Ashley Mercer, Wylie Carr, and Laurie Young

October 19, 2010

UPDATE 9:30: David Keith is doing science beside me. I’d copy down this wacky formula he’s writing in his free time, but there are too many symbols and I think I’d have to learn Latex in order to duplicate it. However, the take-home point is that he’s not paying attention, and I’m paying attention to him not paying attention, though he did just manage to ask a question and create the appearance that he’s paying attention. Very clever, David Keith.

UPDATE 8:54: Wylie‘s talking about what a fantastic tool social science can be. Laurie and Wylie don’t have a paper up because they’re from Montana, and Montanans roll like that. Social scientists don’t have many places to go for information or input on what people think about geoengineering. Basically he’s giving an overview of the Experiment Earth findings. They’re proposing something a little different. So they want to do some social science research into the attitudes and opinions of vulnerable populations, hopefully to make their positions accessible to researchers and deliberators so that eventually the work will be useful to those populations of researchers. Talking both about physical and social vulnerability. Looking at a range of questions regarding our current understanding of SRM, governance, justice, and equity questions, nature and technology, as well as how populations view risk and uncertainty, and questions about science and knowledge.

Laurie’s now speaking too, because she wants to solicit from the audience about what kinds of questions we’d like to see people give answers to. Planning to do interviews with representatives of vulnerable populations and with climate advocates. This will avoid conflicts resulting from lack of knowledge. Petra asked a question and used the term ‘narratives’. Kyle asked whether there are vulnerable populations as co-PIs. Naomi Klein is asking whether and how this information will be used.

UPDATE 8:40: Day two, Ashley Mercer‘s in the house, talking about epistemology and Hume. Better to read the paper, but here’s the upshot. Suppose she’s in conversation with engineers. Some are naive engineers, who just accept that it’s something that can be done. Some are wise engineers, who ask all sorts of kooky moral questions about what to do. Effectively, we’re not just creating knowledge, as some naive engineers might believe, but we should like to become wise engineers (clearly, because wise is good and good is wise), which will acknowledge that as we create knowledge we create normatively charged knowledge. Or something like that. I got caught being a White Paper administrator earlier in the session so I didn’t have a moment to type some stuff up on the events of the morning. Now Wylie’s talking.


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