Christoph Johannes Baumberger: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2016
|Name||Dr. Christoph Johannes Baumberger|
Institut für Umweltentscheidungen
ETH Zürich, CHN H 73.1
|Telephone||+41 44 632 50 54|
|Department||Environmental Systems Science|
|701-0016-00L||Philosophical Issues in Understanding Global Change |
Number of participants limited to 9.
Priority is given to D-ERDW and D-USYS Master's and doctoral students.
|2 credits||1S||G. Hirsch Hadorn, C. J. Baumberger, R. Knutti|
|Abstract||This 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 of results from models and computer simulations in decision making on policy for sustainable development.|
|Objective||Students 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.|
|Content||Global 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 descriptive, 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, and it discusses the role of results from modelling and computer simulations in decision making on policy 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 modelling? 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 policy for sustainable development? Which questions for policy can be answered in this way? What are the consequences of uncertainties for policy making?
|Lecture notes||A set of papers from philosophy and from science to be discussed and a guide to analyzing texts are provided.|
|Literature||The papers to be discussed in the seminar sessions and guidelines about the analysis of texts are provided.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||This 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 Bern in the following way|
18.03. Berne UniS A-119 Schanzeneckstrasse 1
08.04. Zurich CHN P12 Universitätstrasse 16
29.04. Berne UniS A-119 Schanzeneckstrasse 1
20.05. 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 the paper scheduled for discussion. This preparation will take about 4-5 hours for each paper. 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 text 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 from ETH is limited to 9, in total to 18.
Requirements for 2 CP: (1) Answer the questions about the text before the meetings (4 times), (2) At the end of the semester, write a final essay of about 2-3 pages 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.
|701-0707-00L||Analysing Texts||2 credits||2G||C. J. Baumberger, G. Hirsch Hadorn|
|Abstract||This course provides basic knowledge and methods for analyzing, understanding and critically assessing texts and arguments. We use texts on environmental issues and philosophical texts for learning and practicing how to grasp, summarize, analyze and critically evaluate the content of a text and its line of argumentation.|
|Objective||Students acquire basic knowledge for analyzing texts, and they learn how to grasp, summarize, analyze and critically evaluate the content of a text and its line of argumentation.|
|Content||The course provides basic knowledge (theory of speech acts, semiotics, theories of concepts and theories of argumentation) and methods for analyzing, understanding and critically evaluating texts and arguments. Understanding texts and analyzing the structure and validity of arguments is crucial not only within science but also in contact with the public and in issues of everyday life. But when are statements clear and arguments convincing? How to use arguments in debates? How to identify fallacies? We use texts on environmental issues and philosophical texts for learning and practicing how to grasp, summarize, analyze and critically evaluate the content of a text and its line of argumentation.|
|Lecture notes||A textbook will be used.|
|Literature||Brun, Georg; Gertrude Hirsch Hadorn 2014. Textanalyse in den Wissenschaften. Inhalte und Argumente analysieren und verstehen. Zürich: vdf/UTB 3139 (2nd edition)|
|Prerequisites / Notice||For students in BA Environmental Sciences who choose humanities and for students in other programs of ETH or Zurich University, 2 ECTS-credits are available for solving the exercises, that are distributed during the course.|
|860-0017-00L||Argumentation and Science Communication |
Number of participants limited to 10.
MSc students, PhD students and postdocs with a science and technology background have priority.
|6 credits||3G||A. Wenger, C. J. Baumberger, M. Dunn Cavelty, G. Hirsch Hadorn, U. Jasper, R. Knutti|
|Abstract||Analyzing 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.|
|Objective||Students 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.|
|Content||Analyzing 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 provide a framework for considering uncertainties in inferences from computer simulation results to real-world policy problems. Moreover, 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 (in collaboration with ETHZ Hochschulkommunikation and the Language Center).|
W2: Computer models and simulations: How do we learn about real-world problems by models and computer simulations? What can we infer from their results for policy advice?
W3: Values: What are the implications of basic distinctions in value theory such as intrinsic vs extrinsic/instrumental values, anthropocentric vs non-anthropocentric values, and value monism vs value pluralism for policy assessments?
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?
W5: Risks: What are permissible risks from the perspective of different ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, contractualism, deontological and right-based theories?
W6: Concepts and arguments: Clarification of ambiguous and vague concepts, identification and reconstruction of arguments, types of theoretical and practical arguments
W7: Concepts and arguments: Criteria for good arguments, typical fallacies, use of arguments in discussions
W8: The science of science communication: Basic insights from communication theory
W9: 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?
W10: 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?
W11: Study week: Students work on their two 'praxis projects' and submit two drafts.
W12: Supervision and Revision
W13: Supervision and Revision
W14: Wrap-up: Effectively communicating science-related topics and their political and ethical implications to a non-expert audience.
|Lecture notes||Papers are made available for the participants of this course.|
|Literature||Papers are made available for the participants of this course.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||The 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 2016, 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%.|