News at Princeton

Friday, Sept. 19, 2014
Harold T. Shapiro

Harold T. Shapiro

Photo: Denise Applewhite

People Story

Shapiro to chair InterAcademy Council's IPCC review committee

Harold T. Shapiro, an economist and president emeritus of Princeton University, has been selected by the InterAcademy Council (IAC), an organization of the world's science academies, to chair a 12-member committee to conduct an independent review of the procedures and processes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The review was requested last month by the United Nations.

The committee will review IPCC procedures for preparing its assessment reports. Among the issues to be reviewed are data quality assurance and control; the type of literature that may be cited in IPCC reports; expert and government review of IPCC materials; handling of the full range of scientific views; and the correction of errors that are identified after a report has been completed. The committee also will review overall IPCC processes, including management functions and communication strategies.

The IAC plans to deliver a peer-reviewed report with the committee's findings and recommendations to the U.N. by Aug. 30.

"We approach this review with an open mind," Shapiro said. "I'm confident we have the experts on this committee necessary to supply the U.N. with a stronger process for providing policymakers the best assessment of climate change possible."

The IAC committee, whose members were nominated by science and engineering academies around the world, includes experts representing several countries and disciplines. Shapiro has chaired many U.S. National Academy of Sciences committees and served in a variety of other roles in efforts focused on the relationship between science and society, including as vice chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and as chair of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission.

Shapiro was the president of Princeton from 1988 to 2001 and the president of the University of Michigan from 1980 to 1987. He currently is a professor in Princeton's Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

More information about the committee, including the full list of members, is available on the IAC website. Founded in 2000, the IAC was created to mobilize top scientists and engineers around the world to provide evidence-based advice to international bodies such as the U.N. and World Bank.

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