New Scientist letter to editor advocating the Open Energy Modelling Initiative

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Robbie Morrison

Sep 27, 2021, 2:04:46 PMSep 27
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Hello all, just for some fun ..

For those not aware, New Scientist is a weekly science and technology magazine published from the United Kingdom with a circulation of something like 120 000.

Simon Ings (2021) writing for New Scientist recently reviewed a new book by Katy Börner (2021) entitled Atlas of forecasts: modeling and mapping of desirable futures to be released shortly by MIT Press. I duly wrote a letter to the editor which was published in the web and print versions on 8 September and 11 September 2021 respectively.  As follows:

screenshot of

That copy is repeated here in text form:

A model approach for all those modellers

In his review of the book Atlas of Forecasts, Simon Ings rightly questions the value of increasingly complex mathematical models that shape public policy, and hence our lives, but that only experts can understand (21 August, p 32).

Worse still, those outside the teams that build and run these models have limited ability to evaluate the work, unless the software is open source, the data genuinely open and available, and the documentation public.

A number of energy‑system modellers, through the Open Energy Modelling Initiative, have been working hard to achieve open analysis within our domain. Indeed, open by default may soon be the analytical norm for Europe. Instead of opaque trust, we offer transparency, reproducibility, inclusion and collaboration. Feel free to help us curate system data, explore net‑zero energy futures and assist with outreach.

enjoy! Robbie


Morrison, Robbie (11 September 2021). "A model approach for all those modellers". New Scientist. (3351): 30. ISSN 0262‑4079. Letter to the editor. The URL refers to the web version published on 8 September 2021.

Börner, Katy (August 2021). Atlas of forecasts: modeling and mapping of desirable futures. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: MIT Press. ISBN 978‑026204595‑7.

Ings, Simon (21 August 2021). "Can we model the world?". New Scientist. (3348): 32. ISSN 0262‑4079.

Robbie Morrison
Address: Schillerstrasse 85, 10627 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49.30.612-87617
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