Shared Space and Slow Science in Geoengineering Research
Chapter in Von Schomberg (ed.) Handbook of responsible research and innovation, Edward Elgar
13 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2017 Last revised: 30 Mar 2022
Date Written: October 1, 2016
In this chapter, I use the idea of ‘shared space’ as an analogy for the responsible governance of a controversial emerging area of science: geoengineering. I begin by sketching a conventional history of geoengineering ideas, before complicating this narrative to suggest that the conventional distribution of responsibility between climate understanding and climate control cannot be drawn as easily as is often assumed. I then consider the contested nature of geoengineering experiments as a site for the negotiation of responsibility. Despite attempts to delineate safe spaces for experimentation, the governance of these experiments has been unable to escape the broader politics of geoengineering. Finally, extending the metaphor of shared space as a governance alternative, I discuss the merits of ‘slow science’. My argument is that, while slowness seems almost heretical in science policy discourse, it is both normatively attractive as well as being a reasonable description of the unfolding of geoengineering research.
Keywords: governance, geoengineering, responsible innovation
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