Shocks on climate change

January 31, 2008

Sir David King is right to call for a broadening of perspectives in the design, funding and conduct of research about climate change ("King urges arts to join crusade", 24 January). However, I'm not sure the problem resides solely with academics in the social sciences and humanities. Research councils still find it hard to recognise and fund high-quality, innovative interdisciplinary research that, for example, allows a climate modeller to work alongside a philosopher, or an anthropologist with an energy engineer. And physical scientists need to be prepared for some rude shocks when social scientists and humanities scholars are let loose on climate change; the phenomenon may not turn out to be quite the one the physical scientists think they have been studying for the past 25 years.

Mike Hulme, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia.

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