Climate One at The Commonwealth Club has announced that in December 2020, Edward Maibach, Distinguished University Professor and the founding director of Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication, and Anthony Leiserowitz, founder and director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and a senior research scientist at the Yale School of the Environment, will be awarded the tenth annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. The $15,000 award, established in honor of Stephen Henry Schneider, one of the founding fathers of climatology, is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion. This year it will be shared between Maibach and Leiserowitz.
The award jurors are Naomi Oreskes (Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University), Cristine Russell (Senior Fellow, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Harvard University), and J. Marshall Shepherd (Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia). The jurors decided that the work of Leiserowitz and Maibach exemplifies the rare ability to be both superb scientists and powerful communicators in the mold of Stephen Schneider.
“No one has done more to help us understand how the American people understand climate change than Tony Leiserowitz and Ed Maibach,” said Oreskes. “Their work has set the standard for social scientific investigations of what Americans think about climate change and why they think it.”
Maibach, a University Professor in Communication, has focused exclusively since 2007 on climate change as the world’s most pressing threat to public health and wellbeing. His research—funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA and private foundations—is centered on public understanding and engagement in climate change. With Anthony Leiserowitz (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication), Maibach co-directs the Climate Change in the American Mind polling project, a research program currently in its 12th year. The project is best known for identifying and tracking the ongoing evolution of Global Warming’s Six Americas—six groups of Americans with distinct views, behaviors and policy preferences regarding climate change. Insights from Climate Change in the American Mind polls led him to explore and develop various avenues to enhance public understanding and engagement in climate change. Notable examples include Climate Matters, and the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health.
Maibach appreciates the significance of the Schneider award. “Receiving this award—especially with my colleague and dear friend Anthony Leiserowitz—is a wonderful honor,” he said. “As a public health professional, I’m battling to save earth’s climate because doing so is necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone alive today, and all who are yet to come—especially the least privileged of us, who are the most vulnerable. For even the chance to be useful in this way is an honor beyond measure.”
The award is presented by Climate One, a project of The Commonwealth Club of California, a nonprofit and nonpartisan public forum founded in San Francisco in 1903.
August 17, 2020