Christoph Johannes Baumberger: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2019

Name Dr. Christoph Johannes Baumberger
Address
Lehre Umweltsystemwissenschaften
ETH Zürich, CHN H 73.1
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
SWITZERLAND
Telephone+41 44 632 50 54
E-mailchristoph.baumberger@usys.ethz.ch
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipLecturer

NumberTitleECTSHoursLecturers
701-0016-00LPhilosophical Issues in Understanding Global Change Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Number of participants limited to 9.
Priority is given to D-ERDW Master in Atmospheric and Climate Science or doctoral students and D-USYS Master's and doctoral students.
2 credits1SC. J. Baumberger, R. Knutti
AbstractThis course investigates the potentials and limitations of models and computer simulations that aim at understanding global change. We also discuss the limitations of observations and the role that results from models and computer simulations may take in decision making on policies for sustainable development.
ObjectiveStudents learn to reflect on concepts, methods, arguments and knowledge claims based upon computer simulations by critically analysing and assessing topical and recent research papers from philosophy and the sciences.
ContentGlobal change is not just a major real-world problem, but also a challenge for the natural and social sciences. The challenge is due to the spatial and temporal scales considered, the diversity, complexity and variability of aspects involved, and, last but not least, the pragmatic and normative questions raised by global change. This course investigates the potentials and limits of research methods such as modelling for understanding global change with a focus on climate change. We also discuss the role of results from modelling and computer simulations in decision making on policies for sustainable development.

In the seminar, topics such as the following are discussed:
(1) What is a model? What are purposes and potential pitfalls of models? What are the basic steps of modelling?
(2) What are computer simulations and what is their relation to models? How do we learn about the real world by running computer simulations? How do computer simulations differ from classical experiments?
(3) What do data tell us about the problem we are investigating? What are the difficulties in assessing and interpreting data?
(4) What is the role of results from modelling and computer simulation in decision making on policies for sustainable development? What are the consequences of model uncertainties for policy making?
Lecture notesA set of papers from philosophy and from science to be discussed and a guide to analyzing texts are provided.
LiteratureThe papers to be discussed in the seminar sessions and guidelines about the analysis of texts are provided.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis seminar is offered at the ETH and the University of Bern. There are four seminar sessions, each lasting 4 hours. The sessions take place from 13:45 to 17:15. The places alternate between Zurich and Berne in the following way
DATUM Berne, BHF Soz. Arbeit, Raum 310, Hallerstrasse 10
DATUM Zurich, CHN P12 Universitätstrasse 16
DATUM Berne, BHF Soz. Arbeit, Raum 310, Hallerstrasse 10
DATUM Zurich, CHN P12 Universitätstrasse 16

In the first meeting, participants are introduced to methods on how to read a philosophical paper. For each meeting, every participant answers a couple of questions about one of the papers scheduled for discussion. The preparation for each session will take about 5 hours. Answers have to be sent to the lecturers before the seminar takes place and provide a basis for the discussion. All students that have subscribed will get the questions and texts for the first meeting by email.
Seminar discussions are chaired jointly by lecturers from philosophy and from science. Interest in interdisciplinary reading and discussion is a prerequisite. The number of participants is limited to 18, viz. 9 from the University of Bern and 9 from ETH Zurich.

Requirements for 2 CP: (1) Answer the questions about one paper before the meetings and read another paper (4 times), (2) Write a short essay of about 2-3 pages about a topic discussed in our meetings. This essay should be delivered until 3 weeks after the end of the spring semester.
Master or PhD students of D-USYS or students of Atmosph. + Climate Science MSc have priority.
701-0701-00LPhilosophy of Science3 credits2VC. J. Baumberger
AbstractThe lecture explores various strands in philosophy of science in a critical way, focusing on the notion of rationality in science, especially with regards to environmental research. It addresses the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
ObjectiveStudents learn to engage with problems in the philosophy of science and to relate them to natural and environmental sciences, thus developing their skills in critical thinking about science and its use. They know the most important positions in philosophy of science and the objections they face. They can identify, structure and discuss issues raised by the use of science in society.
Content1. Core differences between classical Greek and modern conceptions of science.
2. Classic positions in the philosophy of science in the 20th century: logical empiricism and critical rationalism (Popper); the analysis of scientific concepts and explanations.
3. Objections to logical empiricism and critical rationalism, and further developments: What is the difference between the natural sciences, the social sciences and the arts and humanities? What is progress in science (Kuhn, Fleck, Feyerabend)? Is scientific knowledge relativistic? What is the role of experiments and computer simulations?
4. Issues raised by the use of science in society: The relation between basic and applied research; inter- and transdisciplinarity; ethics and accountability of science.
Lecture notesA reader will be available for students.
LiteratureA list of introductory literature and handbooks will be distributed to the students.
Prerequisites / NoticeOral examination during the session examination.
Further optional exercises accompany the lecture and offer the opportunity for an in-depth discussion of selected texts from the reader. Students receive an additional credit point. They have to sign up separately for the exercises for the course 701-0701-01 U.
701-0701-01LPhilosophy of Science: Exercises1 credit1UC. J. Baumberger
AbstractThe exercises in philosophy of science serve to develop skills in critical thinking by discussing seminal texts about the rationality of science. Topics discussed include the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
ObjectiveStudents can engage with problems in the philosophy of science and to relate them to natural and environmental sciences. They learn to analyze and summarize philosophical texts. In this way, they develop their skills in critical thinking with a focus on the rationality of science.
ContentThe optional exercises accompany the lecture and serve to develop skills in critical thinking with a focus on the rationality of science, based on discussing seminal texts. The texts cover important positions in the philosophy of science and their critics. Topics discussed include the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
Lecture notesA reader will be available for students.
LiteratureA list of literature will be distributed to the students together with the reader.
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents that want to subscribe for this course also have to subscribe for the lecture 701-0701-00 V "Wissenschaftsphilosophie". Credit points are given for preparing a structure and a summary of one of the texts.
860-0017-00LArgumentation and Science Communication Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 10.

