Ryan O'Loughlin | philosophy of climate science

Hi, I'm Ryan O'Loughlin, a philosopher of climate science. 


I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Queens College (CUNY). I hold a PhD in Philosophy of Science from Indiana University. 


People sometimes think that philosophy has little to contribute to science and vice versa. But that's not true. Historically and today the two are intertwined--scientific methods can smuggle in biases and armchair philosophizing can fail in the face of the simplest gathering of empirical data. This is no less true in (philosophy of) climate science, my primary area of research interest.  My education in both the geosciences and in philosophy has cultivated a deep appreciation for attending to scientific practice when doing, writing, and teaching philosophy and for being philosophically alert while reading scientific work. 


My research has revolved around the mutually beneficial relationship between philosophy and climate science. My work focuses on philosophical analysis of the credibility and the applications of climate models and model intercomparison projects,  the powerhouse of climate change research. 

More specifically, I study questions such as "why and in what sense(s) are climate models robust?" "What do  intercomparisons between different climate models tell us?" "What is the value of disagreement in climate modeling?" See more at the Research Page. Here's my Google Scholar page.

New paper on diagnosing climate model errors is free to view here. 


I also strive to present the interrelationship between science and philosophy to my students. One key message is that, to paraphrase John Oliver, while science is imperfect it is vitally important, and is our best means of learning about the world. Learning about the reasoning strategies involved in science can help students thinking critically (and actively reflect on their own thinking!) which can further help them navigate our world that is unfortunately filled with fake news, overblown hype, and misinformation. 

I've designed and taught courses such as: Logic, Intro to Philosophy, Scientific Reasoning, and Philosophy of the Environment & Climate Change. More at the Teaching Page