Knowing and Responding: Localizing Climate Predictions in Florida
Avron, Lisa A.
Scholars within science studies have paid a great deal of attention to climate change denial in the U.S. and have generated critical commentary for understanding larger patterns of distrust in climate science. This dissertation uses a different line of questioning and approach to instead analyze the public uptake of climate predictions in a specific place, South Florida, where scientists have garnered credibility across local governments and successfully advocated for adaptation efforts. This close qualitative study of a particularly socio-environmentally vulnerable region analyzes how actors, such as university scientists, activists, and state civil servants, come to know and respond to climate predictions at the local level. By building deep context around the uptake of predictions through explorations of local scientific practices, environmental histories, racial politics, and government structures this ethnography reveals novel social categories, epistemological artifacts, histories, and infrastructures as they emerge around processes of knowing and responding to climate predictions in Florida. Each chapter offers different analytics for unpacking these social forms, including scientist-activism, hindcasting the future, grassroots climate knowledge and expert ignorance, and infrastructures of denial. More broadly, this dissertation provides science studies scholars, anthropologists, and scholars within the environmental humanities a new approach for studying climate science as well as tools for unpacking the social forms emerging around responses to predictions developing on the ground.
climate change predictions; climate justice; epistemology; ethics; infrastructures
Pritchard, Sara B.
Hilgartner, Stephen; Nadasdy, Paul
Science and Technology Studies
Ph. D., Science and Technology Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis