law.

Mar, 2010: "The behavioural wedge: reducing greenhouse gas by individuals and households," by J. Gilligan, T. Dietz, G.T. Gardner, P.C. Stern, and M.P. Vandenbergh, Significance 7, 17-20 (2010).

Nov. 18 2009: Panelist, "Forum on Law of the Sea Treaty," Belmont University, Nashville TN. Sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Nov. 2009: "Household Actions Can Provide a Behavioral Wedge to Rapidly Reduce U.S. Carbon Emissions," by T. Dietz, G.T. Gardner, J. Gilligan, P.C. Stern, and M.P. Vandenbergh, PNAS 106, 18452-18456 (2009). See also the Behavioral Wedge web site.

Nov 9 2009: "Prima le Parole" staged reading of work in progress, Pearl a libretto. Center for Contemporary Opera, New York. See story in Opera Today, Fall 2009

Nov 2009: "Concurrent Imaging of Metabolic and Electric Signals in the Heart," by M.R. Holcomb, M.C. Woods, I. Uzelac, J.P. Wikswo, J.M. Gilligan and V.Y. Sidorov, Exper. Biol. & Med. 234,1355-1373 (2009). Featured article of the month.

General Interests

I work primarily at the intersection of science, ethics, and public policy with a focus on the ways in which scientific knowledge and uncertainty affect policy decisions about the environment.

My past research has included nonlinear dynamics and chaos, quantum optics, stratospheric photochemistry, electrocardiology, physical mechanisms of laser surgery, laser processing and analysis of semiconductors, laser-cooling of atomic ions, and high-precision atomic and molecular spectroscopy.

Current Research

My main research focus is as the Associate Director for Research of the Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network.

I am currently pursuing research in three areas: The role of individual behavior in mitigating climate change; Interactions between science and religion regarding environmental issues; and the use of rhetoric at the intersection of science and public policy.

Individual Behavior and Climate Change

I am a member of a trans-disciplinary research project to study the role of individual and household behavior on greenhouse gas emissions. A pioneering study by Michael Vandenbergh and Anne Steinemann ("The Carbon-Neutral Individual," 82 New York University Law Review (2007)) found that at least one third of US greenhouse gas emissions, and 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by actions under the direct control of individuals and households (e.g., driving, household energy use) This project brings together scientific and engineering research on quantifying greenhouse gas emissions by individuals with social sciences (e.g., psychology and economics), and public policy studies to better understand which behaviors are most susceptible to change in ways that would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Science, Religion, and the Environment

I am currently pursuing research on the ways in which science and religion or spirituality can work together to create richer discussions and considerations of ethical questions about sustainable development, climate change, and other environmental issues that will affect future generations.

Much of this work is being conducted in collaboration with the Ecology and Spirituality research group at Vanderbilt's interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Religion and Culture.

Rhetoric in Science and Public Policy

In public policy debates over questions concerning scientific and technical matters, scientific expertise can sometimes resolve disputes by clearly showing the implications of different policy options, but at other times expertise can merely inflame the debate as each side launches ad hominem attacks on the credibility of the other's experts.

The Big Picture

All three of my research interests relate to the question of how to society can and should manage environmental hazards within the context of democratic governance and significant scientific uncertainty.

For most important anthropogenic (human-caused) environmental hazards there is significant scientific uncertainty about the nature and severity of the consequences and this uncertainty makes many of the standard approaches to risk management ineffective. For instance, while it is unambiguous that human production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is changing earth's climate, scientists cannot predict with great certainty what the exact consequences of this climate change will be. Our scientific understanding of the effects of trace quantities of toxic pollutants in the environment is even less certain.

Most discussion of environmental policy (and other public policy regarding risks) assumes that it is possible to measure risks with great certainty and relegates the problem of scientific uncertainty to a small detail that only slightly complicates matters. In fact, for a large number of hazards the scientific uncertainties are the greatest part of the problem and are not treated effectively by existing policy paradigms.

Much of the current literature on managing anthropogenic environmental hazards creates a false opposition between two approaches, known as cost-benefit analysis and the precautionary principle. In fact, these two principles are just two possibilities in a continuum of policy options. Cost-benefit analysis is most applicable when there is very little uncertainty about probabilities and consequences, while precautionary approaches are best suited to cases of extreme uncertainty and potentially catastrophic consequences.

