Viktoria Cologna

Viktoria Cologna

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow
ETH Zurich
vcologna
Dr. Viktoria Cologna's research is on the scientific and public perceptions of the political terrain of climate change science. Society is confronted with risks, such as climate change and pandemics, that are global in nature, characterised by uncertainties and whose management requires a certain degree of value similarity between involved actors. Due to the complexity of these risks, policymakers are dependent upon expert knowledge to implement effective policies.  This has led to an increasing number of scientists entering the policy sphere through the formation of science-policy interfaces such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which aims to be neutral, policy relevant, but not policy prescriptive. Due to their epistemic proximity, climate change researchers play a crucial role at the science-policy interface. However, the role of scientists in the political terrain of science remains contested; while a majority of the public demands a more authoritative role of science in the policy process, a growing minority of science-related populists is questioning science-related decision-making sovereignty. The aim of this research project grounded in science, technology and society (STS) studies and history of science, is to increase the understanding of the dynamics and challenges in the political terrain of climate change science by investigating the workings of its main interface, the IPCC, and its involved scientists, as well as public opinion on the desired authority of scientists in the policy process. Understanding the political authority of science and its workings on an international scale will be key to implementing effective policies while maintaining public trust in the scientific enterprise.