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Showing posts from December, 2009

COP15 and modernizing China

Much seem to be at stake at the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15), but as week one of two neares its end, little progress has been made. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that what's at stake is not only political and economical interests. Also, the status of science is debated: What are trustworthy data? To what extent can scientific evidence overrule political procedures?

As Latour might say, scientific facts are a result of the stabilization of contested knowledge. The belief in pure science is a mistake of the modernists and this has never been reality in Europe. China, he is known to argue, are on the other hand trying more than anyone to modernize these days.

This was evident during their side event presentation on the fourth day of the COP15. Presenting a panel of the preeminent Chinese scholars on climate change, the first power point slide stressed: "no politics, no diplomats, pure academic perspective".

Most will probably consider this a…