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The social epistemology of the International Panel on Climate Change

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The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) employs expert scientists to collate and synthesise scientific research on the causes, nature and likely effects of climate change. Many non-experts refuse to defer to the IPCC ’s claims, often on political grounds. This paper argues that such politically-motivated refusal to defer to the IPCC is unjustifiable. This conclusion may seem rather obvious, but I hope to show that it is not, because the obvious premise one might appeal to in justifying that conclusion – that politically-motivated refusals to defer to expert testimony are never justifiable – is false. I suggest that these complexities have an important bearing on the problem of inductive risk and, hence, the proper role of values in science.

This talk is part of the CamPoS (Cambridge Philosophy of Science) seminar series.

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