We’re running a new weekly lecture series this term to explore different disciplinary perspectives on climate change, entitled “Collaborative Challenges for the Climate Change Research Community“, sponsored by the department of Computer Science and the Centre for Environment. Our aim is to use this as an exploration of the range of research related to climate change across the University of Toronto, and to inspire new collaborations. A central theme of the series is the role of computational climate models: how researchers share models, verify models, create models, and share results. But we also want to explore beyond models, so we’ll be looking at ethics, policy, education, and community-based responses to climate change.

The lectures will be on Monday afternoons, at 3pm, starting on January 16th, in the Bahen Centre, 40 St George Street, Toronto, room BA1220. The lectures are public and free to attend.

The first four speakers have been announced (I’ll be giving the opening talk):

  • Jan 16th: Computing the Climate: the Evolution of Climate Models – Steve Easterbrook, Dept of Computer Science
  • Jan 23rd: Building Community Resilience: A Viable Response to Climate Change and Other Emerging Challenges to Health Equity? – Blake Poland, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  • Jan 30th: Constraining fast and slow climate feedbacks with computer models – Danny Harvey, Dept of Geography
  • Feb 6th: Urban GHG Modelling Using Agent-Based Microsimulation – Eric Miller, Dept of Civil Engineering & Cities Centre

For more details, see the C4RC website.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Steve,

    Just looking at recent posts on your always-excellent blog. The lecture series looks great.

    Seems to me that the word “transdisciplinary” is used in varying contexts, and because (1) i take the practice of transdisciplinarity to be critically important, and (2) you and i are both teaching systems thinking these days, i thought i’d take a moment to weigh in.

    In Michael Jackson’s Systems Approaches to Management (a good syllabus candidate, tho i’m not using it with students myself), he writes (on p.13-14):
    “Mode 2 knowledge is produced to satisfy the demands of particular users. Research is organized around a particular A (area of concern) and is generated in negotiation with those who will find the outcomes useful. Because the research revolves around a real-world A, it is unlikely that any single discipline will be able to provide a suitable F (framework). [This] research is therefore ‘transdisciplinary.'”

    In Transdisciplinarity: Theory and Practice, Basarab Nicolescu uses these definitions:
    Multidisciplinarity: studying a research topic not in just one discipline but in several at the same time.
    Interdisciplinarity: the transfer of methods from one discipline to another.
    Transdisciplinarity: that which is at once between the disciplines, across different disciplines, and beyond all disciplines.
    (More here: http://www.peopleandplace.net/on_the_wire/2010/12/14/transdisciplinary_inquiry)

    With these definitions (or others?) in mind, maybe this lecture series was “interdisciplinary”?


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