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EVENT: Psychology Colloquium: Professor Stephan Lewandowsky: Scientific Uncertainty and Climate Change: Constraints on policy choices Provided by an Ordinal Analysis of Uncertainty

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Psychology Colloquium: Professor Stephan Lewandowsky: Scientific Uncertainty and Climate Change: Constraints on policy choices Provided by an Ordinal Analysis of Uncertainty Other events...
Presenter: Prof Stephan Lewandowksy

University of Bristol & The University of Western Australia

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol. He was an Australian Professorial Fellow from 2007 to 2012, and was awarded a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council in 2011. He held a Revesz Visiting Professorship at the University of Amsterdam in 2012, and received a Wolfson Research Merit Award from the Royal Society upon moving to the UK in 2013. His research examines people's memory, decision making, and knowledge structures, with a particular emphasis on how people update information in memory. He has published over 140 scholarly articles, chapters, and books, including numerous papers on how people respond to corrections of misinformation and what variables determine people's acceptance of scientific findings. (see www.cogsciwa.com for a complete list of scientific publications.)

Professor Lewandowsky is an award-winning teacher and was Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition from 2006-2008. His research has been funded continuously since 1990 by public agencies in 5 countries. He has also contributed nearly 50 opinion pieces to the global media on issues related to climate change "Skepticism" and the coverage of science in the media. He is currently serving as Digital Content Editor for the Psychonomic Society and blogs routinely on cognitive research at www.psychonomic.org.

Title: Scientific Uncertainty and Climate Change: Constraints on Policy Choices Provided by an Ordinal Analysis of Uncertainty


Uncertainty forms an integral part of science and uncertainty is intrinsic to many global risks that dynamically unfold over time, from "peak oil" to genetically modified foods to climate change. Uncertainty is often cited in connection with political arguments against mitigative or corrective action. Using climate change as a case study, I apply an ordinal analysis (i.e ordinal statements are of the form "greater than" of "not enough") of uncertainty within the climate system. This analysis yields three mathematical constraints that are robust to a broad range of assumptions and not sensitive to people's cultural cognition or subjective risk perceptions. The Constraints imply that greater uncertainty (i.e "greater than expected" or "too great to act") actually provides greater impetus for mitigative action. The constraints involve (a) the inevitable positive skew of estimates of climate sensitivity; (b) the convex damage function, and (c) the bounded aspect of the carbon budget. Those normative constraints are explored with respect to different policy choices for mitigation and adaptation.
Speaker(s) Prof. Stephan Lewandowsky
Location Bayliss Lecture Theatre, Chemistry, G.33
Contact Admin Psy <[email protected]> : 64883267
Start Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:00
End Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:00
Submitted by Admin Psy <[email protected]>
Last Updated Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:51
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