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Weather forecasting, Young people and politics

Laurie Taylor explores a scientific art form rooted in unpredictability. Plus a look at young people, populism and politics.

Weather forecasting: Laurie Taylor explores a scientific art form rooted in unpredictability. He talks to Phaedra Daipha, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, who spent years immersing herself in a regional office of the National Weather Service in America. How do forecasters decide if a storm is to be described as severe or hazardous; or a day is breezy or brisk? Do they master uncertainty any better than other expert decision makers such as stockbrokers and poker players? Charged with the onerous responsibility of protecting the life and property of US citizens, how do they navigate the uncertain and chaotic nature of the atmosphere?

Also, young people, populism and politics. How do young Europeans regard the political process and are they more attracted to populist ideologies than their older counterparts? Gary Pollock, Professor of Politics at Manchester Metropolitan University, has used survey evidence from 14 European countries, to explore the mixture of political positions held by young people, finding they don't map easily on to the typical 'left-right' spectrum.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

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28 minutes

RELATED LINKS

Phaedra Daipha at Rutgers, School of Arts and Sciences

Gary Pollock at Manchester Metropolitan University

 

READING LIST

Phaedra Daipha, Masters of Uncertainty: Weather Forecasters and the Quest for Ground Truth (2015, University of Chicago Press)

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Explore further with The Open University

This programme is co-produced by the Open University.

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