Yale hosts “Usable Climate Science and the Uses of History” Workshop

November 7, 2019
This workshop, co-organized by Deborah Coen (history of science, Yale) and Adam Sobel (atmospheric physics, Columbia), looks at how major international scientific research and assessment programs like the IPCC and Future Earth have begun to insist on the necessity of incorporating the knowledge, experience, and values of “users,” “stakeholders,” and indigenous communities into the process of producing knowledge about the impacts of anthropogenic climate change.  This is known as “usable science”, or science that is more responsive to the needs of citizens who are being affected by anthropogenic climate change. “Usable science” is shaping a new era of research into climate impacts and strategies of adaptation. While there is much to admire about these initiatives, they raise pressing questions about epistemic standards, scientific ethics, and social justice that have not been adequately examined and that would benefit from sustained, transdisciplinary analysis. This workshop aims to reflect critically on the ideals and practices of “cooperative” modes of climate change research, past and present.