Travelling Codes

Leuphana University: MECS + CCP | CGSC // International Workshop // Circulation And Adaptation Of Models, Data, And Standards In Computer-Based Environmental Science 
March, 30th – 31st 2017

Environmental science and, in particular, climate science is a highly international and interdisciplinary endeavor aiming at global coverage of environmental changes in long-term trends, and at global projections of possible future developments. However, current developments in both climate science and politics question the focus on the globality of the ‘vast machine’ which climate science has become (Edwards, 2010), as calls have intensified for new forms of regional and local knowledge about the effects of climate change and efforts to tackle them, for instance in the form of regional ‘climate services‘.

Against this background, this workshop seeks to use the metaphor of ‘travelling code‘ to make sense of what happens when climate science travels – whether in the form of mobile scientific tools, models, and software codes, circulating data sets and standards, or prominent artifacts like scientific images, knowledge claims or numerical targets. These forms and instances of traveling code encounter diverse cultural and political contexts which, on the one hand, involve a multitude of scientists, politicians, and citizens, with every community arguably incorporating and adapting the ‘codes’ of climate science differently. On the other hand, we may observe universalizing effects of ‘travelling codes’ – the smoothing of epistemic landscapes and the globalisation of scientific practice. This tension, between what we might call ‘localisation‘ and ‘globalisation‘, is of core interest for the workshop, along with the question of how exactly these ‘codes’ travel –through which social and media technologies– between different disciplines and knowledge cultures. What are the software codes, models, standards, data sets and images, the artifacts of climate science, that help us to understand and increasingly shape our world and future, and how have they migrated from their sites of production to new sites of application and interpretation?
Organised by
Gabriele Gramelsberger  (MECS | Leuphana and University Witten/Herdecke)
Isabell Schrickel  (CCP | CGSC) | Leuphana)
Martin Mahony (School of Geography | University of Nottingham)
Keynote by
Matthias Heymann (Aarhus)
Talks by
Paul N. Edwards (Michigan), Gabriele Gramelsberger (Witten / Herdecke), Hélène Guillemot (Paris), Simon Hirsbrunner (Siegen), Catharina Landström (Oxford), Helge Peters (Oxford), Ronlyn Duncan (Lincoln) & Marc Tadaki (British Columbia), Isabell Schrickel (Lüneburg)