Over the coming decades, societies will face major changes in dealing with the various impacts of climate change. In order to enable timely anticipation and proactive adaptation, society needs to learn to utilize unavoidably imperfect knowledge from climate science on the deeply uncertain future changes in key climate variables (precipitation patterns, heat wave frequencies, extreme weather events etc.).
The classic science policy interface and science society interface is not fit for function because it is based on the expectation that science delivers certainty. Consequently, it lacks sophisticated approaches to tackle deep uncertainty in the science. Present institutional cultures that shape the science-policy/science-society interfaces and the cultural conditions to meet the challenges of climate change adaptation, need to be thoroughly understood to enable the institutional innovations required to accommodate the notions of deep scientific uncertainty and to design uncertainty-proof adaptation strategies.
The network of research will bring together academic cultures and experiences from a wide range of climate adaptation research traditions from leading groups in the field from the Universities of Bergen (TRACKS), Utrecht (Climate proofing under deep uncertainty & Knowledge for Climate) and Leeds (Advancing Knowledge Systems to Inform Climate Adaptation Decisions) and the Citizens University of Amersfoort which has been pioneering citizens science and brings a major project of citizens science monitoring of urban heat stress.
UC4A will not only join the forces of Bergen, Utrecht, Leeds and Amersfoort, and radically bridge the disciplines of philosophy and ethics of science, environmental science, climate science, and environmental governance, but will in addition organize and facilitate far reaching interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary engagement with an international extended peer community of practitioners, citizens and scholars.