Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Shared Research Group "Limits and Objectivity of Scientific Foreknowledge: The Case of Energy Outlooks" (LOBSTER)

  • Project team:

    Betz, Gregor (project leader); Sebastian Cacean, Anna Leuschner, Christian Voigt, Christian Dieckhoff, Eugen Pissarskoi

  • Funding:


  • Start date:


  • Project partners:

    Institute of Philosophy (KIT)

  • Research group:

    Energy - resources, technologies, systems

Project description

The Shared Research Group on "Limits and Objectivity of Scientific Foreknowledge: The Case of Energy Outlooks" (LOBSTER) is funded by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). It is associated both with the Institute of Philosophy and with the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS).

The Shared Research Group addresses the reliability of scientific policy advice from a general, methodological point of view. It focuses especially on energy predictions and scenarios. Besides assessing the uncertainties involved, the Shared Research Group examines how to cope rationally with risks and uncertainties in concrete decision situations. It develops, in particular, innovative argument mapping technologies to structure complex controversies.

The work of the Shared Research Group is not only of relevance from the theoretical perspective of philosophy of science, but has obvious, practical implications. Thus, the Shared Research Group seeks to improve scientific advice in the field of energy and climate policy, and will develop guidelines that inform policy-makers who face decisions under uncertainty.

The Shared Research Group contributes to several projects, e.g. the Helmholtz Research School on Energy Scenarios, the Helmholtz Alliance Energy-Trans, and the Priority Program Climate Engineering of the DFG.

Project website:


Book Chapters
Dieckhoff, C.
Epistemische Meta-Analyse. Ein konzeptioneller Vorschlag für die Analyse und den Vergleich von Szenarien.
2016. Die Energiewende und ihre Modelle : Was uns Energieszenarien sagen können – und was nicht. Hrsg.: C. Dieckhoff, 137–166, transcript, Bielefeld 
Dieckhoff, C.; Leuschner, A.
Einleitung - Die Energiewende und ihre Modelle.
2016. Die Energiewende und ihre Modelle : Was uns Energieszenarien sagen könne - und was nicht. Hrsg.: C. Dieckhoff, 7–11, transcript, Bielefeld 
Dieckhoff, C.
How causal effects are tried to be isolated with energy models and scenarios.
2015. Causality and Modelling in the Sciences, Madrid, E, June 29 - July 1, 2015 
Leuschner, A.
Social exclusion despite methodological criteria: On biases in scientific quality evaluation.
2015. 9.Internationaler Kongress zum Thema ’Philosophie zwischen Lehnstuhl und Labor’, Osnabrück, 14.-17.September 2015 
Leuschner, A.
Can dissent in science be epistemically detrimental? Notes on a recent debate.
2015. 15th Congress on Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science (CLMPS), Helsinki, SF, August 3-8, 2015 
Leuschner, A.
The social relevance of the philosophy of climate science.
2015. 5th Biennial Conference of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP), Aarhus, DK, June 24-26, 2015 
Book Chapters
Kolstad, C.; Urama, K.; Broome, J.; Bruvoll, A.; Carino Olvera, M.; Fullerton, D.; Gollier, C.; Hanemann, W. M.; Hassan, R.; Jotzo, F.; Khan, M. R.; Meyer, L.; Mundaca, L.; Aghion, P.; Allcott, H.; Betz, G.; Borenstein, S.; Brennan, A.; Caney, S.; Farber, D.; Jaffe, A.; Luderer, G.; Ockenfels, A.; Popp, D.
Social, economic, and ethical concepts and methods.
2014. Edenhofer, O. [Hrsg.] Climate Change 2014 : Mitigation of Climate Change Working Group III Contribution to the fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change New York, N.Y. : Cambridge University Press, 2014, 207–282 
Journal Articles
Leuschner, A.
Biases in scientific quality assurance.
2014. International Workshop on Feminist Philosophy of Science, Ghent, B, November 24-25, 2014 


Jun.-Prof. Dr. habil. Gregor Betz
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe