An Interview with Mike Hulme

Emeritus Professor Hans von Storch has been carrying out interviews with climate and atmospheric scientists for more than 25 years. I was von Storch’s 13th interview in this series, the interview conducted jointly with Professor Martin Claussen of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. In von Storch’s own words …

These interviews offer snapshots of our joint scientific history. Nearly all interviewees have been geoscientists who can look back at long and impressive scientific careers. They are all witness to events that often lie far in the past but heavily influence our present time. These “testimonies” alone are already valuable in that they allow younger generations to understand why conditions and why knowledge are the way they are today, that science is not a collection of truths, but is a social process. These interviews follow the same premise – they are not about “truth”, but about the perception of our witnesses; it’s therefore only to a certain degree about how scientific matters were, but about how the witnesses had experienced these matters. It is naturally possible that others understood the events and conditions differently”.

My interview with von Storch and Claussen was carried as an online-exchange over several weeks. The subject of the interview was climate science and its significance for policy-making, but also about the conditions of science under a changing milieu.