Communicating climate knowledge: proxies, processes, politics

Hildegard Diemberger*, Kirsten Hastrup, Simon Schaffer, Charles F. Kennel, David Sneath, Michael Bravo, Hans F. Graf, Jacqueline Hobbs, Jason Davis, Maria Luisa Nodari, Giorgio Vassena, Richard Irvine, Christopher Evans, Marilyn Strathern, Mike Hulme, Georg Kaser, Barbara Bodenhorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This forum article is the product of interdisciplinary discussion at a conference on climate histories held inCambridge, United Kingdom, in early 2011, with the specific aim of building a network around the issue of communicating cultural knowledge of environmental change. The lead articles, by Kirsten Hastrup as an anthropologist and Simon Schaffer as a historian of science, highlight the role of agents and proxies. These are followed by five interdisciplinary commentaries, which engage with the lead articles through new ethnographic material, and a set of shorter commentaries by leading scholars of different disciplines. Finally, the lead authors respond to the discussion. In this debate, climate change does not emerge as a single preformed "problem." Rather, different climate knowledges appear as products of particular networks and agencies. Just as the identification of proxies creates agents (ice, mountains, informants) by inserting them into new networks, we hope that these cross-disciplinary exchanges will produce further conversations and new approaches to action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-244
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent Anthropology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


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