New Award from the American Geophysical Union Recognizes Excellence in Climate Communications
18 October 2011
WASHINGTON, DC — In recognition of his exceptional work as a climate communicator, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has selected Gavin Schmidt as the recipient of its inaugural Climate Communications Prize.
Schmidt is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and co-founder of the RealClimate.org, a blog that covers areas of science related to climate-from present-day measurements to paleoclimate proxies, from natural climate variation to anthropogenic change. Schmidt has also worked with photographers on a popular science book, on museum exhibits, and on online courses and has often appeared on TV and radio and in print.
The award, which was established by AGU earlier this year, recognizes excellence in climate communication as well as the promotion of scientific literacy, clarity of messaging, and efforts to foster respect and understanding for science-based values related to climate change.
“AGU created this award to raise the visibility of climate change as a critical issue facing the world today, to demonstrate our support for scientists who commit themselves to the effective communication of climate change science, and to encourage more scientists to engage with the public and policy makers on how climate research can contribute to the sustainability of our planet,” said AGU president Michael McPhaden. “That’s why we are so pleased to recognize Gavin for his dedicated leadership and outstanding scientific achievements. We hope that his work will serve as an inspiration for others.”
Schmidt said, “Talking to the public and the media is often neglected in assessing people’s contributions, and yet, as taxpayer-funded scientists we have a collective responsibility to share the expertise we have with the broader public. I’m very happy that the efforts I’ve made-in collaboration with many colleagues-have been recognized by this new award. I hope that this can serve as an encouragement for more scientists to dip their toe into the public discussions.”
The prize, which comes with a $25,000 cash award, is sponsored by Nature’s Own, a Boulder, Colo.-based company specializing in the sale of minerals, fossils, and decorative stone specimens.
“This award will help increase communication of our scientific understanding of climate change and its consequences, and I congratulate Gavin for all that he has accomplished and what it means for the scientific community,” said Nature’s Own president and founder Roy Young, an AGU member. “Gavin has worked tirelessly to bring the work of scientists in understanding our changing world to both the public debate as well as to the broader scientific community.”
The award will be presented to Schmidt in December during the honors celebration at AGU’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
The American Geophysical Union is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with more than 60,000 members representing over 148 countries. AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs.
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