Leonard Smith and Erica Thompson, of the London School of Economics, delivered a lecture on October 29, 2014 entitled, Doing Science in the Dark: The Challenges of Climate-Like Science. This lecture was presented at the Central Library as part of the 2014 Library Speaker Series, co-sponsored with the London Public Library. Video of this lecture has been posted on the Rotman Institute of Philosophy YouTube channel.

Abstract: Climate prediction and weather prediction are very different: due to constant refinements and new techniques, the life time of a climate model is much less than the forecast we ask it to make, whereas the same weather model can be used to forecast tomorrow’s weather, day after day, for months if not years — allowing us to learn from our mistakes. By contrast, climate science is continually exploring new territory, using new and unproven techniques. The challenges of doing science partly in the dark, past successes and failures, and many examples will be discussed. No background knowledge of climate, weather or maths will be assumed.


Video of a second lecture by Leonard Smith entitled, Clarity before Consensus, has also been uploaded. It was presented as part of the 2014 conference, Knowledge and Models in Climate Science: Philosophical, Historical & Scientific Perspectives at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, from October 24 – 26, 2014. This video completes the playlist for this conference.


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