[pccgrads] Fall 2018 ESS590: Knowability and no ability in Climate and Earth Sciences

UW Program On Climate Change uwpcc at uw.edu
Thu Sep 27 14:06:43 PDT 2018

Graduate student seminar (2 credits, CR/NC), 1st meeting -­ Thursday
4th October, 12.30 to 1.30 pm , JHN 377 Gerard Roe featuring David

• Why are some problems and hypotheses more likely to lead to enlightenment
(or to the reduction in ignorance), while others are more likely to further
obscure the truth?

• How does one construct a hypothesis that has the intrinsic property of

• What are the roles of intuition and experience/deduction in formulating a
question that is knowable when it is probed using scientific reasoning?

• When do models build knowledge? What types of models are most influential
in shaping the way we think? Are they the same models that keep the
scientific investigation on the pathway to truth?

• How does one avoid “working on a problem that dies with the investigator”

This quarter we will run an informal seminar for advanced grad students on
the above questions, review classic concepts in the philosophy of science
(Popper, Kuhn, etc.), techniques of problem solving, case studies in
climate change and Earth Science, and more recent literature discussing
(well, arguing about) the underlying meaning behind why we do what we do.

There aren’t any right answers, obviously, but the issues matter.

Please email us (gerard at ess.washington.edu, battisti at washington.edu) if
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