Natures of Naturalism

Reaching Bedrock in Climate Science

in Social Analysis
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  • 1 University of Copenhagen mchs@ifro.ku.dk
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Abstract

By exploring the multiple natures of a naturalist cosmology within the empirical terrain of climate science, this article examines what remains of the nature-culture divide in the Anthropocene. While scientists are familiar with critiques of scientific realism and work within a repertoire of multiple natures, they also maintain the boundary between the epistemic object (climate) and the material object (ice). While for science studies, the main object of science is socio-material practices, such as ice core drilling, for the scientists this drilling is more of a theatrical performance for the public and the funders. I argue that the tension between science and science studies can be circumnavigated by a double move: remaining faithful to the ways in which scientists draw modern boundaries, but also eliciting their reflexive ways of dealing with multiple natures from within a naturalist cosmology.

Contributor Notes

Martin Skrydstrup holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University. Currently, a Senior Visiting Researcher at the SAXO Institute, University of Copenhagen, his research interests sit at the intersection of expertise, governance, and the constitution of natural resources. He is the editor with Kirsten Hastrup of The Social Life of Climate Change Models: Anticipating Nature (2012). The Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the European Research Council, and the Danish Council for Independent Research, among others, have funded his research.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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