2 Postdoc positions in history of science

[via Mersenne]

AARHUS UNIVERSITY
Centre for Science Studies
2 Postdoc positions in history of science

to be filled as part of the research project “Shaping Cultures of Prediction: Knowledge, Authority, and the Construction of Climate Change” funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research (Humanities).

The project “Shaping Cultures of Prediction” examines the emergence of climate modeling as a culture of prediction in the formative period between ca. 1960 and 1985. It aims at investigating 1) how climate modeling emerged from a competition between different knowledge claims and epistemic standards to attain hegemonic status, and 2) how the use of climates models shifted from heuristic research instrument to application as a predictive tool for long-term climate prediction. See also the project website on http://css.au.dk/forskning/projects/cultures-of-prediction/.

Postdoc position 1: Subproject “From heuristic to predictive climate simulation: Agendas in the modeling communities”

This subproject examines the shift from heuristic to predictive use of climate models and asks how climate models came to enjoy scientific authority as predictive tools. It will focus on investigating the work and impact of leading US climate modelers such as Stephen H. Schneider, William W. Kellogg and James E. Hansen in the period from about 1970 to 1985. This subproject will (1) help to illuminate the different interests, perceptions and practices within the climate modeling community, and the decisions they entailed, (2) explore the interaction of scientific and political interests in the climate modeling context, and (3) provide a better understanding of scientific, political and cultural sources of confidence and trust in climates models and their use as predictive tools.
Requirements for this position are:

  • Several years of experience in the history of science. Experience in the history of atmospheric science, climatology or climate modelling will be an advantage;
  • A very good command of English;
  • The ability and willingness to spend time for archival research in the USA (and possibly other countries) and to pursue interviews;
  • Experience and interest in collaborative research and international collaboration.
  • Expected start of the position: As soon as possible.

Postdoc position 2: Subproject “Negotiation of simulation knowledge: Responses from climatology”

This subproject examines the discussion and negotiation of new modeling approaches and knowledge by climatological communities in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia and will focus on leading climatologists. This subproject will (1) investigate responses to climate modeling by leading climatologists in Sweden and/or Germany such as Hermann Flohn and Richard T. A. Scherhag in Germany, and Hans W. Ahlmann, Carl-Gustaf Rossby and Bert Bolin in Sweden, and (2) prepare and organize a dedicated website to be hosted by the Center for History of Physics (American Institute of Physics) with the materials, sources and findings of the project.
Requirements for this position are:

  • Several years of experience in the history of science. Experiences in the history of atmospheric science, climatology or climate modeling will be of advantage;
  • A good command of either Swedish or German (or both) and the willingness to acquire sufficient language skills in the other language; additionally a good command of English is needed;
  • The ability and willingness to spend time for archival research in Sweden and Germany (and possibly also Austria and Switzerland) and to pursue interviews;
  • Experience and interest in collaborative research and international collaboration.
  • Expected start of position: ca. August 2014.

“Shaping Cultures of Prediction” is a collaborative research project between Aarhus University, the University of Stockholm and King’s College, London. The postdocs will be part of a research team based in Aarhus, and the working place will be the Centre for Science Studies at Aarhus University. Both positions will be filled for a project period of 2 years.

The Centre for Science Studies is one of the big university centers in the history and philosophy of science in Europe and the biggest in Scandinavia. Its research activities focus on the history and philosophy of contemporary science. For more information see: http://css.au.dk/en/.

Aarhus is located at the coast of the Baltic Sea in Jutland. It is the second biggest city in Denmark with about 300,000 inhabitants. With more than 40,000 students it is considered the youngest city in Denmark. It, has one of the largest harbors in Northern Europe, holds numerous historical buildings and cultural institutions and offers a rich cultural and student life.

Applications must be in English and must include a CV, a complete list of publications, all degree documents, one letter of recommendation, and two writing samples (articles, dissertation chapters, etc.). Applications have to be submitted online by following the link below.
https://ssl1.peoplexs.com/Peoplexs22/CandidatesPortalNoLogin/Vacancy.cfm?PortalID=1407&VacatureID=596692&Vacancy=Postdoc

Please specify in your application letter whether you wish to apply to postdoc position 1 or to postdoc position 2 or both.

For more information please contact: Associate Professor Matthias Heymann,matthias.heymann@ivs.au.dk<mailto:matthias.heymann@ivs.au.dk>

Deadline:
All applications must be received by 30 September 2013.

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