, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 197-209

Scientization: putting global climate change on the scientific agenda and the role of the IPCC

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Abstract

Since the 1970s, climate change has dominated the international scientific and political agenda. In particular, the foundation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the end of the 1980s played a major role for the further enhancement of efforts in the field of climate change sciences. However, to understand the interaction of the worldwide coordination of climate change sciences as well as the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its consequences, it is worthwhile to take a look at the self-conception of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s tasks and work. This paper gives an idea of the history of international climate change science, its representation in public discourse and the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by comprehensively illustrating its tasks, organization and self-image. Furthermore, the article tries to argue that the hitherto accepted concept of science followed within this body fails to integrate the idea of scientific ethics. It can be concluded that the conception of science represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has heavily influenced worldwide attention to climate change, its becoming part of the political agenda as well as the ethical consequences.