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Guest seminar, Karoliina Pulkkinen, Univ of Helsinki, Finland, and Sabine Undorf, PIK, Germany


Date: Tuesday 18 January 2022

Time: 11.15 – 12.15

Location: Hybrid seminar in C609 Rossbysalen, MISU (max 20 people) and via Zoom

Social values in climate science -- from philosophical norms to scientific practice and back


Dr Karoliina Pulkkinen, University of Helsinki

Dr Sabine Undorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate impact research


Social values in climate science -- from philosophical norms to scientific practice and back


Tuesday January 18, 2022, 11:15-12:15    


It is uncontroversial that decisions by politicians and other policymakers are not only based on expert knowledge as provided e.g. by science but also based on political, social, and other values. To what degree the scientific findings themselves may however also be influenced by such values is subject of longstanding philosophical debate. The emerging consensus in the literature is that science is not, can not, and perhaps should not be free of values. Climate science is not exempt, but values are not widely acknowledged or discussed within the climate-scientific community to date. In this talk, we present the state of the debate in climate science as represented by the latest IPCC WGI report and argue that it is time for the climate-scientific community to start becoming aware of, and acknowledging, the role of values in order to enable their effective management. We then provide the relevant philosophical theory and existing value-management ideals in more depth. As an attempt to advance, and illustrate, the acknowledgement of values, we identify a range of value-judgements involved in multi-model based assessments such as those historically done for climate sensitivity and still in use for various other climate metrics. This includes the discussion of challenges for the existing value-management ideals that are evident from the case study. We conclude by scrutinising one such ideal in terms of its practical applicability to our own, concrete climate modelling decisions with regard to the representation of aerosols and clouds. We hope for an interesting discussion regarding the points raised.


Hybrid seminar in C609 Rossbysalen, MISU, Svante Arrhenius väg 16C, 6th floor
(maximum 20 people) and via Zoom - link will be distributed via MISU's seminar email announcement.

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