In the real world, many risks we face present neither the great certainties we would need to use cost-benefit analysis effectively nor the almost complete uncertainties that would justify radical precautionary approaches. Moreover, neither the precautionary principle nor cost-benefit analysis tell us anything about the role of democracy in making policy decisions.

I am currently working to develop new approaches rooted in deliberative democracy which might move beyond both strict cost-benefit and knee-jerk precaution toward processes that could achieve better public participation and greater political legitimacy on the major environmental threats to our future.

Other Activities

Pearl, opera libretto (work in progress) by Carol Gilligan and Jonathan Gilligan, music by Amy Scurria (Duke University).

      Performances:

  • Nov. 9, 2009: "Prima le Parole," staged reading, Center for Contemporary Opera & New York Society Library, New York City. See story in Opera Today, Fall 2009.

The Scarlet Letter, a stage adaptation by Carol Gilligan and Jonathan Gilligan
      Performances:

  • July 10-11, 2007: The Culture Project, New York City. Directed by Leigh Silverman, starring Marisa Tomei, Ron Cephas Jones, Bobby Cannavale, and Marin Ireland.
  • Aug 7-8, 2005: The Culture Project, New York City. Directed by Weir Harman and starring Marisa Tomei

Coordinator, Transdisciplinary Initiative on Environmental Systems:

When graduate students in environmental sciences and environmental engineering leave the university, their work often involves not only scientific and technical problems, but also social, political, and ethical ones. To prepare students to understand and manage such problems, Vanderbilt has initiated a program to prepare graduate students to work on massively transdisciplinary environmental problems.

This program brings graduate students in Earth & Environmental Sciences and Civil & Environmental Engineering together with students and faculty in the humanities and social sciences to study such environmental issues as long-term disposal of radioactive waste and water resources in developing nations. This program features a capstone seminar that includes field trips to such places as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for transuranic nuclear waste, the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository, and Bangladesh.

Selected Publications and Talks

May 2010: "Design Principles for Carbon Emissions Reduction Programs," by P.C. Stern, G.T. Gardner, M.P. Vandenbergh, T. Dietz, and J.M. Gilligan. Environmental Science & Technology, electronic publication ahead of print: May 10, 2010.

May 2010: "Implementing the Behavioral Wedge: Designing and Adopting Effective Carbon Emissions Reduction Programs," by M.P. Vandenbergh, P.C. Stern, G.T. Gardner, T. Dietz, and J.M. Gilligan, Environmental Law Reporter, in press.

US Patent \#7,713,733 B2, ``Device and Methods for Detecting the Response of a Plurality of Cells to at Least One Analyte of Interest,'' D. Cliffel, F.J. Baudenbacher, J.P. Wikswo, S. Eklund, R.R. Balcarcel, and J.M. Gilligan, issued May 11, 2010.

U.S. Patent #7,704,745 B2, ``Apparatus and Methods for Monitoring the Status of a Metabolically Active Cell,'' F.J. Baudenbacher, J.P. Wikswo, R.R. Balcarcel, D. Cliffel, S. Eklund, J.M. Gilligan, O. McGuinness, T. Monroe, A.
Prokop, M. Stremler, and A. Werdich, issued Apr. 27, 2010.

"The behavioural wedge: reducing greenhouse gas by individuals and households," by J. Gilligan, T. Dietz, G.T. Gardner, P.C. Stern, and M.P. Vandenbergh, Significance7, 17-20 (2010).

"Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce U.S. carbon emissions," by T. Dietz, G.T. Gardner, J. Gilligan, P.C. Stern, and M.P. Vandenbergh, PNAS  106, 18452-18456 (2009). See also the  Behavioral Wedge  web site.

"Concurrent Imaging of Metabolic and Electric Signals in the Heart," by M.R. Holcomb, M.C. Woods, I. Uzelac, J.P. Wikswo, J.M. Gilligan and V.Y. Sidorov, Exper. Biol. & Med.  234,1355-1373 (2009).  Featured article  of the month.

"Individual Carbon Emissions: The Low-Hanging Fruit,"  by M.P. Vandenbergh, J. Barkenbus, and J. Gilligan, 55  UCLA Law Rev.  (2008).

