Martin Mahony
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Personal profile

Research interests

I am interested in how societies in different times and places make sense of weather and climate, and how atmospheric knowledges intersect with politics and power. My background is in human geography and science & technology studies (STS).

My PhD on what I call the ‘epistemic geographies of climate change’ was completed in September 2013 at the University of East Anglia (UEA), following time spent during 2012 as a Fellow on the STS Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. I hold a Masters degree in Environmental Social Science from UEA and a Bachelors degree in Geography from the University of Oxford. 

I am currently a visiting Research Fellow (Apr-May) at the Institute of Advanced Study on Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (MECS), Leuphana University, Lüneburg , Germany.

Current research interests include:

History and geography of climate science, with a particular focus on the emergence of computer simulation as a locus of scientific practice and governmental reasoning. Building on past work, I am currently exploring the emergence of UK climate change modelling in the 1980s, alongside the role of regional climate simulation in contemporary climate politics.

Meteorology as a colonial science. With the help of an RGS-IBG Small Research Grant, I am examining the history of colonial meteorology across the British Empire in the early- to mid-20th Century. I am interested in how Empire was positioned as a means of standardising meteorological practice around the world, and how meteorology transititioned from being the compendium of largely 'amateur' observations to being a science of colonial government.

The visual cultures of climate. Building on work on how climate change risks are constructed and contested through diagrams, I am interested in the forms of display and performance through which the climate becomes known and governable. Connecting to my work on imperial meteorology, this strand of work includes an interest in the conference as a site of scientific and political performance in contexts such as the Conferences of Empire Meteorologists and forthcoming UN climate change and Commonwealth conferences. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Epistemic geographies of climate change: the IPCC and the spaces, boundaries and politics of knowing, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 1 Jan 2014

Master of Research, Model migrations: mobility and boundary crossings in regional climate prediction, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 1 Jan 2010

Bachelor of Arts, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jan 2008


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