Dr. Martin Kowarsch

Head of working group Scientific Assessments, Ethics and Public Policy

Dr. Martin Kowarsch

Dr. Martin Kowarsch 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


Current projects:

Currently, Kowarsch is leading 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. 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, and other science-policy interfaces.



Curriculum Vitae (incl. publications)

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Latest Publications

Treichel, K., Blum, M., Kowarsch, M., 2022

Report: Bürgersichten auf zukünftige Energiewelten – Ergebnisse der Ariadne-Bürgerkonferenz

Lenzi, D., Kowarsch, M., 2022

Integrating Justice in Climate Policy Assessments: Towards a Deliberative Transformation of Feasibility

Principles of Justice and Real-World Climate Politics, Rowman & Littlefield
Kowarsch, M., 2021

Beratung für Corona- und Klimapolitik: Fakten, Handlungsvorschläge oder gar Ziele?

Forschung - Politik, Strategie, Management 3+4/2020, pp. 97-100
Peer Review
Blum, M., Colell, A., Hoffmann, J., Karohs, K., Kowarsch, M., Krude, M., Saur, M., Thiel, H. , 2021

Was ist uns wichtig bei Verkehrs- und Stromwende? Bürgerinnen und Bürger sprechen über Herausforderungen und Ziele