" Ethics in Geological Time: Should We Care about Distant Future Generations? " The Berry Lecture, Vanderbilt University Dept. of Philosophy. Mar. 24, 2008.

"A High-Voltage Cardiac Stimulator for Field Shocks of a Whole Heart in a Bath," by D.N. Mashburn, S.J. Hinkson, M.C. Woods, J.M. Gilligan, M.R. Holcomb, and J.P. Wikswo, 78 Rev. Sci. Instrum, 104302-8 (2007).

"Flexibility, Clarity, and Legitimacy: Considerations for Managing Nanotechnology Risks," by J.M. Gilligan, 36  Environmental Law Reporter  10924-30 (Dec. 2006). 

"Democracy in the Age of Science" Public lecture, "Thinking Outside the  LunchBox" lecture series, Nashville Public Library, Sept. 7, 2005.

“Time-resolved light scattering measurements of cartilage and cornea denaturation due to free-electron laser radiation,” by E. Sobol, A. Sviridov, M. Kitai, J. M. Gilligan, G. S. Edwards, and N. H. Tolk,  J. Biomed. Opt.   8, 216–222 (2003).

“Spectroscopic scanning near-field optical microscopy with a free electron laser: CH2  bond imaging in diamond films,” by A. Cricenti, R. Generosi, M. Luce, P. Perfetti, G. Margaritondo, D. Talley, J. Sanghera, I. Aggarwal, J. Gilligan, and N. Tolk,  J. Microsc.   202, 446–50 (2001).

“Effect of wavelength on threshold and kinetics of tissue denaturation under laser radiation,” by E. Sobol, A. Sviridov, M. Kitai, G. S. Edwards, J. M. Gilligan, and N. H. Tolk, in  International Biomedical Optics Symposium, vol.  3601, pp. 122–9 (SPIE, 1999).

“Nonlinear energy-selective nanoscale modifications of materials and dynamics in metals and semiconductors,” by S. Marka, C. P. Cheney, W. Wang, G. Lupke, J. Gilligan, Y. Yao, and N. H. Tolk,  Sov. Phys. Tech. Phys.  44, 1069–72 (1999).

“Free-electron-laser near-field nanospectroscopy,” by A. Cricenti, R. Generosi, P. Perfetti, J. M. Gilligan, N. H. Tolk, C. Coluzza, and G. Margaritondo,  Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 151–3 (1998).

“Coupled electron-hole dynamics at the Si/SiO2  interface,” by W. Wang, G. Lupke, M. Di Ventra, S. T. Pantelides, J. M. Gilligan, N. H. Tolk, I. C. Kizilyalli, P. K. Roy, G. Margaritondo, and G. Lucovsky,  Phys. Rev. Lett.   81, 4224–7 (1998).

“New molecular collisional interaction effect in low-energy sputtering,” by Y. Yao, Z. Hargitai, M. Albert, R. G. Albridge, A. V. Barnes, J. M. Gilligan, B. P. Ferguson, G. Lupke, V. D. Gordon, N. H. Tolk, J. C. Tully, G. Betz, and W. Husinsky,  Phys. Rev. Lett.   81, 550–3 (1998).

“Infrared wavelength-selective photodesorption on diamond surfaces,” by J. Sturmann, R. G. Albridge, A. V. Barnes, J. L. Davidson, J. M. Gilligan, G. Lupke, A. Ueda, and N. H. Tolk,  Appl. Surf. Sci.   129, 59–63 (1998).

“Evaluation of source gas lifetimes from stratospheric observations,” by C. M. Volk, J. W. Elkins, D. W. Fahey, G. S. Dutton, J. M. Gilligan, M. Loewenstein, J. R. Podolske, K. R. Chan, and M. R. Gunson,  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.   102, 25 543–64 (1997).

“Quantifying transport between the tropical and mid-latitude lower stratosphere,” by C. M. Volk, J. W. Elkins, D. W. Fahey, R. J. Salawitch, G. S. Dutton, J. M. Gilligan, M. H. Proffitt, M. Loewenstein, J. R. Podolske, K. Minschwaner, J. J. Margitan, and K. R. Chan,  Science   272, 1763–8 (1996).

