Join Erica Thompson, author of “Escape from Model Land,” as we delve into the power and pitfalls of complex mathematical modelling and how it is used to guide decision-making for better or worse. Hosted by The Transition Accelerator and the Energy Modelling Hub, this webinar will deliver a constructive critique of energy modelling and its uses and limitations for decision-making. We will explore how modelling tools impact Canada’s ability to achieve our climate objectives, methods to assess model validity, and how models are used in designing a prosperous net-zero future. Join our panel of energy modelling experts to discover the critical role of modelling in net-zero scenario planning and policy development.
Models are crucial tools for the transition to net zero, but can be misused in the fast-changing fields of energy systems and human behaviour. Author Erica Thompson joined the Transition Accelerator’s Normand Mousseau and James Meadowcroft to explore the challenges and pitfalls of applying models to decision-making in a wide-ranging conversation.
Here are our highlights:
Dr. Thompson’s research is centred around the use of mathematical and computational models to inform real-world decision-making. She has worked on mathematical and statistical methods for model evaluation and interpretation as well as on fundamental philosophical questions about what model outputs really mean and how we use models in tandem with expert judgement. She has a particular interest in real-world applications of modelling methods, having worked with humanitarian NGOs, insurance practitioners, UK government departments and other partners. She is presently writing a popular book about the uses and pitfalls of models to inform decisions.
Erica gained a PhD in Physics from Imperial College London on statistical and dynamical modelling of North Atlantic storms under climate change.
Normand Mousseau, PhD, is a professor of physics at Université de Montréal and Academic Director of the Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montréal. His research includes the study of complex materials, energy and natural resources. He is actively involved with energy and climate policy, having co-chaired the Quebec Commission on Energy Issues in 2013, and published a number of books in this field.
James Meadowcroft, PhD, is professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University where he has held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Governance for Sustainable Development. He has written widely on environmental politics and policy, democratic participation and deliberative democracy, national sustainable development strategies and socio-technical transitions. Recent work focuses on energy and the transition to a low-carbon society and includes publications on carbon capture and storage (CCS), smart grids, the development of Ontario’s electricity system, the politics of socio-technical transitions and negative carbon emissions.