STP Students have priority.
6 credits3GA. Wenger, C. J. Baumberger, M. Dunn Cavelty, C. Elhardt
AbstractAnalyzing and communicating the aims and ethical implications of scientific research is an essential element at the intersection of science, technology and policy making. This course is split into two modules which focus (1) on arguing about ethical aspects and scientific uncertainties of policies, and (2) on communicating scientific results to policy-makers and the wider public.
ObjectiveStudents learn to consider uncertainties in inferences from computer simulation results to real-world policy problems and acquire an understanding of ethical positions and arguments concerning values, justice and risks related to policies. They learn how to analyze the particular prerequisites for the successful dissemination of scientific results to policy-makers and the wider public.
ContentAnalyzing and communicating the aims and ethical implications of scientific research is an essential element at the intersection of science, technology and policy making. In the first module of this course, we will introduce and discuss ethical positions and arguments concerning values, justice and risks related to policies. Subsequently, we will learn how to clarify concepts as well as how to identify, reconstruct and evaluate arguments and complex argumentations.
In the second module, we will analyze the particular prerequisites for the successful dissemination of scientific results to policy-makers and the wider public. To get a better understanding of the expectations and needs of different target groups we will invite guest speakers and professionals from both the media and the policy world to share their experiences and discuss common problems. The final part of this course consists of practical applications and exercises. Proceeding in a 'draft/revise/submit'-manner, students will have to present a scientific project (possibly linked to a case study) in two different formats (e.g. newspaper contribution and policy brief). Faculty will supervise the writing process and provide reviews and comments on drafts.
Schedule:

Part I:

W1: Introduction: Why is argumentation needed in policy analysis?
W2: Concepts and arguments I: Clarification of ambiguous and vague concepts, identification and reconstruction of arguments, types of theoretical and practical arguments
W3: Concepts and arguments II: Criteria for good arguments, typical fallacies, use of arguments in discussions
W4: Justice: What are the ethical arguments for and against different conceptions of intra- and intergenerational justice, such as egalitarianism, grandfathering, polluter or beneficiary pays principle, and capability approaches?

Part II:

W5: The science of science communication: Basic insights from communication theory
W6: Different Audiences, Different Formats: What are the particular prerequisites for the successful dissemination of scientific results to policy-makers? What are the writing and presentation skills needed?
W7: What are the particular prerequisites for communicating with the wider public? The dos and don'ts of media interaction. What are the benefits and challenges of social media?
W8: Interviews for Radio and TV (with examples / exercises)
W9: Examples of Science Communication in the Media and at Universities
W10: Study week: Students work on their two 'praxis projects' and submit two drafts.
W11: Supervision and Revision
W12: Supervision and Revision
W13: Wrap-up: Effectively communicating science-related topics and their political and ethical implications to a non-expert audience.
Lecture notesPapers are made available for the participants of this course through Moodle. The book used for the 2nd part of the course "Escape from the Ivory Tower" can be bought from the instructors
LiteraturePapers are made available for the participants of this course through Moodle. The book used for the 2nd part of the course "Escape from the Ivory Tower" can be bought from the instructors
Prerequisites / NoticeThe total number of students is 10. MSc students, PhD students and postdocs with a science and technology background have priority; weekly meetings of 3 hours during FS (Spring Semester) 2017, 6 ETCS (39 contact hours + 141 hours for preparations and exercises); grading based on the exercises on a 1-6 point scale, the parts contribute in the following way: argumentation 50%, science communication 50%.