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P017


Artificial climates and experimental biology 
Convenors:
Lucie Gerber (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 7363 SAGE, FRANCE)
David Munns (City University of New York)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The panel explores the ties between innovations in climatic engineering technologies and experimental research on climate-organism relationships to put into perspective the recent emphasis on understanding climate change in the life sciences.

Long Abstract:

This panel looks to gather STS perspectives on conditioned artificial climates. Notably in the life sciences, the improvement of lighting, heating and ventilation, the invention of air conditioning in the 20th century enabled the creation of highly controlled environments. The panel proposes to explore the historical ties between innovations in climatic engineering technologies and experimental research on climate-organism relationships. It seeks to put into perspective the recent emphasis on understanding climate change in the life sciences by gathering long-standing analysis of preoccupations for the climatic and ecological conditions of plants, animals and humans and their conversion into objects of experimentation. We invite contributions that examine the epistemological shifts involved in this process, and discuss resonances with current issues in climate change impact research and responses (the limits of a genocentric approach to agricultural adaptation, regional downscaling, climatic thresholds of production and life...). We welcome empirical studies that address some of the following themes:

- Experimental systems: instrumentation and equipment (phytotron, biotron, ecotron…); their development within interdisciplinary and transnational networks; the diversification of uses.

- Knowledge production: “ways of knowing” climate-organism relationships (analysis, experimentation, modeling…); play of scales and epistemological tensions in laboratory studies of the biological action of environmental conditions; physiology, ecology, bioclimatology, chronobiology.

- Production: the climatic conditions of industrialization of factory and farm; built production environments (mills, livestock buildings…); environmental interventions to accelerate, intensify, regularize re/production processes or capacities.

- Power dynamics and politics: the entanglement of experimental physiology and climatic engineering with domestic modernization policies, colonial expansion, developmental agendas; technology-based responses to air-pollution and climate change; arbitration between mitigation and adaptation strategies; conflicts over the economic, ecological, and social viability of conditioned environments.

- Categories and imaginaries: historicity of the scientific concept of climate; situated views of the organism; fatalist and proactive attitudes towards climatic conditions.

Accepted papers: