Changing the Atmosphere

From Politics, Science, and the Environment

Changing the Atmosphere

Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance

Edited by Clark A. Miller and Paul N. Edwards





In recent years, Earth systems science has advanced rapidly, helping to transform climate change and other planetary risks into major political issues. Changing the Atmosphere strengthens our understanding of this important link between expert knowledge and environmental governance. In so doing, it illustrates how the emerging field of science and technology studies can inform our understanding of the human dimensions of global environmental change.

Incorporating historical, sociological, and philosophical approaches, Changing the Atmosphere presents detailed empirical studies of climate science and its uptake into public policy. Topics include the scientific, political, and social processes involved in the creation of scientific knowledge about climate change; the historical and contemporary role of expert knowledge in creating and perpetuating policy concern about climate change; and the place of science in institutions of global environmental governance such as the World Meteorological Organization, the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Together, the essays demonstrate fundamental connections between the science and politics of planet Earth. In the struggle to create sustainable forms of environmental governance, they indicate, a necessary first step is to understand how communities achieve credible, authoritative representations of nature. ContributorsPaul N. Edwards, Dale Jamieson, Sheila Jasanoff, Chunglin Kwa, Clark Miller, Stephen D. Norton, Stephen H. Schneider, Simon Shackley, Frederick Suppe


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262133876 398 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262632195 398 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Clark A. Miller

Clark A. Miller is Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies and Associate Director of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University.

Paul N. Edwards

Paul N. Edwards is Professor in the School of Information and the Department of History at the University of Michigan. He is the author of The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (1996) and a coeditor (with Clark Miller) of Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance (2001), both published by the MIT Press.


  • This is an impressive, provocative, and interesting collection of essays. It should be of particular interest to political scientists and students of science studies and should also appeal to policy analysts, policymakers, and participants in the Conference of the Parties.

    Ronnie D. Lipschutz

    University of California, Santa Cruz

  • This is a timely and well-done volume that delivers what the title promises: a study of how expert knowledge and global environmental governance interact in dealing with anthopogenic changes of the atmosphere.

    Carlo C. Jaeger

    Head, Social Systems Department, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research