Wendy Parker, Ohio University
Beyond Error Bars: Climate Modeling, Uncertainty and Epistemic Responsibility
ABSTRACT: Today’s climate scientists face a particularly daunting task: to
estimate uncertainties associated with model-based projections of
future climate change. But why is this so hard? Don’t scientists
routinely attach error bars to their quantitative results? I will
discuss why it is difficult to estimate uncertainties in the context
of climate prediction, what it would mean to estimate them in an
epistemically responsible way, and why many attempts made so far do
not meet this standard. Though I focus on the case of climate
prediction, the broader issue being explored is how we gauge the
limits of our knowledge about the future.
CO-SPONSORED WITH PHILOSOPHY DEPT--NOTE DIFFERENT TIME AND PLACE
The schedule is to have the talk in 402 Cohen from 3-5 on Friday
March 30th, with reception and dinner afterward, plus a
brown-bag lunch with grad students in the philosophy lounge at 12:30.