Climate Gridlock: Science, Politics, and Credibility
Speaker: Evelyn Fox Keller, History and Philosophy of Science, M.I.T.
Friday, October 8, 2010. 4:00-6:00 PM
5 Washington Place, Room 202 (NE Corner of Waverly Place)
Reception to Follow
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the planet has just come through the warmest decade, year, spring and summer on record. Furthermore, our best scientific analyses predict that worse – much worse – is to come. Nevertheless, in the midst of this summer’s record-breaking heat, the US Senate declined to even consider legislation to regulate greenhouse gas emission.
How did we come to such an impasse? One might think that the high stakes of climate change would make expertise on the subject our highest priority, yet, just when we need it most, scientific authority has proven of depressingly little use in the forging of responsible policy. I suggest that this failure requires us to rethink both the relation between science and politics, and the nature of scientific proof and responsibility.