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Knowledge, networks, power: climate infrastructures in the Global South 
Andra Sonia Petrutiu (Cornell University)
Martin Mahony (University of East Anglia)
Teresa Guadalupe de León Escobedo (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM))
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel convenes around an interest in how climate data is being generated, circulated and used in the Global South. We collectively inquire into the sites of climatic knowledge production in the Global South and into the circulation of such knowledge between Northern and Southern geographies.

Long Abstract:

In a world threatened by climate change, climatic knowledges and models have gained a prominent role at the intersection between climate science and politics. This panel convenes around a shared interest in how climate data, computational and otherwise, is being generated, used and circulated in countries of the Global South. Framed by international epistemic-political power asymmetries, we collectively inquire into the sites of climatic knowledge-production in the Global South as well as into the circulation of such knowledge between Northern and Southern geographies. Such an endeavor inevitably centers the scientific, political and social networks through which institutions, scientists, data, models and money move, get transformed, and affect change.

The geographical imbalances in global climate science have been well-documented (Paasgard et al. 2015, Blicharska et al. 2017), and a small number of national case studies have shed light on the politics of climate knowledge infrastructures beyond the Global North (Mahony 2014, Hochsprung Miguel et al. 2019). Nonetheless, we contend that more needs to be done to better grasp the complex landscape of international climate science and the histories, politics and cultures that shape the making and using of climate data. Doing so can advance theory and practice in postcolonial and decolonial STS, and create spaces for STS scholars to engage in politically-salient work in a context increasingly defined by political urgency, severe imbalances of power, and environmental vulnerability. 

In this Combined Format Open Panel, combining traditional paper presentations with roundtable discussion on the transformations our research might engender, we are interested in contributions addressing topics such as:

Climatic knowledge production in the Global South;

Climate science and the geopolitics of climate change;

Climate futures and civic epistemologies at the science-policy interface

Global geographies of Integrated Assessment Modelling;

Tensions between mitigation and adaptation research;

Collaborations between STS researchers and climate scientists

Accepted contributions:

Session 1
Session 2