Cultures of Prediction in Atmospheric and Climate Science: Epistemic and Cultural Shifts in Computer-based Modelling and Simulation (Hardback) book cover

Cultures of Prediction in Atmospheric and Climate Science

Epistemic and Cultural Shifts in Computer-based Modelling and Simulation

Edited by Matthias Heymann, Gabriele Gramelsberger, Martin Mahony

© 2017 – Routledge

256 pages

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Hardback: 9781138222984
pub: 2017-04-25
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Description

In recent decades, science has experienced a revolutionary shift. The development and extensive application of computer modelling and simulation has transformed the knowledge‐making practices of scientific fields as diverse as astro‐physics, genetics, robotics and demography. This epistemic transformation has brought with it a simultaneous heightening of political relevance and a renewal of international policy agendas, raising crucial questions about the nature and application of simulation knowledges throughout public policy.

Through a diverse range of case studies, spanning over a century of theoretical and practical developments in the atmospheric and environmental sciences, this book argues that computer modelling and simulation have substantially changed scientific and cultural practices and shaped the emergence of novel ‘cultures of prediction’.

Making an innovative, interdisciplinary contribution to understanding the impact of computer modelling on research practice, institutional configurations and broader cultures, this volume will be essential reading for anyone interested in the past, present and future of climate change and the environmental sciences.

Reviews

"Predicting the (climatic) future is never an innocent or neutral act. Climate predictions emerge from particular value-laden cultures; hence these predicted futures exert a powerful control over the present. For this reason, the ‘black-box’ of climate prediction needs critical scrutiny from the social and humanistic sciences, a task brilliantly executed in this new collection of essays." - Mike Hulme, professor of climate and culture, King’s College London

"This is a truly outstanding survey of the cultures of prediction in the field of atmospheric and climate science. Through case studies and illustrative examples drawn from a wide range of countries and disciplines, the authors skillfully trace both epistemic and cultural shifts in modelling and simulation techniques." - Helmuth Trischler, Head of Research of the Deutsches Museum, Munich, and Director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, University of Munich

"Prediction is everywhere in our societies but we usually do not interrogate how we actually do predictions, including in environmental sciences. Cultures of Prediction is thus essential reading – and a fascinating set of case studies. But more, it illuminates beautifully the culture and politics of expertise in global environmental change." - Mark Carey, Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies, Clark Honors College, University of Oregon

"Cultures of Prediction brings together a wonderfully rich kaleidoscope of empirical perspectives to create a new vision for the social study of atmospheric and climate science. The unifying focus on computer modelling and simulation represents a substantial and very timely intellectual achievement. It is an indispensable resource for academics and practitioners alike." - Phaedra Daipha, Rutgers University, author of Masters of Uncertainty: Weather Forecasters and the Quest for Ground Truth

"Because it addresses weather and climate models from multiple perspectives, scholars from science and social science disciplines will find this book of interest as it touches on the intersection of science and politics in model development, knowledge development, and applications." - Kristine C. Harper, Associate Professor of History, Department of History, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

    Matthias Heymann, Gabriele Gramelsberger, Martin Mahony

  2. Key characteristics of cultures of prediction

    Matthias Heymann, Gabriele Gramelsberger, Martin Mahony

    Part I Junctions: Science and politics of prediction

  3. Calculating the weather. Emerging cultures of meteorological prediction in late ninetieth and early twentieth century Europe

    Gabriele Gramelsberger

  4. Which design for a weather predictor? Speculating on the future of electronic forecasting in post‐war America

    Christoph Rosol

    5) A new climate. Hubert H. Lamb and boundary work at the UK Meteorological Office

    Janet Martin-Nielsen

  1. From heuristic to predictive. Making climate models into political instruments

    Matthias Heymann, Nils Randlev Hundebøl

  2. How to develop climate models? The "gamble" of improving climate model parameterizations

    Hélène Guillemot

  3. Part II Challenges and debates: Negotiating and using simulation knowledge

  4. The (re)emergence of regional climate. Mobile models, regional visions and the government of climate change

    Martin Mahony

  5. Bellwether, exceptionalism, and other tropes. Political coproduction of arctic climate modeling

    Nina Wormbs, Ralf Döscher, Annika E. Nilsson, Sverker Sörlin

  6. From predictive to instructive. Using models for geo engineering

    Johann Feichter, Markus Quante

  7. Validating models in the face of uncertainty. Geotechnical engineering and dike vulnerability in the Netherlands

    Matthijs Kouw

  8. Tracing uncertainty management through four IPCC Assessment Reports and beyond Catharina Landström
  9. The future face of the Earth. The visual semantics of the future in the climate change imagery of the IPCC

    Birgit Schneider

 

About the Editors

Matthias Heymann is Associate Professor for the history of science and technology at the Centre for Science Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Gabriele Gramelsberger is a Professor for philosophy of digital media at the University Witten/Herdecke, Germany.

Martin Mahony is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Geography, University of Nottingham.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

The Routledge Environmental Humanities series is an original and inspiring venture recognising that today’s world agricultural and water crises, ocean pollution and resource depletion, global warming from greenhouse gases, urban sprawl, overpopulation, food insecurity and environmental justice are all crises of culture.

The reality of understanding and finding adaptive solutions to our present and future environmental challenges has shifted the epicenter of environmental studies away from an exclusively scientific and technological framework to one that depends on the human-focused disciplines and ideas of the humanities and allied social sciences.

We thus welcome book proposals from all humanities and social sciences disciplines for an inclusive and interdisciplinary series. We favour manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. The readership comprises scholars and students from the humanities and social sciences and thoughtful readers concerned about the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (Rebecca.Brennan@tandf.co.uk) to submit proposals

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Iain McCalman,  University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Paul Warde, University of Cambridge, UK, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Deborah Bird Rose, University of New South Wales, Australia, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COM062000
COMPUTERS / Data Modeling & Design
POL044000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SCI026000
SCIENCE / Environmental Science