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Conclusion to the course

This concludes our course on Global Systems Science and Policy. On it you have seen: policy makers defined as including politicians, citizens and other stakeholders examples of global systems how …

Global Systems Science for policy

The diagram above shows the integration of policy and science in Global Systems Science that you first saw in Week 1. On the left and right of the diagram politicians …

Policy design

Case study: designing a house Look around you. Most likely, almost everything you see has been designed. The Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon called design a Science of the Artificial1. Design …

System dynamics

Although systems diagrams can give deep insights into the behaviour of systems, they have their limitations. For example, by themselves spaghetti-like diagrams may not make it easy to understand large …

Negative and positive feedback

Apart from positive feedback, systems can also have negative feedback loops. Policy makers use negative feedback on a day to day basis as they take corrective action when events deviate …

Systems

A system is here defined to be an assembly of components, connected together in an organised way, where the components are affected by being in the system and the behaviour …

Initial conditions and extreme events

Sensitivity to Initial Conditions The pendulum mentioned in Step 2.2 is not sensitive to initial conditions. If there is a small error in the length of 994 mm, say one …

Prediction and the policy dilemma

The policy dilemma introduced in Week 1 can be interpreted as policy makers trying to predict the outcome of their policies. Prediction plays a large role in conventional science, but …

An overview of Week 2

In Week 1 you were introduced to the policy dilemma – which policy will give the desired outcomes and not have undesirable consequences – in the context of various examples …

An overview of Global Systems Science

In this first week you have seen examples of global systems. The diagram below shows how science can support policy making. Global Systems Science is concerned with the interface between …

Climate Change

The “Anthropocene” is the global system. It was originally proposed as a geological epoch in which humans have become a dominant driver of Earth System change. It reflects the nature, …

The internet

The internet exemplifies the ‘very local – completely global’ nature of global systems. At the local level there are billions of individual users accessing and interacting with the global resource …

Cities

In a TED talk given in Edinburgh in July 20111 Geoffrey West said: “Cities are the crucible of civilization. They have been expanding, urbanization has been expanding, at an exponential …

Finance

Following the financial crash of 2008, it became clear that economic failure could rapidly cascade across institutions and national boundaries. In particular it became clear that banking and finance are …

Epidemiology

Individual to individual infection drives epidemics at the microlevel, when diseases are passed from one infected person to susceptible non-infected people. Usually infections spread when what is called the basic …