Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard|
Noah Walker-Crawford is a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, UK, and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Science, Technology and Society. His work traces the production of knowledge in social claims about climate change and responsibility. Using an ethnographic approach, he is following a precedent-setting lawsuit for climate justice brought by a Peruvian farmer against a German energy company.
Noah’s research traces the production of knowledge and responsibility claims about climate change between the Peruvian Andes, German courts and UN Climate Summits. In the Andes, glacial retreat has led to worries about flood risk and the future possibility of water scarcity. In a German judicial context, climate activists and lawyers mobilize scientific knowledges about atmospheric processes and climate change impacts in their legal arguments for climate justice. As science becomes serviceable for legal claims about climate change accountability, this knowledge becomes ethically and politically charged. Ongoing advances in climate science allow for an increasingly precise detection of climate change impacts and their attribution to individual emitters, raising the broad social question of which legal and political mechanisms are adequate for addressing the contemporary climate crisis.
Before beginning his doctoral research, Noah worked for the environmental NGO Germanwatch as a scientific and legal advisor on climate litigation. He remains actively involved in discussions with legal practitioners and activists on the development of legal mechanisms for climate justice.
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