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Computing Climates: Global Networks and Scientific Assemblages at the UK Meteorological Office

Part 2 Dissertation 2023
Guy Sinclair
University of Westminster | UK
The U.K Meteorological Office is a key contributor to global climate science through the Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services. This dissertation examines the role of the supercomputer as foundational instrument in the institutions of contemporary climate science. Using concepts and methods drawn from science and technology studies and anthropology the notion of climate as a sociotechnical construction is examined in relation to the constitutive apparatus of the climate model and the Met Office’s Cray XC40 supercomputer system. Using a close reading of the building of the Met Office’s headquarters, its arrangement of spaces, servicing and the different roles of its occupants, the question of how and where climate science is conducted is posed in relation to Karen Barad’s idea of the apparatus, the assemblages of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and the actor-networks of Bruno Latour. The role of the climate scientist and the position of the Met Office in the “vast machine” of global meteorology is interrogated with respect to the predictive knowledge claims of the climate science episteme to further elicit the question: how do modern and nonmodern epistemologies of climate reflect the same desire for environmental control?

Guy Sinclair

Lindsay Bremner
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