Podcasts & phone chats

10.6.15- Dan Sarewitz & Jane Flegal

In a brief phone chat recorded by the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment as part of a new series, Dr. Daniel Sarewitz, Co-Director, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Arizona State Unviersity, chats with Jane Flegal, Graduate Student in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

They discuss the justification for public engagement on emerging technologies, the differences between public/science education as opposed to public deliberation, international accountability when it comes to climate engineering research, and legitimizing science through public engagement.

Referenced in the conversation

• “Public engagement can enhance science itself” – Sarewitz, Daniel. CRISPR: Science can’t solve it. Nature 522, 413–414 (25 June 2015) doi:10.1038/522413a
• Oxford Principles. Steve Rayner et al. –



Dr. Daniel Sarewitz is Co-Director, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes & Professor of Science and Society at School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability at Arizona State University.  His work focuses on revealing the connections between science policy decisions, scientific research and social outcomes. How does the distribution of the social benefits of science relate to the way that we organize scientific inquiry? What accounts for the highly uneven advance of know-how related to solving human problems? How do the interactions between scientific uncertainty and human values influence decision making? How does technological innovation influence politics? And how can improved insight into such questions contribute to improved real-world practice?


Jane Flegal is a PhD student in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management in the College of Natural Resources at the University of California at Berkeley, with a designated emphasis in Science and Technology Studies (STS). Her research examines contemporary dilemmas in energy and climate policy through the analytic lenses of STS, political science, and public policy. She studies the politics of science and expertise in the governance of unconventional natural gas development and climate engineering, and am particularly interested in understanding the co-production of regulatory science and new forms of environmental governance in uncertain and controversial contexts.


7.24.14 -Clive Hamilton

In a conversation recorded on January 15, 2014, author and public intellectual Clive Hamilton speaks with Simon Nicholson, of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment.  Hamilton explains why he believes the idea of climate geoengineering cannot be ignored, and what forces he sees pushing the world towards eventual deployment of such technologies.

While in his writing he argues that potential solar radiation management schemes like stratospheric sulphate aerosol injection may be too problematic to consider, he says “in my own heart, I do have doubts.”  There may come a moment when the situation becomes “so dire that doing climate geoengineering of this sort is better than the alternative – doing nothing,” he says.

For Hamilton, there is no straightforward answer- “This is a desperately complex issue, with all sorts of scientific, moral and political complications that we have to grapple with and weigh up.”

In the podcast, you’ll hear Dr. Hamilton refer to the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI).  You can read about the SRMGI in a blog post written for the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment by members Andy Parker and Alex Hanafi.

You’ll also hear reference to two of Hamilton’s books- Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change (Routledge, 2010), and Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering (Yale University Press, 2013).