Eric Britton, Founding Editor

Eric Britton worked (and works) closely with Robert Ayres to design from scratch and oversee this website which has two quite different levels of ambitions.

Library of record: Robert U.  Ayres

In the first place it aims to provide a “library of record” for the achievements and publications of Robert Underwood Ayres, a remarkably inventive social scientist (my words, not his – see “Who is Robert Ayres“) and talented writer.  It offers a place in which the public can go to find a full record of his many contributions, assisted by a handful of powerful search engines that help the reader find their way through the impressive welter of books, publications, events and projects. This is useful given the considerable extent of his accomplishments — but in itself hardly original.

The Salon Function: Exernomics

The originality of this site lies in the manner in which it provides a rolling publication and discussion forum for weekly articles by Ayres and invited contributors and critics on many aspects of its fascinating topic, namely what you get when you judiciously add (a)  what we know about the second law of thermodynamics and the concept of exergy (hence our name) to (b) a clear-eyed view of how the real world economy in fact  works (and should work)  — for which we have invented a new (and possibly not very pretty word) “Exernomics”.  And to get a firm grip on the concept a good place to start before you go much further have a look at Ayres introductory article on What is Exernomics. )

We see this forum evolving as a congenial and efficient 21st century digital version of the sort of literary and political salons so widely practiced in France the 18th and 19th centuries, bringing exceptionally talented people together to present and critique new ideas and works of art.  This forum is endeavouring to do just this, taking as our permanent task and object, presentations and critical discussions about the concept of Exernomics.

Putting this site to work

You will find clear directions on that in our opening section entitled, no less, How this site works.

If you spot anything that does not work or needs improvement, I am the person to contact.  You can get me via email at, T. +336 5088  0787, or Skype ericbritton.

Eric Britton

Lyon 20 October 2014


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Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, he is MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent non-profit advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, incomplete information, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities. In the autumn of 2018 he committed his life work to the challenges of countering climate change from GHG emissions from the transport sector. (For more see Britton online at, @ericbritton. email at and Skype: newmobility

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