Full Program »
What to Do About Scale? Challenges for Interdisciplinary Research at Multiple ScalesIn the 1980s, scientists came together to work on large-scale inter-disciplinary projects. As they did, they needed to find ways to bring their disparate findings together. This was not a straightforward process: the biosciences typically performed short-term, small-scale studies while geosciences were limited by computer models to large areas over longer periods of time. Bridging these disparate scales raised a number of questions. Were these processes hierarchical, with global change discernible simply by scaling up small-scale processes? Did new processes emerge as the spatial or temporal scales increased? My paper focuses on the epistemological issues these discussions of scale raised.
History of Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison