Black sky research

A few days ago I chatted with an industry-based innovations manager who, in passing, mentioned the word ‘black sky research’. We didn’t get a chance to explore this concept further but the phrase stuck in my mind. Then Philip Moriarty tweeted a link to an article on the threat of the impact agenda to blue …

Global warming is dead, long live global heating?

This post emerged from a weekend conversation between Mike Hulme, Brigitte Nerlich and Warren Pearce. It is also available as a pdf. There has been a lot of talk recently about a so-called ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming. Some argue that it poses a serious challenge to established climate science and may undermine its …

Making science public: The science and silence conundrum

The issue of science and advocacy is a complex topic and has led to heated discussions amongst scientists, science communicators and commentators of different persuasions, especially this year it seems. There was first a flurry of debate provoked, in July this year, by an article written by Tamsin Edwards who argued that climate scientists should …

On the value of scholarship

Three anecdotes and an email: Many years ago when I moved from the humanities to the social sciences, somebody remarked that from now on I would no longer just be doing scholarship but engage in actual research. That puzzled me at the time, but I now see, sort of, what that person meant. At the …

Science as public and consensible knowledge

I recently chatted with some natural scientists of a certain (my) age, that is, whose formative student years lay in the 1960s and 1970s, and they recommended some books to me. In the 1970s I had nothing to do with science, as I was deeply immersed in the humanities. I have, over the last decade …