| Home | Future Events | Previous Events | People | Articles | Reviews | AboutUs |

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and The Great Debate present
Responding to Climate Change: Should the Experts Decide?
5.30pm, Monday, 11th September 2017
The Core, Science Central
Bath Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TF

Public distrust of experts has become a hot topic recently, notably in the discussions surrounding Brexit and the US presidential election. This gives rise to serious questions about what part expertise should play in decision making and whether this is compatible with democracy. What does this mean for climate change policy? Some argue that, given the scientific consensus on climate change, policy should be driven by the experts. Others argue that the science of climate change is only a small part of the story when it comes to making decisions about, for example, energy policy. So, how much weight should be given to the views of climate scientists? How do we make the right decisions about our future?

This event explored these issue with a panel of speakers in conversation with an audience made up of members of the Tyndall Centre and the general public.

Professor Marilyn Brown, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr Ruth Fuller, World Wildlife Fund
Mo Lovatt, co-Director, The Great Debate
Professor Sir Robert Watson, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity Ecosystem Services

Chair: Caspar Hewett, Director, The Great Debate

Come along, hear the arguments and have your say!


Professor Marilyn Brown
Professor Brown is a professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She joined Georgia Tech in 2006 after a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she led several national climate change mitigation studies and became a leader in the analysis and interpretation of energy futures in the United States. Her research focuses on the design and impact of policies aimed at accelerating the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies, with an emphasis on the electric utility industry, the integration of energy efficiency, demand response, and solar resources, and ways of improving resiliency to disruptions. Her books include Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), Green Savings: How Policies and Markets Drive Energy Efficiency (Praeger, 2015), and Climate Change and Global Energy Security (MIT Press, 2011). She has authored more than 250 publications. Her work has had significant visibility in the policy arena as evidenced by her numerous briefings and testimonies before state legislative bodies and Committees of both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Dr. Brown co-founded the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and chaired its Board of Directors for several years. She has served on the boards of directors of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Alliance to Save Energy, and was a commissioner with the Bipartisan Policy Center. She has served on 8 National Academies committees and currently serves on the editorial boards of three journals: Energy Policy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Research and Social Science. She is serving her second term as a Presidential appointee to the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public power provider, and she serves on DOE’s Electricity Advisory Committee.

Dr Ruth Fuller
Dr Fuller is the International Development Policy Adviser at WWF-UK where she has worked for the last 10 years. Ruth's work focuses on the links between poverty, natural resources and climate change. She has been the co-chair of the Bond SDGs group (formally Beyond 2015 UK) for the last 4.5 years. She has been involved in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since Rio+20 - so from their initiation, negotiation and now into implementation and she is particularly focused on ensuring the goals are delivered in an integrated way, with climate change and environmental sustainability aspects of the goals fulling embedded in their delivery. Ruth has a PhD from the University of Reading, her PhD was part of a DFID funded research project looking at urban livestock keeping in India, Kenya and Bolivia. She has also worked as a consultant for DFID and has been seconded into DFID's Climate and Environment Team. You can see some of her recent blog posts here: www.bond.org.uk/person/ruth-fuller.

Mo Lovatt

Mo Lovatt
Mo Lovatt is co-Director of The Great Debate. She is a writer and academic based in the North East of England. She has been an active member of The Great Debate since its inception in 1998. Her academic interests centre on participatory arts and literature, reading for pleasure, the aesthetic experience, qualitative research methods and the politics of cultural participation. She co-wrote and lectures on the core modules of Northumbria University’s Masters Programme in Creative and Cultural Industries Management. Mo has a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Northumbria. For The Great Debate, Mo brings together her event management experience and her dual interests in Arts and Politics.
More on Mo Lovatt ...

Professor Sir Robert T. Watson FRS
Professor Watson is Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Watson is one of the most influential environmental scientists worldwide, contributing to multiple assessments of sciences to inform international and national policies and actions.

Among key positions held, Watson was former Chief Scientist at the UK Department of Food, Environment, and Rural Affairs; former Chief Scientist and Director for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development at the World Bank; and Associate Director for Environment in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President in the White House; and Director of the Science Division and Chief Scientist for the Office of Mission to Planet Earth at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Watson Chaired and co-Chaired a number of influential scientific assessments, including: Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II; co-Chair of UNEP's Global Biodiversity Assessment; co-Chair of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science & Technology for Development; Board of Directors of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; and multiple International Scientific Assessment of Stratospheric Ozone.

Watson has received many national and international awards and prizes for his contributions to science, including the Asahi Glass Blue Planet Prize and the UN Champion of the World for Science and Innovation.

Top of page

| Home | Future Events | Previous Events | People | Articles | Reviews | AboutUs |