Scientific modelling

Updated on Sun, 08/09/2020 - 13:56
Andrew Constable, Lisa Roberts, 2010
System of Knowledge
Margate, Tasmania / palawa kani
An artist imagines a scientist's model of the Southern Ocean.


On 29 October 2010, at the Australian Antarctic Division, Tasmania, scientist Andrew Constable explains to Lisa Roberts (LR) what he means by modelling. He casts her a challenge, to 'make a scientific model attractive to people through art'. She responds with the animation, Scientific modelling that's a play on words, with an artist's model serving as a metaphor for a scientific model of the Southern Ocean.


A model is a construct that is an assembly of your understanding.
It gives you room to make a decision about the future.
If you close your eyes, how would you get from one side of the room to the other?

You model it.

You model it, and you work by that model.
This is the difficulty in the climate change debate at the moment... that people don't believe the models.
All they see are the lines on the graphs, and they see this things as a model - a black box - they don't actually appreciate that the black box - the computer that's doing all the number crunching, is exactly the same as what they've done to cross the room.




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