Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

CSTPR Special Seminar: Jack Stilgoe

CSTPR Special Seminar: Jack Stilgoe

Geoengineering as a Collective Experiment

by Dr. Jack Stilgoe - Science and Technology Studies, University College London.

Abstract: Geoengineering is defined as the ‘deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth's climatic system with the aim of reducing global warming’. The technological proposals for doing this are highly speculative. Research is at an early stage, but there is a strong consensus that technologies would, if realisable, have profound and surprising ramifications. Geoengineering would seem to be an archetype of technology as social experiment, blurring lines that separate research from deployment and scientific knowledge from technological artefacts. Looking into the experimental systems of geoengineering, we can see the negotiation of what is known and unknown. In renegotiating such systems, we can approach a new mode of governance – collective experimentation. This has important implications not just for how we imagine future geoengineering technologies, but also for how we govern in situ as well as in silico geoengineering experiments.

Biography: Dr Jack Stilgoe is a Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies at University College London. He has spent his professional life in the overlap between science policy research and science policy practice, at the think tank Demos, the Royal Society and at UCL, where he teaches courses on science policy, responsible science and innovation and the governance of emerging technologies. A full list of his publications is on Google Scholar.

He has worked with a range of organisations at the interface of science and policymaking, including EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, Practical Action, the Environment Agency, the European Space Agency, Unilever and Pfizer. At the Royal Society, he ran the study that produced the influential report The Scientific Century. He is a member of the Government’s Sciencewise steering group and the Research Councils UK Public Engagement Advisory Panel and he is on the editorial board of Public Understanding of Science.


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