Members of Mersenne might be interested in the following interdisciplinary conference:

Climate Science, Values & Politics
One-day workshop
Durham University
Philosophy Department
28 May 2015

Philosophers have long been interested in issues of knowledge, doubt, (un)certainty, trust, and epistemic authority. They have recently begun to devote their attention to these issues in the context of climate science, especially climate modelling. At the same time, sociologists and geographers have been studying the public comprehension of and attitudes towards climate science, often highlighting the lack of public understanding and the existence of substantial levels of doubt, much of it manufactured. This workshop aims to bring together ethicists, epistemologists, and philosophers of science to further investigate interactions among the epistemic, social and political dimensions of climate change – for instance, in the politically patterned nature of the denial of anthropogenic climate change. Of particular interest is the relationship between scientific expertise and the public in this politically and socially charged context.


Joachim Room, College of St Hild and Bede  (DH1 1SZ)

9:30 – 9:55am: Registration and tea & coffee

9:55 – 10am: Welcome

10 – 10:45am: Stephen John –
“Assessing expert testimony about climate change: the irrelevance of sincerity”

10:45 – 11:30am: Ian Kidd –
“Are Climate Change Deniers Epistemically Dogmatic?”

1130am – 11:45am: Tea and coffee break

11:45am – 12:30pm: David Harker –
“Majority opinions, individual responsibility, and a place for epistemic taste within social epistemology”

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch

1:30 – 2:15pm: Luke Elson
“Climate rationality and vagueness”

2:15 – 3:00pm: Erin Nash
“Can someone use their political values as a good reason not to accept the two basic claims of climate science? A response and extension to John (forthcoming)”

3:00 – 3:30pm: Tea & coffee break

3:30 – 4:30pm: Round table discussion with presenters

4:30 – 4:45pm: Wrap-up

There will be drinks and dinner afterwards for those who would like to continue on conversations after the workshop.

* Please note that the order in which presentations take place may be subject to change.


The conference is free and open to all, but you must register. Please register here and obtain a ticket (but please do not print it out). We have a limited number of tickets available due to funding and room capacity. However, should the tickets run out, we will be running a waiting list. Similarly, if you only want to attend part of the day, please don’t claim one the tickets, please contact Erin Nash instead to arrange attendance (email below).

The workshop is being generously supported by the Department of Philosophy at Durham University.

Workshop organisers:
Erin Nash
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Ian Kidd
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Dr Matthew D Eddy
Durham University, Department of Philosophy, 50/51 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN, United Kingdom.