Dr. Gabriele Gramelsberger
FU Institute of Philosophy


"Dealing with Uncertainty - Simulation, Evaluation and Public Communication"
2006, November 23, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities

The workshop brings together climate modellers and science communication researchers. The unifying question is: How to deal with uncertainty, concerning global warming, in climate research as well as in socio-political and public contexts? On the one hand climate modellers have to ensure the quality and validity of their results which have an enormous impact on society and politics and on the other science communication researchers have to analyse the media strategies in communicating uncertainty to the public related to the sensitive topic of climate change. Although having different perspectives and relationships to climate change, the core on which both groups of researchers relate to is the computer based simulation and its scenarios.

Talking about uncertainty mainly denotes talking about the new and vague method of simulation. Therefore "dealing with uncertainty" can be reformulated as "dealing with simulation". The workshop will give first hand insight into current strategies of climate modellers, how they deal with the uncertainty of the simulation's results, how they improve them, and how they increase the validity of these results for policy options and public response to upcoming decisions. Furthermore the workshop will give information about the view of society, communicated by the Media, on the issue of climate change.

Workshop Programme
Thursday, 2006, November 23 - Dealing with Uncertainty

10:00 - 13:30 h
- Dr. Gabriele Gramelsberger, FU Berlin: The Epistemic Culture of Simulation
- Prof. Dr. Syukuro Manabe, Princeton University: Early Development of Climate Modelling and the Prospect for the Future
- Dr. Johann Feichter, MPI for Meteorology Hamburg: Evaluation in Climate Modelling
- Dr. Hermann Held, PIK Potsdam: Dealing with Uncertainty: From Climate Research to Integrated Assessment of Policy Options

14:30 - 17:00 h
- Prof. Dr. Harald Heinrichs, University of Lueneburg: Sustainability in Environmental Sciences and Public Communication
- Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Peters, German Research Center Juelich/FU Berlin: Simulation and Public Communication - Jana Demnitz, Franziska Mrosek, FU Berlin: Presentation of two Media Studies
- Discussion (Moderation by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Cubasch, FU Berlin)

19:00 h, BBAW Evening Lecture
Global Change in Water Availability
Prof. Dr. Syukuro Manabe, Princeton University

Syukuro Manabe (Princeton University), the doyen of climate modelling who wrote the first global climate model together with Richard T. Wetherald in the 1970s, will talk about the early development of climate modelling and the prospect for the future. He will give a first hand insight in the developments, improvements and problems of climate modelling. Johann Feichter (MPI Hamburg), head of the group "Aerosols, Clouds and Climate", will present the advanced strategies for evaluating the current climate scenarios for the upcoming IPCC report 2007. Hermann Held (PIK Potsdam), senior researcher for uncertainty analysis of climate projections at the PIK Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, will point out the major developments for the derivation of robust (climate policy) advice from coupled complex models under massive uncertainty. Dealing with uncertainty is the key issue in integrated assessment processes for achieving reliable and sustainable results at the interface between science, politics and the public.

Harald Heinrichs (Lueneburg University), assistant professor at the Institute for Environmental Communication at the University of Lueneburg, will explore the relationship between sustainability in environmental sciences and public communication. Hans Peter Peters [Research Center Juelich], communication researcher at the Program Group Humans-Environment-Technology of the Research Center Juelich, Germany, will describe some problems of public communication of science, focusing on computer simulation. Together with Harald Heinrichs he has recently completed a study on public meaning construction of climate change and it consequences. Jana Demnitz and Franziska Mrosek [FU Berlin], Master's candidates at the Free University Berlin, will present results of exploratory studies of how computer simulation is included in TV science coverage and how the simulation sequences are perceived by the audience.

A science research overview on the new epistemic culture of simulation will be given as an introduction in the workshop by Gabriele Gramelsberger (FU Berlin). Gabriele Gramelsberger, science philosopher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Free University of Berlin, has carried out during the last years a science research study on climate modelling based on interviews. The study is part of the ongoing research project "Computer Based Simulation - New Instrument of Knowledge Production in Science" which is related to the BBAW research programme "Knowledge for Decision-making Processes - Research on the Relationship between Science, Politics and Society".

Date: 2006, November 23
Location: Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science, Einstein Hall, Jaegerstraße 22/23 - 10117 Berlin
Organised by: Gabriele Gramelsberger, Institute of Philosophy, FU Berlin

The workshop is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education. It is one of several project workshops within the BBAW research programme "Knowledge for Decision-making Processes - Research on the Relationship between Science, Politics and Society", coordinated by the BBAW Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science. http://www.bbaw.de/forschung/wie/