Date: October 24, 2014 - October 26, 2014
Location: Ivey-Spencer Leadership Centre

Start Time: 9:00 am EST
End Time: 5:00 pm EST

  24-26 October 2014.

We are delighted to announce that the Rotman Institute of Philosophy will host its second annual conference, Knowledge and Models in Climate Science, on Oct. 24-26, 2014. The conference will bring together researchers to discuss the use of models in understanding the climate from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.  Models and computer simulations are essential not only for understanding the factors determining climate processes, but also for evaluating how changes in climate will affect ecosystems and human societies.  Recent gains in modeling precision and realism have allowed climate researchers to address both questions more confidently, yet there are many remaining sources of uncertainty. Participants in the conference will explore different approaches to modeling in order to gain a better understanding of the nature, strengths and limitations of the knowledge it produces, and build a better understanding of the means by which these uncertainties can be managed.  


Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre
551 Windermere Rd. London, Ontario

Directions by car.

Directions by bus:

From down town, take the number 6 Richmond north to Windermere, then walk or take the 32 Windermere east to the centre.
From down town, the bus map is here.
From Western campus, the bus map is here.

Download poster.

Please contact the conference organizers with specific questions at


Breakout session abstracts

Plenary speakers at the conference were:

Gregor Betz (Karlsruher Institute for Technology)
Paul Edwards (University of Michigan)
James Fleming (Colby College)
Reto Knutti (ETH Zurich)
Robert Lempert (Pardee RAND Graduate School)
Linda Mearns (National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR))
Wendy Parker (Durham University)
Gavin Schmidt (National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA))
Leonard Smith (London School of Economics)
Eric Winsberg (The University of South Florida)
Charlotte Werndl (University of Salzburg)

September 15, 17 and 19: The Science of Climate Change: A Three-Part Crash Course with Roman Frigg. Full details.

October 8, 15, 22, 29: A Four Part London Public Library Lecture Series with Wayne Myrvold, Roman Frigg, Gillian Barker and Leonard Smith. Full details.

October 23: A public panel discussion on climate change policy issues with Radoslav Dimitrov; Heather Douglas; Jeffrey Simpson. Full details.

Reading Group: The Rotman Institute Epistemology of Scientific Modelling Reading Group will meet before and after the conference to discuss readings related the conference.  Full details.


Please register online here. Please note that payment for the attendance fee is made through Paypal and accepts major credit cards. Registration is free (but required) for Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, Rotman Institute Members, and faculty in Western’s Department of Philosophy.

You may also register for the conference using the downloadable form here, which you can scan and email us, along with the appropriate payment.



Rotman Institute of Philosophy 2014 Fall Conference (October 24-26).

[Other Library Lecture Series and archived Conference Lectures coming soon…]

James Fleming: Dynamic Climatology: Historical Perspectives on Shape-Shifting Nouns

Robert Lempert: Democratizing Analytics: Scientifically and Ethically Informed Decision Support for Addressing Wicked Problems

Paul Edwards: Knowledge Infrastructures and Climate Change Science

Related Rotman Videos

Climate Change: What is to be done? Panelists: Gary Brown (Community Activist), Heather Douglas (University of Waterloo), Radoslav Dimitrov (Western University), and Jeffrey Simpson (The Globe and Mail).


2014 London Public Library Lecture Series, cosponsored with the Department of Philosophy and the Rotman Institute of Philosophy

Roman Frigg: Climate Change and Intergenerational Justice

Wayne Myrvold, What do you bring to a street fight?



Gillian Barker, Ecological Thinking About Climate Change: A New Paradigm?



Other related Rotman videos:

Wendy Paker,  Beyond Prediction: The Computer as ‘inductive device’ in the Study of Weather/Climate


(Read a transcript of an interview with Wendy Parker here)


Naomi Oreskes: Merchants of Doubt

An interview with Naomi Oreskes


Charlotte Werndl: Confirmation and Calibration in Climate Science



(Listen to an audio interview with Charlotte Werndel here)