Robert Watson (scientist)

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Robert T. Watson is a British scientist who has worked on atmospheric science issues including ozone depletion, global warming and paleoclimatology since the 1980s.


Education and awards

Watson received a PhD in Chemistry from Queen Mary College, University of London in 1973. He has received awards for his contributions to science, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility in 1993 and the insignia of Honorary Companion of St Michael and St George from the British Government in 2003.


Watson joined the World Bank as Senior Scientific adviser in the Environment Department in 1996, became Director of the Environment Department and Head of the Environment Sector Board in 1997 and is currently the Chief Scientist and Senior Adviser for Sustainable Development. He took up a position as Chair of Environmental Science and Science Director of the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, in August 2007[1] and joined the British Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as Chief Scientific Adviser in September 2007.[2]

Prior to joining the World Bank, Watson was Associate Director for Environment in the Office of the President of the United States in the White House and prior to that, Director of the Science Division and Chief Scientist for the Office of Mission to Planet Earth at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

He was Chairman of the Global Environment Facility's Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel from 1991 to 1994, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1997 to 2002 and Board co-chair for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment from 2000 to 2005. He is currently Director of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development and co-chair of the International Scientific Assessment of Stratospheric Ozone. He has been Chair or co-chair of other international scientific assessments, including the IPCC Working Group II, the United Nations Environment Programme/World Meteorological Organization (UNEP/WMO), and the UNEP Global Biodiversity Assessment.

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