Listen to Professor Hulme's inaugural lecture on studying climate change
Posted on 18/11/2015
On Tuesday 3 November, Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate and Culture in the Department of Geography, gave his inaugural lecture to a full lecture hall of highly engaged attendees. The lecture was titled 'Studying Climate and its Changes: In Places, with Numbers, through Myths'.
Listen to a podcast of the Lecture:
Mike's work sits at the intersection of climate, history and culture, studying how knowledge about climate and its changes is made and represented, and analysing the numerous ways in which the idea of climate-change is deployed in public discourse around the world. He is currently working on a book manuscript Weathered: A Cultural Geography of Climate (SAGE, 2016). His previous books include Can Science Fix Climate Change? A Case Against Climate Engineering (Polity, 2014), Exploring Climate Change Through Science and In Society (Routledge, 2013), Making Climate Change Work For Us (Cambridge, 2010) and Why We Disagree About Climate Change (Cambridge, 2009). This latter book was chosen by The Economist magazine as one of its science and technology books of the year. From 2000 to 2007 he was the Founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, based at the University of East Anglia, and since 2007 has been the founding Editor-in-Chief of the review journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change.
Abstract: My professional career has been concerned with the study of climate: where and what it is, how it changes and why, what effects it has and what it means. In this lecture I will reflect on the different ways in which I have approached these questions over the last 35 years and place my own work in the context of the changing academic, public and political interest in climate. I use the short-hand categories of places, numbers and myths to demonstrate how we need geography, the sciences and the humanities to do full justice to understand the material and imaginative properties of climate. Just as physical climates transcend the political boundaries of nation states, so the idea of climate exceeds the capacities of single academic disciplines to understand it. My philosophy of climate is exemplified in the Centre that I founded (the Tyndall Centre), the journal that I edit (WIREs Climate Change) and the Master’s Programme I convene (MA Climate Change: History, Culture, Society).