Modeling Wicked Problems

Most Anthropocene concerns are “wicked problems,” complex problems that defy a single answer and may never be solved definitively. They involve highly complicated systems that are impossible to fully know, much less control.
Below Paul Edwards talks about how applying transdisciplinary systems models to problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, transition to renewable energy sources, or global food supply gives us useful heuristics and forcing us to think about non-linear and counterintuitive outcomes.
Paul N. Edwards is a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University. His research focuses on international politics, environmental security, climate change, Anthropocene risks, and nuclear winter. Edwards’s book A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010), is a history of the meteorological information infrastructure related to our understanding of global warming.

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