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Narrating science as a world-making activity: Sea level change in Singapore

Since the Tsunami wave hit South and Southeast Asia in December 2004, dystopian images of flash floods and rapidly eroding coasts increasingly form part of science narratives put forth in novels and science journalism. This also holds for writers in island Southeast Asia, a region predicted to be especially affected by global mean sea level rise, further exacerbated by coastal erosions, sudden strong winds, rainfall, respective wave development and coastal flooding.

Yet, the question how these science narratives of rapidly changing coastal futures inform policy-making so far remains to be answered. This project will trace narratives of sea level change from popular science novels and science journalism (documentaries on TV and in print) to the national-level policy-making sphere of Singapore. The small island-state in Southeast Asia thus serves as experimental study ground.

This project is embedded in the joint project Fiction Meets Science II (FMS II) and builds on the findings from the first three years of work (FMS I), both focusing and broadening the studies of the narrative-based discourse on science that has emerged in the literary arts. Such studies not only provide insights into the cultural products as such, but also serve as a platform for investigating the inner workings of science and its changing place in society.



Internationale Projektpartner


Susan M. Gaines  (Literary Arts / Geochemistry UB)

Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Sociology, ZMT, UB)

Anton Kirchhofer (Literary Studies, UO)

Norbert Schaffeld (Literary Studies, UO)

Uwe Schimank (Sociology, ZMT, UB)


Other PIs and contributors

Anna Aguscik (Literary Studies, UO)

Martin Butler (Cultural Studies, UO)

Sina Farzin (Sociology, UH)

Raymond Haynes (Astrophysics, CISRO, Australia)

Roslyn Haynes (Literary Studies, UNSW, Australia)

Hanna Straß-Senol (Cultural Studies, UO)

Peter Weingart (Sociology, UB, University of Bielefeld)


University of Bremen (UB)

Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK)

University of Oldenburg (UO)

Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)

University of Guelph (UG)

University of Hamburg (UH)

FMS Scientists Network

FMS International Authors Network



Jennifer Henke (Literary Studies, UB)

Christine Müller (Literary Studies, UB)

Natalie Roxburgh (Literary Studies, University of Siegen)


Partners & Consultants

Julia Boll (Literary Studies, University of Constance)

Donald Bruce (Literary Studies, University of Guelph, Canada)

Daniel Cordle (Literary Studies, Nottingham Trent University, UK)

Josie Gill (Literary Studies, University of Bristol, UK)

Luz Maria Hernandez Nieto (Sociology / Graphics, Mexico)

David Kirby (Scicen Communication, University of Manchester, UK)

Janine Rogers (Literary Studies, Mount Allison University, Canada)

Uwe Spörl (Literary Studies, UB)

Hildegard Westphal (Geology, ZMT, UB)

Martin Willis (Science and Literature, Cardiff University, UK)