David Stainforth will discuss his new book Predicting Our Climate Future: what we know, what we don’t know, and what we can’t know – how climate science works and why you should absolutely trust some of its conclusions and absolutely distrust others.

Climate change raises new, foundational challenges in science. It requires us to question what we know and how we know it. The subject is important for society but the science is young and history tells us that scientists can get things wrong before they get them right. How, then, can we judge what information is reliable and what is open to question? During the event the essential characteristics of climate change which make it a difficult issue to study will be highlighted. A series of challenges in the study of climate change across multiple disciplines will be presented and the audience will be taken on a journey through the maths of complexity, the physics of climate, philosophical questions regarding the origins and robustness of knowledge, and the use of natural science in the economics and policy of climate change.

Speaker, discussants and chair

After studying physics at Oxford, David Stainforth worked on ocean modelling, studied for a Masters before working as a renewable energy consultant. He then pursued research on computer models of the atmosphere before joining Professor Myles Allen to develop the climateprediction.net project. He then pursued research on climate science, climate economics, climate modelling and climate decision making under deep uncertainty. He is currently a Professorial Research Fellow in Grantham Research Institute.

Kathryn Brown is SEI Affiliated Researcher, SEI Oxford and Director for Climate Action at The Wildlife Trusts. She leads advocacy, and internal work programme on climate change mitigation and adaptation, for the Trusts, a UK charity that looks after some 2,300 nature reserves. Kathryn has worked on climate change policy and evidence for nearly 20 years. Kathryn has a degree in Biological Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, and an MSc in Ecology and International Development from University College London. She was the recipient of a research fellowship at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics.

Tom Sheldon is Senior Press Manager at the Science Media Centre. Tom joined the SMC in April 2008 and handles any issues in the fields of engineering, energy and the environment that hit the headlines. He has degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics. He has worked on a number of high profile stories including mobile phones and cancer, GM crops, climate change and e-cigarettes, as well as the issues around preprints and publicity.

Elizabeth Robinson (@EJZRobinson66) is the Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

How to attend

This public event is free and open to all. This event will be a hybrid event, with an in-person audience and an online audience. 

For the in-person event: No ticket or pre-registration is required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see LSE Events FAQ.

For the online event please register in advance here

For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEClimateChange

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