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SPEAKER: Elisabeth Lloyd, Distinguished Professor, History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine Indiana University Bloomington

TITLE: Why Storylines can Provide Evidence for Climate Change in Extreme Events: The Risks of False Negatives

Elisabeth A. Lloyd, a Distinguished Professor at Indiana University’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, is a philosopher of science who has focused on philosophical issues in evolutionary biology and in climate science and climate modeling. She received her B.A. from the University of Colorado in 1980 and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1984, where she worked with Bas van Fraassen. She has received numerous awards and grants from both philosophical and scientific organizations, including several from the National Science Foundation. Her research interests are primarily in the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of climate science, and the role of models and simulations in science.

Professor Lloyd’s work in climate science has involved the problem of drawing inferences from the results of numerical climate models. In this analysis she has exploited the particular characteristics of climate models that involve comparison to observations, variety of evidence, and independent confirmation of model components all of which give lines of support for model conclusions. She also applies the (philosophical) concept of robustness to climate models. She suggests that by using this framework to assess model strengths they are better supported than is commonly acknowledged by philosophers. Her analysis of Storyline methods in climate attribution with Naomi Oreskes has been taken up by climate scientists, as has her analysis of objectivity in climate scenario building with Vanessa Schweizer.

The Science and Values in Climate Risk Management Speaker Series hosts invited speakers to generate discussion bridging the scientific and ethical sides of climate change research. The speakers will present new ideas designed for an interdisciplinary audience.

This series is organized by the Center for Climate Risk Management and the Climate and Sustainability Ethics Initiative in the Rock Ethics Institute, which is convened by Casey Helgeson, Klaus Keller, and Nancy Tuana.