When it comes to engineering planetary sunshades or carbon sinks, there is no crystal ball. As a field, we have a growing toolkit with which to explore the future: from simulating natural or societal dynamics in models, to surveys and engagements that probe stakeholders' concerns, to scenarios that generate alternate worlds. But each method comes with different aims, assumptions, and epistemologies. Are we predicting the future, exploring possibilities, presenting alternatives, or setting our own conceptions of the future into play?
Sean Low is a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, and a doctoral candidate at the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, Utrecht University. His research explores the politics of scientific practice in emerging climate governance, with a focus on how 'evidence' about future climates and means to navigate them are constructed.
Stefan Schäfer leads the research group on Climate Engineering at Science, Society and Politics at IASS Potsdam. His research draws on approaches from science and technology studies (STS) to examine questions at the intersection of democracy, sustainability and global governance, with a focus on climate science and politics in general and climate engineering in particular. He holds fellowships with the Science, Technology and Society Program at Harvard University and with the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society at the University of Oxford. He was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University in 2018 and at the University of Oxford in 2017, a guest researcher at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) from 2009-2012, a fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation's Global Governance Futures program in 2014 -2015, and has spent research stays at University College London (2013) and Harvard University (2015 and 2016). He is a contributing author to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), lead author of the European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering (EuTRACE) report, and chaired the Steering Committee of Climate Engineering Conferences in 2014 and 2017 In 2018-2019, he is a Special Adviser to the European Commission.
Ben Kravitz is an expert in climate modeling studies of solar geoengineering. He is the co-founder and coordinator of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP), a collaboration between climate modeling centers throughout the world to better understand the expected climate effects of various geoengineering scenarios. Results from GeoMIP are featured in the Fifth and Sixth IPCC assessment reports, for which Ben serves as a contributing author, the 2015 National Research Council reports on climate intervention, and recent testimony to Congress. Ben is an assistant professor at Indiana University in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and he maintains a joint appointment in the Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In addition to coordinating and participating in GeoMIP, his current activities include using engineering and mathematical techniques in climate models to better understand climate feedbacks, studying teleconnections in high latitude climate, and developing climate model emulators for use in Integrated Assessment Models.
Holly Jean Buck is a NatureNet Science Fellow at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Her research interests include agroecology and climate-smart agriculture, energy landscapes, land use change, new media, and science and technology studies. At present, she is studying the socio-political feasibility of using solar geoengineering to scale up carbon removal. She has written on several aspects of climate engineering, including humanitarian and development approaches to geoengineering, gender considerations, and the social implications of scaling up negative emissions. She holds a doctorate in Development Sociology from Cornell University and a MSc in Human Ecology from Lund University, Sweden. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Andrew (Drew) Jones is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive, named the 2017 “Best U.S. Energy and Environment Think Tank” by Prospect Magazine. An expert on international climate and energy issues, his quotes and data stories appear frequently in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other media. Jones and his team at CI and MIT Sloan developed “C-ROADS”, the user-friendly climate simulation in use by thousands of climate analysts around the world.
Trained in system dynamics modeling at Dartmouth College and through a M.S. at MIT, Jones has worked at Rocky Mountain Institute and served dozens of clients ranging from the CDC to Harley-Davidson Motor Company. He co-accepted the "ASysT Prize" for “a significant accomplishment achieved through the application of systems thinking to a problem of U.S. national significance" and co-accepted the System Dynamics Society’s award for the best real-world application of modeling. He won Dartmouth College’s Ray W. Smith award for the most significant contribution to the status of the College.
Andrew Jones teaches Systems Thinking and Sustainability at MIT, Stanford University and UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan Flagler Business School.
Silke Beck studied Political Science and German Language and Literature Studies at Heidelberg University. She earned a doctorate in Sociology in 2000 at Bielefeld University. In 1999/2000 she was Research Fellow in the Global Environmental Assessment Project, Harvard University.
Since 1994, Beck works in the field of technology assessment and applied environmental research. In 2005 she began serving at Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig. She was speaker of the interdisciplinary working group on Climate Change and is now director of the working group Governance as well as vice director of the department of Environmental Politics. In 2014 she was guest lecturer at Wien University.
Silke Beck is Senior Editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science and member of the Council of Science and Democracy Networks, Harvard University.
Peter Healey trained as a sociologist and researched on criminology and education before a spell working at the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Over the past thirty years he has developed and managed research programmes and networks on science and technology (S&T) and innovation policy for a variety of funders including the ESRC and the European Commission, initially through the Science Policy Support Group. His interests are in science and technology governance, especially in relation to democratisation, S&T indicators, and international and distributional aspects of S&T.
Earlier, Healey engaged in the European Thematic Network Science, Technology and Governance in Europe (STAGE), the James Martin Institute (the predecessor to InSIS), the 10-country EU-funded project Researching Inequality through Science and Technology (ResIST) and the Climate Geoengineering Governance (CGG) research project. He is now working on the related Greenhouse Gas Removal Instruments & Policies Project (GRIP). Healey has been closely involved in the development of InSIS's new area of research Changing Ecologies of Knowledge and Action (CEKA).