“Airborne gas chromatograph for  in situ  measurements of long-lived species in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere,” by J. W. Elkins, D. W. Fahey, J. M. Gilligan, G. S. Dutton, T. J. Baring, C. M. Volk, R. E. Dunn, R. C. Myers, S. A. Montzka, P. R. Wamsley, A. H. Hayden, J. H. Butler, T. M. Thompson, T. H. Swanson, E. J. Dlugokencky, P. C. Novelli, D. F. Hurst, J. M. Lobert, S. J. Ciciora, R. J. McLaughlin, T. L. Thompson, R. H. Winkler, P. J. Fraser, L. P. Steele, and M. P. Lucarelli,Geophys. Res. Lett.  23, 347–50 (1996).

“Estimates of total organic and inorganic chlorine in the lower stratosphere from  in situ  measurements during AASE II,” by E. L. Woodbridge, J. W. Elkins, D. W. Fahey, L. E. Heidt, S. Solomon, T. J. Baring, T. J. Gilpin, W. H. Pollock, S. M. Schauffler, E. L. Atlas, M. Lowenstein, J. R. Podolske, C. R. Webster, R. D. May, J. M. Gilligan, S. A. Montzka, K. A. Boering, and R. J. Salawitch,  J. Geophys. Res.   100, 3057–64 (1995).

“Refinement of the total organic and inorganic chlorine budgets in the atmosphere with a new  in situ  instrument, airborne chromatograph for atmospheric trace species (ACATS-IV),” by J. M. Gilligan, J. W. Elkins, D. W. Fahey, G. S. Dutton, C. M. Volk, T. J. Baring, R. E. Dunn, and R. C. Myers, in  Atmospheric Effects of Aviation Project Workshop  (1994).

“Young’s interference experiment with light scattered from two atoms,” by U. Eichmann, J. C. Bergquist, J. J. Bollinger, J. M. Gilligan, W. M. Itano, D. J. Wineland, and M. G. Raizen,  Phys. Rev. Lett.   70, 2359–62 (1993).

“Quantum projection noise: Population fluctuations in two-level systems,” by W. M. Itano, J. C. Bergquist, J. J. Bollinger, J. M. Gilligan, F. L. Moore, and M. G. Raizen,Phys. Rev. A   47, 3554–70 (1993).

“Precise determinations of ionization potentials and  EF  state energy levels of H2, HD, and D2,” by J. M. Gilligan and E. E. Eyler,  Phys. Rev. A   46, 3676–90 (1992).

“Ionic crystals in a linear Paul trap,” by M. G. Raizen, J. M. Gilligan, J. C. Bergquist, W. M. Itano, and D. J. Wineland,  Phys. Rev. A   45, 6493–501 (1992).

“Linear trap for high-accuracy spectroscopy of stored ions,” by M. G. Raizen, J. M. Gilligan, J. C. Bergquist, W. M. Itano, and D. J. Wineland,  J. Modern. Opt.   39, 233–42 (1992).

“High-resolution three-photon spectroscopy and multiphoton interference in molecular hydrogen,” by J. M. Gilligan and E. E. Eyler,  Phys. Rev. A   43, 6406–9 (1991).

Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce U.S. carbon emissions,” by T. Dietz, G.T. Gardner, J. Gilligan, P.C. Stern, & M.P. Vandenbergh, Proc. Nat’l. Acad. Sci. 106, 18,452–6 (2009).

Costly myths: an analysis of idling beliefs and behavior in personal motor vehicles,” by A.R. Carrico, P. Padgett, M.P. Vandenbergh, J. Gilligan, & K.A. Wallston, Energy Policy, 37, 2881-8 (2009)

"The behavioural wedge: reducing greenhouse gas by individuals and households," by J.M. Gilligan, T. Dietz, G.T. Gardner, P.C. Stern, and M.P. Vandenbergh, Significance 7, 17-20 (2010).

Flexibility, clarity, and legitimacy: Considerations for managing nanotechnology risks,” by J. M. Gilligan, Environ. Law Rep. 36, 10 924–30 (2006).

Energy and climate change: Key lessons for implementing the behavioral wedge,” by A.R. Carrico, M.P. Vandenbergh, P.C. Stern, G.T. Gardner, T. Dietz, & J.M. Gilligan. J. Energy & Environ. Law, in press (2010).

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