Fully-funded PhD Studentship

April 07, 2010

Climate Science And The Risk Society

Swansea University - Department of Geography


Professor Marcus Doel, Department of Geography

Professor Tavi Murray, Department of Geography Professor Mark

Stallworthy, School of Law

Project and aims

This fully funded Swansea University studentship (joint Geography/Law)

will address the relationship between science and wider society (civil

society, policy- and law-makers, and other social actors) in the

context of climate change - particularly in the wake of the 2009

'climate-gate' affair (when internal electronic communications of the

Climate Change Unit at the University of East Anglia were placed in

the public domain by third party intervention). The focus will be on

how scientific knowledge is mediated by other interests, and the

challenges this raises in a 'world risk society' (Beck) in which

progress has created countless new global uncertainties. This creates

major problems for decision-makers and lawyers. For instance,

transnational and intergenerational impacts on environment and health

are problematic for bounded legal notions of jurisdiction and process,

as well as for normative structures based on individual rights and

predominantly liberal notions of justice. The PhD will contribute to

understanding reasonable expectations for climate science, and the

ways in which principles and respective roles of risk assessment and

management can most effectively be applied in addressing the impacts

of climate change.

The research is timely in engaging with a vital aspect of the

relations between science, civil society, policy- and law-makers, and

other interests in the context of climate change. It will address how

scientific practice and outputs are mediated. The outputs from this

study would be expected to contribute to informing scientists,

decision-makers, and civil society generally, as to the reasonable

expectations for climate science and for ways in which principles and

respective roles of risk assessment and risk management can most

effectively be applied in addressing the impacts of climate change.

Applicant requirements

This project would suit a student with a proven academic track record

in either climate science with a strong interest in social science and

legal issues, or a background in law or social science with an

interest in climate science. Due to funding restrictions, only

candidates from the UK/EU are eligible to apply. The project

supervisors cross the School of Law and Department of Geography at

Swansea University . Initial enquiries can be made to Professors Marcus

Doel (Human Geography; ), Tavi Murray (Climate

Science; ) or Mark Stallworthy (Law; ).

Applications before 10 May 2010 (apply online: )

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