Monday, December 22, 2014

Climate change: How does it feel?

Climate science is not just another science; instead, its results are read as oracles about our future. This affects climate scientists, too. Disinterested and objective as they have to be when calculating climate, matters of fact inevitably turn into matters of concern.
Joe Duggan, a science communicator, asked climate scientists  to express their feelings about climate change. He asked them to write letters, which is a great idea; it is a way of communication that bridges the gap between their professional work as scientists and their emotions: "(...) they're not robots. These scientists are mothers, fathers, grandparents, daughters. They are real people. And they're concerned." 

I am both fascinated by and frustrated by climate change. A lot of my working life is about studying climate change, and the way the climate system works is really fascinating to me. Understanding a little bit more over time is thrilling. Then I look at my children and think about what I know is coming their way and I worry how it will affect them. Gabi Hegerl

Scrolling through these letters makes a good and interesting read. Climate change is as much a novel as it is a calculation. Take your time, and figure out for yourself how it feels.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Culture of Scientific Research in the UK

Yesterday the British Nuffield Council on Bioethics published the report The Culture of Scientific Research in the UK.  You can read it here in full.

The Times Higher Education commented as follows:

The council held 15 discussion events at universities nationwide to explore the ethical consequences of the research culture in higher education. It also met with research funders, publishers and editors, and social scientists, and analysed the results of an online survey that attracted 970 responses.