Chapter 4: Science and technology studies
As an emergent and politically salient knowledge domain, climate science has drawn much attention from STS scholars. This chapter reviews two streams of the resulting literature and traces their implications for governance. One broad stream explicates how climate-relevant knowledge is constructed, contested and achieves or fails to achieve credibility. Another stream examines debates on climate change in order to refine our understandings of the relations between knowledge-making and other social and political phenomena, such as globalization. This chapter reviews both lines of STS research under four themes: (1) making climate a topic for science; (2) uncertainty and ignorance; (3) relations between scientific knowledge and politics; and (4) climate science as a vehicle for world-making. The chapter suggests that better understanding of STS findings and insights by climate scientists and decision-makers might increase the probability of appropriate political action and enable our societies to assume more responsibility for our threatened future.
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