Dr. Martin Kowarsch is Adjunct Professor at Aalborg University and heads the working group Scientific Assessments, Ethics, and Public Policy. Kowarsch is specialized in practically oriented philosophy of the science-policy interface, particularly normative assumptions – by combining pragmatist philosophy of (social) science, political philosophy & ethics, and interdisciplinary research with regard to climate and sustainability governance.
Research & teaching interests:
- Science-policy interface (theory & practice), especially integrated assessments for climate policy and sustainability governance
- Deliberative democracy (theory & practice), especially transdisciplinary co-production, policy learning, participation, mini-publics, and strategies vs. populism and social divide
- Pragmatist philosophy of science (in the tradition of J. Dewey), especially of the social sciences, values in economics, fact-value entanglement, and objectivity
- Ethics & justice/political theory, especially pragmatist and applied (w.r.t. climate, sustainability, economics & welfare, capabilities, human-nature), as well as A. Schweitzer’s and Aristotle’s philosophy
Kowarsch led major parts of the science-informed citizen deliberation process in the BMBF project ARIADNE on the German energy transition (2020-23), as well as a similar process on the local level - i.e. the project "Wald Brandenburg" (2021-22) funded by DBU, see movie clip here. Additionally, he is reponsible for a section of the FORMAS Rivet project (with Univ. Lund) on "Risk, values, and decision-making in the economics of climate change: Towards a deliberative science-policy approach to the integration of diverse values in model-based climate economics" (2020-2024).
Jointly with Ottmar Edenhofer, Kowarsch developed a refined science-policy model called the “Pragmatic-Enlightened Model” (PEM). Based on Dewey’s pragmatist philosophy, it suggests to explore alternative policy pathways and their implications jointly with stakeholders and the public in an iterative deliberation process. The PEM inter alia influenced the assessment strategy of IPCC Working Group III during the fifth assessment cycle, and guides the assessment activities at MCC. Kowarsch was coordinator of a joint research initiative (2013 - 2017) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) called “The Future of Global Environmental Assessment Making” (FOGEAM). This interdisciplinary evaluation of past global assessment-making was intended to inform future choices in assessment design. Moreover, Kowarsch provided reviews and advice for the GEO-6 assessment by UN Environment, the EU science advice mechanism, an evaluation framework for science for policy ecosystems by the European Commission, and for other science-policy interfaces.
Curriculum Vitae (incl. publications)
- BOOK: Kowarsch's book about the philosophy of (social) science in policy
- CONFERENCE REPORTS: ETHICS & VALUES IN ASSESSMENTS conference (Sep 2019); expert workshop on deliberative, multi-stakeholder learning platforms (Sep 2018); Water management options in a globalised world workshop (2011)
- MEDIA: Comment on "coal commission" in Tagesspiegel (Feb 2019); Portrait about Kowarsch in Tagesspiegel (Oct 2020); short MCC video clip on value conflicts at the science-policy interface.