Richard Alley, Gavin Schmidt Recognized As Top Science Communicators

Two respected climate scientists highly active in communications with non-expert audiences win first-year climate science communications awards.

Penn State geology professor Richard B. Alley accepted the first annual $10,000 Stephen H. Schneider Climate Science Communications Award at a Climate One ceremony honoring him in San Francisco on December 6.


Richard Alley, left, interviewed by Climate One’s Greg Dalton.

Alley, the host narrator in the 2011/2012 PBS documentary “Earth: The Operators Manual,” is shown on the left in the photograph below, strumming and singing Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s “Teach Your Children Well” along with two of the Prize jurors — Ben Santer, center, of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Larry Goulder of Stanford University. (Goulder is playing what had been Schneider’s guitar.)

Additional images of the Alley prize ceremony are online here. An 11-minute video featuring the climate science career of Schneider, who passed away in 2010, was produced for the ceremony by Climate One and its director, Greg Dalton, which headed-up the prize competition. A report and audio of Dalton’s extensive interview with Alley is available as a podcast.

Alley was not the only highly respected climate scientist recognized for his communications prowess. Also during the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, NASA/GISS climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, a principal behind realclimate.org was honored by AGU with the organization’s first climate science communications prize, which carried with it a $20,000 award.

Note: The Editor of The Yale Forum is one of the three jurors involved in the Schneider Prize. Credit for both photos to Climate One.

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