Bringing Climate Change Home: Researching Weathered Society

15th September 2017

University of Edinburgh

Co-organised by Heid Jerstad (GCRF postdoctoral fellow) with the Global Environment and Society Academy at the University of Edinburgh.

We know that we have to understand the effects of weather in order to comprehend the (existing and probable) impacts of climate change. This workshop takes one step further and asks: what do we need to do to make weather change and its impacts comprehensible? How do we focus our research knowledge on tangible pathways to find insights/solutions? One way to approach this is to look at successful and less successful examples of how societies have dealt with specific weather problems – staying descriptive while approaching comparison and scaling. Conversations we are having amongst ourselves and within discipline are good, but we also need to engage topically, along the cross-cut of those interested in similar things, but in different ways and using different conceptual and methodological tools. How do we make our critiques matter, and ensure that the right people hear them? The field of work on climate change beyond the social sciences may be relatively recent, but it is very large, and growing. How do we shape our work between STS, policy and ethnographic insights without falling between the cracks (or rifts, as Chakrabarty (2014:3) called them), but nimbly make these into steps we can climb and build on instead?

Please email heid.jerstad@ed.ac.uk to register for the event.

Themed sessions (there will also be lunch and refreshments between sessions):

Materials – temporality, food storage, clothes. What does weather do to materials?

Rhythms – disasters, fast/gradual change, diurnal-annual-other scales. How is weather rhythmed, and how can this be dealt with practically to fill the gaps opened by climate change?

Knowledge – perceptions of climate change, different registers, religious understandings. How do different ways of knowing weather and climate affect people’s relationships, practices and actions?

In the meantime, if you haven’t come across the www.weathermatters.nethub, please take a look around and consider joining the conversation.