Author Archives: ichmeteo

Painting the clouds, from the dawn of the Enlightenment to the twilight of romanticism

On January 16, 2018, a diverse group of scholars including art historians, literature experts and historians of science met at the Musée Delacroix in Paris for a workshop entitled: “Peindre les nuages, de l’aube des Lumières au crépuscule du romantisme” (or Painting the clouds, from the dawn of the Enlightenment to the twilight of romanticism).

Sponsored by ICHM, below the workshop organiser Anouchka Vasak summarises and reflects on the meeting. For a full schedule of the event, please scroll down. read more »

PhD Studentship: Industrial Meteorology in Britain, 1950-present

University of Manchester and the Royal Meteorological Society

WORKING ATMOSPHERES: INDUSTRIAL METEOROLOGY IN BRITAIN, 1950 – PRESENT

We are inviting applications for a fully funded ESRC-NWDTC PhD fellowship on the modern history of applied and industrial meteorology and climate sciences in Britain since the 1950s. The award, which is made by the ESRC funded North West Doctoral Training Centre, will be managed in collaboration between the University of Manchester (Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine and Centre for Atmospheric Science) and the Royal Meteorological Society. The studentship, which is funded for four years, will start in September 2018 and will be supervised by Dr Vladimir Jankovic (CHSTM), Professor David Schultz (CAS) and Professor Liz Bentley (RMetS). The eligible candidate will be required to complete the Masters course in the History of Science, Technology and Medicne before proceeding to the 3-year PhD research.

The Studentship: During the last sixty years, the application of meteorological knowledge to industrial activities (‘industrial meteorology’) has become global in reach, diverse in outputs, and the subject of substantial research and development. Sectors such as construction, transport, utilities, agriculture, retail and insurance routinely rely on weather information to protect people, manage operations, optimise schedules and secure assets. The historical research will have a policy implication in focusing on the following key questions:

  1. What social, economic and institutional drivers have shaped the growth of industrial meteorology during the last half a century?
  2. Has the applied meteorological information contributed to the reduction of UK industry’s weather sensitivity?
  3. What factors have facilitated or impeded knowledge flows between providers, intermediaries and users of weather information?
  4. Which practices in industrial ‘weather optimization’ have been proven to reduce risk in ways that can be streamlined into UK’s climate adaptation policies?

How to Apply: Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in history (economic, environmental or social), history of science, geography, environmental studies, sociology or other appropriate subject. The candidate will have some experience of relevant research methods and writing skills, although additional research training will be part of the MSc and the PhD progression. For details on eligibility criteria, including UK residency, applicants should check the ESRC website.

Applicants should submit a summary curriculum vitae (2 pages), an example of recent academic writing (e.g UG Dissertation or other Project) and a short statement (1 page) outlining your interests and qualification for the studentship, and the names and contact details of two academic referees to: Dr Vladimir Jankovic, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Simon Building 2nd Floor, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL. The deadline is Friday 16 February 2018. Interviews will be held on Tuesday 27 February 2018.

For further information, contact Dr Vladimir Jankovic (vladimir.jankovic@manchester.ac.uk), Professor Liz Bentley (liz.bentley@mets.org), and Professor David Schultz (david.schultz@manchester.ac.uk).

Call for Papers: Royal Anthropological Institute conference 2016

Call for Papers: Royal Anthropological Institute conference 2016 – Anthropology, Weather and Climate Change (27 – 29 May 2016, British Museum)

Scientific Cultures, Public Identity, and Post-WWII Climate Research

Convener: Gabriel Henderson (Aarhus University)

Short Abstract

This panel focuses on the maturation and transformation of climate research as a public and professional scientific effort after World War II.

Long Abstract

By “scientific cultures,” this panel explores — historically and sociologically – the implications of researchers from different scientific fields converging on the study the climate after World War II. Expanding on the claims of Spencer Weart, understanding how this convergence altered the landscape of climate research may help understand how scientists from different scientific backgrounds negotiated methodological disputes, disciplinary boundaries, and their own identities as professional scientists.

By “public identity,” this panel examines the manner in which climate researchers both imagined and engaged the general public about the future risks of climate change. The underlying assumption – an assumption that requires further social and historical scrutiny – is that one’s identity as a climate researcher is shaped by their perceived role in society. As scholars have recently suggested, for instance, different views on public reticence in light of the future risks of climate change led to questions over whether the field of “climatology” itself was an enterprise amenable for public discussion – especially given serious scientific and political uncertainties about the nature and extent of climate-related risks to society.

Propose a paper

Eduard Brückner Prize 2015

Professor Jim Fleming (Colby, STS) has been awarded the Eduard Brückner Prize 2015 for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate research.

 

The award, administered by the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht für Material- und Küstenforschung, will be presented on September 21 at the German Climate Conference in Hamburg organized by the Deutsche Meteorologishe Gesellschaft, http://www.dkt-10.de/

 

Geographer, meteorologist, glaciologist and climate scientist Eduard Brückner (1862-1927) was an early advocate for the importance of climate change and its effects on the economy and social structure of society.

