A New Science for Future

Climate Impact Modeling and the Quest for Digital Openness

Building on concepts from Science & Technology Studies, Simon David Hirsbrunner investigates practices and infrastructures of computer modeling and science communication in climate impact research. The book characterizes how scientists calculate future climate risks in computer models and scenarios, but also how they circulate their insights and make them accessible and comprehensible to others. By discussing elements such as infrastructures, visualizations, models, software and data, the chapters show how computational modeling practices are currently changing in light of digital transformations and expectations for an open science. A number of inventive research devices are proposed to capture both the fluidity and viscosity of contemporary digital technology.

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25. Juni 2021, 286 Seiten
ISBN: 978-3-8376-5265-9

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Simon David Hirsbrunner

Simon David Hirsbrunner, Freie Universität Berlin, Deutschland

1. Why did you choose this topic?

The selection of a scientific topic is a complex endeavor. It feels, sometimes, like the topic finds and choses us instead of the other way around. Regardless, I believe that there is a strong need to understand better how computer models increasingly shape our views of the future. My book is an attempt to describe the socio-technical making of computer predictions in the context of the climate crisis.

2. What new perspectives does your book offer?

In my opinion, the book offers two new perspectives: on the one hand, it shows how the digital transformation changes the way (predictive) knowledge is made and disseminated in social communities and society as a whole. On the other hand, I propose new methodological devices and approaches how to investigate digital phenomena in the context of social research. Thinking the two perspectives together, the book suggests to use fluidity and viscosity as conceptual devices for the social study of contemporary digital technology.

3. What makes your topic relevant for current research debates?

I see my book as a contribution to the field of Science & Technology Studies and the social study of digital technology. In my opinion, we particularly need new methods and entanglements of methods to make sense of the digital worlds around us. I propose ways to identify, organize and characterize digital phenomena – namely the case of climate predictions produced by computer simulations running in distributed, networked infrastructures. I hope that my book provides useful elements for other, related topics, such as critical perspectives on data science and machine learning systems.

4. Choose one person you would like to discuss your book with!

In retrospective, I believe that Noortje Marres has particularly influenced the making of my PhD project and book. Her academic works have changed the way I think about science – both the science of others and my own scientific practices. I would love to discuss my take on inventive devices for the study of computer situations and environments with her.

5. Your book summary in one sentence:

My book provides a socio-technical perspective on the making and dissemination of predictive knowledge in the age of the digital.

Simon David Hirsbrunner
A New Science for Future Climate Impact Modeling and the Quest for Digital Openness
transcript Verlag
kart., Dispersionsbindung, 29 SW-Abbildungen, 33 Farbabbildungen
SOC052000 SOC026000 SCI075000
25. Juni 2021
Gesellschaft, Medien, Digitalisierung, Bild
Science & Technology Studies, Critical Algorithm and Data Studies, Media Research, Ethnography, Sustainability Studies
Climate Change, Simulation, Ethnography, Open Science, Digitalization, Media, Image, Society, Sociology of Media, Digital Media, Sociology of Science, Sociology of Technology, Media Studies

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