Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, 53 Wall Street, New Haven
Since roughly 2012, major international scientific research and assessment programs like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 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. On smaller scales as well, for instance in the provision of regional “climate services,” efforts are multiplying to bridge the “usability gap” by making science more responsive to the needs of citizens. This quest for “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.