Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research
As part of the Distinguished Speakers Series, Khalifa University organized its third lecture from the distinguished Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a world expert on climate change. His lecture, entitled “Will Innovation Save the World?” took place today in collaboration with the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies & Research (ECSSR) in Abu Dhabi.
Schellnhuber argued that the world seems locked onto a precariously unsustainable path, epitomized by climate change, biodiversity loss, soil degradation, resource depletion, chaotic urbanization and financial crises.
He presented three ways to address these dangers; the first one is the More-Innovation-Than-Usual (MITU) approach, generating strong and broad bottom-up progress under much improved conditions to generate R&D. The second one is the Manhattan-Project approach, betting on silver-bullet solutions (like geo-engineering), as solicited by national or international authorities. The third approach is referred to as the Honest-Steward method, where the scientific community insists on communicating their recommendations through a powerful social discourse along with constant reminders to the stakeholders about their responsibility to make appropriate and responsible choices.
“It’s a great honor having Prof. Schellnhuber presenting his vision on how different scientific approaches related to innovation can arrive at solutions to pressing sustainability challenges,” said Dr. Tod Laursen, Khalifa University’s President. “This talk, as do the others within the distinguished speakers series, provides a very useful context for our students to complement their academic interests in science and technology. It is also critical to our mission to serve the broader community by informing them on highly relevant topics that directly relate to a rapidly transforming economic and technological environment.”
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is a Professor, Director and Founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. He is member of the Nobel Prize Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is currently Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change, Governing Board Chair of the Climate-Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. He served as Chief Government Advisor on climate and related issues during the German G8/European Union twin presidency in 2007 and as a principal advisor to the European Commission. He is prolific writer and the recipient of many prestigious awards.
Prof. Schellnhuber’s lecture today was the third of a series of lectures on science, technology and its impact on society. The next Distinguished Speaker of the Series will be Dr. Richard Resnick, Leading Expert on Genomes and CEO of GenomQuest speaking on the Genomic Revolution. It will take place on March 12th, 2012 and is anticipated to draw great attention from the public and both local and regional media alike.