Dr. Gabriele Gramelsberger
FU Institute of Philosophy
"Computer Based Simulation-New Tools of Knowledge Production" (Meteorology)
2009 - 2012, DFG Research Network "Atmosphere & Algorithms"
2008, Guest Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg
2004 - 2007, Research Project "Computer Based Simulation-New Tools of Knowledge Production", Institute of Philosophy, FU Freie Universitaet Berlin (BMBF "Science-Policy-Studies" Initiative)
The research analyses the change of knowledge production in science caused by using computers as scientific tools. The research is focused on three aspects:
1. History and philosophy of dynamical meteorology
2. Methods of evaluation of simmulation models and results and the problems of uncertainty
3. The communication of scientific results produced to the public.
Based on case studies in the fields of genetics and climate research, the empirical study (2004- 2008) investigated the attitudes and motivations of researchers making simulation based results valid and communicating this results in an adequate way to the public.
Since the 1950´s computer simulations are used in science. Expanding computer capacities, the development of simulation tools and algorithms, and increasing complex visualisation technologies establish computer simulations as powerful instruments of scientific knowledge production beside theory and experimentation. Regarding simulations as activities in a virtual laboratory setting – comparable to experimenting in a laboratory setting – this way of knowledge production is determined by various conditions: the digital and algorithmic processing of data, modelling and using computer power to run the models. These conditions restrict the simulation based knowledge production and lead to a methodological inherent potential of uncertainty. The efforts to keep the uncertainties in an acceptable limit of error tolerance force the focal question about the methods and practises to construct the simulation models and to validate the results. To investigate these methods and practises the research project will focus the following aspects:
* History: Study of relevant documents.
* Model construction: Empirical study of the construction of simulation models in genetic and climate research; investigation of the advantages and disadvantages of simple respectively complex models
* Evaluation: Empirical study of the methods and practises to validate the results in genetic and climate research; developing a matrix of ways of validation and a typology of uncertainties; study of former models in climate research to show the development of validation structures.
* Public Communication: Empirical study of scientist's awareness of communication to the public; discussion of the uncertainty question and the limit of communicating the problems of uncertainties to the public.
Convenor DFG Research Network "Atmosphere & Algorithms", 2009-2012 »Information (link, english)
Guest Researcher Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Hamburg, 2008
Principal Investigator BMBF Research Project, 2004, October - 2007, December
Expertise and Exploratory Study, 2002-2004
The research period 2002-2007 was funded by the BMBF German Federal Ministry of Research as one of twelve projects of the "Science-Policy-Studies" Initiative, coordinated by the BBAW Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science
Gabriele Gramelsberger; Johann Feichter (eds.): Climate Change and Policy. The Calculability of Climate Change and the Challenge of Uncertainty, Springer: Heidelberg, 2011 »Content Table (link, english)
Gabriele Gramelsberger: Computerexperimente. Wandel der Wissenschaft im Zeitalter des Computers, Bielefeld: Transcript 2010 »Content Table (link, german)
Gabriele Gramelsberger: Computerexperimente in der Klimaforschung, BMBF Federal Ministry of Research, FU Berlin/BBAW Berlin, March 2007, 92 p.
Gabriele Gramelsberger: Computersimulationen - Neue Instrumente der Wissensproduktion, BMBF Federal Ministry of Research/BBAW Berlin, May 2004, 80 p.
Gabriele Gramelsberger: Computergestuetzte Forschung, BMBF Federal Ministry of Research/BBAW Berlin, May 2002, 80 p.