Joint Seminar: Pathways out of the valley of description

Maslow, in his pyramid of needs, posited that individuals and societies needed to fulfill basic needs for survival and security before achieving self-actualization, including creativity and a sense of inner meaning. The scientific enterprise is similar. Foundationally, we begin with describing the world around us, an exercise that extends from early astronomy to modern genetics. At the pinnacle of the scientific pyramid might be an understanding of linkages among fields, system behavior, ethics, prediction, and societal relevance. With examples from the ten years of climate science submissions I've handled at Nature - and cartoons by a six-year-old - I consider the types of approaches that favor scientific self-actualization versus continued description.




13:30 h


Bundesstr. 53, room 022/023
Seminar Room 022/023, Ground Floor, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Hamburg


Michael White, Nature Publishing Group


Bjorn Stevens

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