Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Climate Science in a Time of Political Disruption

Gina McCarthy

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Former Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

April 6, 2018, 9:30am-4:30pm
Harvard University Center for the Environment, Room 440, 26 Oxford


The Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard is hosting a workshop to reflect on the relations between climate science and its broader academic and socio-political contexts in the United States. Our aim is to explore the politics, norms and visions that influence the uptake of scientific facts, and to provide a basis for revisiting the challenges as well as the opportunities for climate science in an era of populism and alternative fact-making. Pulling together academics from different disciplinary backgrounds, the workshop aims to encourage an inclusive and critical  discussion on the outlook for climate science in the current political environment. The workshop will begin with a keynote talk by Gina McCarthy and a panel discussion, followed after lunch by an open conversation among junior scholars from different disciplines at Harvard and MIT. The morning panel will initiate an exchange on current challenges in climate science and politics. The afternoon panel will reflect on how the contested nature of climate science affects individual researchers in fields as diverse as urban planning, geo-engineering, political psychology, and policy implementation.


Joseph Goffman

Harvard Law School

Peter Huybers

Harvard University Center for the Environment

Sheila Jasanoff

Harvard Kennedy School

Robert Stavins

Harvard Kennedy School

Response by

Lucas Stanczyk

Harvard, Philosophy

***Registration required. Sign-up here!***

– program –

9:30 a.m.
Morning coffee

10:00 a.m.
Morning keynote and panel

  • Gina McCarthy | Professor of the Practice of Public Health (Harvard Chan School)
  • Joseph Goffman | Executive Director, Environmental Law Program (Harvard Law School)
  • Peter Huybers | Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences (Harvard University Center for the Environment)
  • Sheila Jasanoff | Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies (Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Robert Stavins | A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development (Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Lucas Stanczyk (respondent) | Assistant Professor of Philosophy (Harvard Department of Philosophy)

Moderated by Jens Marquardt, Harvard STS Program

Video available here. 

12:00 p.m.
Lunch break

1:00 p.m.
Afternoon conversation (including coffee break)

  • Kamilla Karhunmaa | Harvard STS Fellow; PhD candidate, Environmental Policy (University of Helsinki)
  • Marika Landau-Wells | PhD candidate in Political Science (MIT)
  • Jens Marquardt | Harvard STS Fellow; research associate in Political Science (University of Halle)
  • Abby Spinak | Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design (Harvard)
  • Bruno Verdini Trejo | Lecturer in Urban Planning and Negotiation (MIT)
  • Gernot Wagner | Executive Director, Solar Geoengineering Research Program (Harvard)

Moderated by Anna Bridel, Harvard STS Fellow

4:00 p.m.
Wrap-up and look ahead

4:30 p.m.
End of the workshop

Interview with Gina McCarthy