The Network for Anthropologies of Forecasting Weather and Climate
Future Matters: Ethnography of Weather and Climate Knowledge and Forecasting (AAA roundtable)
30 November 16:00
Marriott Hotel, Washington DC, USA
At the 2017 American Anthropological Association meetings, AnthFOR members led a roundtable discussion about anthropology's role in understanding forecast production, circulation and use.
Abstract: This roundtable session brings together anthropologists who research weather and climate knowledge to discuss and develop ethnographic approaches to anticipatory knowledge, decision-making, and action. How are different types of evidence, institutions, expertise, and authority produced and perceived? How do human groups come to know and anticipate changing atmospheres? Who is included and excluded from agenda- and threshold-setting in resource and hazard management? How do individuals and organisations use diverse narratives, concepts, institutions, technologies and mechanisms to link ideas and actions, and in so doing create new understandings and relationships – even new worlds (Taddei 2013)?
Drawing on examples and experiences from diverse socio-ecological contexts, geographical locations (including Latin America, Africa, North America, Europe and Australia), and organisational sectors (including water resources, agriculture, fisheries, conservation and emergency management), participants will be invited to reflect on what applying an anthropological lens can contribute to understandings of - and interventions in - the social lives of atmospheric prediction and preparedness (Hastrup & Skrydstrup 2013). The session will encourage conversation considering the contribution of theoretical and applied anthropology, STS, political ecology, phenomenology and other fields to understanding human orientations to future environments and atmospheres. Topics for consideration during the discussion include: environmental risk and causality; interfaces of scientific and other knowledges; the role of warnings and plans in connecting knowledge and action; meanings and consequences of success and failure in forecasting; challenges and opportunities of uncertainty, ignorance, and unknowns; temporal and spatial dimensions of producing and acting on forecasts; and practical and ethical implications of anticipatory governance and action.
Ultimately, our aim is to enhance ethnographically-informed understandings of the ways in which individuals and groups perceive, frame and intervene in atmospheric futures and our lives within them.
Roundtable panellists: Heather Lazrus, Daniel Murphy, Sophie Haines