Climate and Weather: Science as Public Culture

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Pietro Corsi, Oxford University
Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, Imperial College, London
Robert Fox, Oxford University
Stephen Johnston, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Fabien Locher, CRH (CNRS/EHESS), Paris
Jeanne Peiffer, Centre Koyré (CNRS/EHESS/MNHN), Paris
John Perkins, Oxford Brookes University
Viviane Quirke, Oxford Brookes University

For further details, contact Thomas Le Roux,

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Date: Monday 07th January 2013 - 6:00pm to Wednesday 09th January 2013 - 3:30pm

Museum of the History of Science & Maison Française d'Oxford

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Research programme: History of Science

Monday 7th January 2013

Museum of the History of Science

18.00. Reception at the Museum of the History of Science including a private view of the exhibition “Atmospheres: Investigating the Weather from Aristotle to Ozone”. Welcome by Stephen Johnston, Acting Director.


Tuesday 8th January 2013


9.00 Coffee and Tea

9.15 Welcome by Cyril Van Effenterre (French Embassy), Anne Simonin (MFO) and Thomas Le Roux (MFO)

9.30 General introduction, by Jean-Baptiste Fressoz (Imperial College, London) and Fabien Locher (CRH-EHESS/CNRS)

9.45 – 13.00. Session “Commodification of meterological knowledge”

Chair. John Perkins (Oxford Brookes University)

9.45. Julien Vincent (University Paris I), Disembedded Weather: Labour, Free Trade, and the Political Economy of Climate in the British Empire (Mid-Nineteenth Century)

10.15. Yngve Nilsen (University of Bergen), Shifting Relations Between Meteorology and Economic Interests in Norway 1860-1900

10.45 – 11.15. Discussion

11.15. Coffee break

Chair. Robert Fox (University of Oxford)

11.30. Jamie L. Pietruska (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), The U.S. Weather Bureau and the Policing of Counterfeit Weather Forecasts at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

12.00. Vladimir Jankovic (University of Manchester), Andrew Bowman (University of Manchester), 'Think of It As a Market Transition': Big Green Business and the Promise of Climate Crisis

12.30 – 13.00. Discussion

13.00 Lunch (MFO)

14.15 – 16.30. Session “Media”

Chair.  Stephen Johnston (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford)

14.15. Alexander Hall (University of Manchester), Framing the Sky: The (re)Birth of Weather Forecasting on British Television, 1954

14.45. Julie Hudson (Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford), ‘If You Want to Be Green Hold your Breath’: Climate Change in British Theatre

15.15. Susanne Lorenz (University of Leeds), The Communication of Scientific Uncertainty and Climate Adaptation in the Media: Comparing the UK and Germany

15.45 – 16.30.  Discussion

16.30. Coffee break

17.00 Lecture

Chair. Pietro Corsi (University of Oxford)

Pascal Lecomte (European Space Agency, Harwell-Oxford), Data: From Satellites to the Public. The Value of Climate Data, their Cost and How they are Perceived by the Public

19.00 Dinner (Oriel College)


Wednesday 9th January 2013


9.00 Coffee and Tea

9.15 – 13.00. Session “Historicizing climate history”

Chair. Jeanne Peiffer (Centre Koyré, EHESS)

9.15. Anouchka Vasak (University of Poitiers), 1802, « l’invention des nuages », vue de chaque côté de la Manche

9.45. Thomas Labbé (University of Burgundy), Fabien Gaveau (CESDIP CNRS- French Ministry of Justice), Vinyard Harvest Dates and History of Climatology: Some New Epistemologic Reflections

10.15. George N. Vlahakis (Hellenic Open University), Climate, Weather and Society in 19th century Greece

10.45 – 11.15 Discussion

11.15. Coffee break

Chair. Serge Plattard (European Space Policy Institute, Vienna)

11.30. Philippe Forêt (University of St Gallen), Overland to India. The Debate on Climate Change of 1904-1914

12. 00. Matthias Heymann, Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen (Aarhus University), Negotiating Simulation Knowledge: Alternative Perspectives on Climate and Climate Change

12.30 – 13.00. Discussion

13.00 Lunch (MFO)

Organised by the Maison Française d’Oxford, in collaboration with the Museum of the History of Science, the Faculty History of the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, the Centre Koyré (EHESS) and the Institut d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine (IHMC), and with the support of the French Embassy, London.