 

Climate research has evolved into an independent field of knowledge that is directly relevant to the social environment of discourse, for the life of individuals and global policy advice. In addition to traditional scientific disciplines such as meteorology, oceanography, earth science, geography, botany, geophysics, and glaciology, the domain of climate research has expanded to include the social and cultural sciences seeking to implement scientific findings in the public realm and articulate the cultural foundations of natural scientific research. Scientific climate research can only be public really significant if it enters into a dialogue with the social and cultural sciences. In order to promote this development, the Eduard Brückner Prize has been established for outstanding interdisciplinary achievements in climate research.

Climate History Podcast

The Climate History Network has launched a new Climate History Podcast. The first episode is an interview of Geoffrey Parker about the human consequences, and enduring significance, of seventeenth-century cooling.

Here’s a link to the podcast: http://www.historicalclimatology.com/interviews
To subscribe on iTunes, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/climate-change-podcast/id1022409974?mt=2

Every few months, new interviews will be added with the some of the most interesting people in climate change research, journalism, and policymaking, always with an eye to how we can use the past to enrich our understanding of the present and future.

25th International Congress of History of Science, and Technology (ICHST)

The Website of the 25th ICHST, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, 23-29
July 2017 is now online at: http://www.ichst2017.sbhc.org.br/

The Congress organisers have also issued the first Circular of the Congress. It
can be downloaded from the DHST Website:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGhzdHdlYi5vcmd8d3d3fGd4OjE0NWU4ODJhZDZlZDc0ZGU

As for each Congress in the ICHST series, commissions are expected to submit at
least one symposium to the Congress.

Please note that the deadline for proposing symposia for the Congress is 30
April 2016 (http://www.ichst2017.sbhc.org.br/conteudo/view?ID_CONTEUDO=249)

Call for Submissions: “Winter Ecology,” Special Issue of Northeastern Naturalist

The mission of the special issue is three-fold: to highlight the region’s winter ecology in general, to provide a venue for studies stemming from the historically severe winter of 2014-15, and to understand winter ecology through the lens of history. Historical articles may include, but are not limited to, case studies of severe winters, analyses of changing winter landscapes and waterways over longer periods of time, and critical interpretations of the evolution of the field of winter ecology in the American Northeast.

The call for abstracts, description of the special issue, and online submission form can be found here: http://commons.trincoll.edu/winterecology/.

*   Abstract deadline: 1 October 2015 (invitations to submit manuscript made by 15 October 2015)
*   Manuscript deadline: 15 February 2016
*   Targeted publication date: January 2017

Please contact thomas.wickman@trincoll.edu <mailto:thomas.wickman@trincoll.edu> with questions.

Climate Change and Health: Call for Papers

Two workshops are being held at University College London, U.K. on climate change and health:
1. Arctic, 20-21 October 2015, leading to a book.
2. Small Island Developing States, 24-25 May 2016, leading to 1-2 journal issues and together with a panel proposal for “Anthropology, Weather and Climate Change” 27-29 May 2016
Please submit a maximum 300-word abstract (plus listing up to five citations) for either workshop (or both) by 1 July to Ilan Kelman (ilan_kelman@hotmail.com)
For each workshop:
(a) Up to 20 proposals will be selected. The workshop format will be that draft papers are briefly presented and then critiqued through detailed discussion in order to give feedback for the book and journal issues.
(b) Food will be provided for each workshop, but apologies that neither travel nor accommodation could be covered.
(c) Up to 3 attendees will be asked to present on a panel for a public event one evening.
(d) A limited number of others may attend the workshop and participate in questions/discussion.
The workshops are run by the UCL Global Governance Institute, the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, the UCL Institute for Global Health, and Many Strong Voices

Climate Change conference

June 25-26, 2015 at Museum Luneburg

Dealing with Climate Change: Calculus & Catastrophe in the Age of Simulation

 

Computer simulations have risen to prominence as primary tools of producing and negotiating knowledge about global climate change and its future trajectories. Scientists investigate climate change as an actual possibility since they have studied the Earth system behaviour with the by now predominant research technologies of simulation; policy experts explore the scope of action and project the latent catastrophic fortunes of humankind and how they might be prevented or postponed; intellectuals struggle with the autonomous nature of models in light of the categorical limits to knowledge about uncertainties. Simulations provide the virtual topographies to deal with climate change.

The conference aims to investigate the multiple meanings and practices of computer simulation both in the field of climate research itself as well as in the broader socio-cultural dynamics. By bringing together scholars from different backgrounds in simulation thought, study and practice the conference will explore how computer simulations mediate between the data, models, visualisations, algorithms and calculations rendering climate change knowable and the cultural, social and political imaginaries of climate change.

Concept & organisation: Isabell Schrickel and Christoph Engemann

The event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

To register, please send an email to mecs@leuphana.de.

 

 

Call for Papers: American Meteorological Society

The American Meteorological Society has issued a call for papers for its 96th annual meeting, January 10-14, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Abstracts for the 14th annual history symposium are due August 3.