Hans Joachim (John) Schellnhuber

Hans Joachim (John) Schellnhuber

Founder & Director - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber founded the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in 1991 and has been its director ever since. He holds a chair in theoretical physics at Potsdam University and is an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute (USA). From 2001 to 2005, he also served as research director of the Tyndall Centre in the UK and became a visiting professor at Oxford University thereafter.

Schellnhuber is currently chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), governing board chair of the Climate-KIC of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), and chair of the standing committee on climate, energy, and environment of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Leopoldina, the Max Planck Society, and several other academies. He received the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2002), the German Environment Prize (2007), and the Volvo Environment Prize (2011). Schellnhuber was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II (2004), the Order of Merit of the State of Brandenburg (2008), and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2011). He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Copenhagen (2011) and Technische Universität Berlin (2012).

Schellnhuber is a long-standing member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He served as chief government advisor on climate and related issues during the German G8/EU twin presidency in 2007 and as a principal advisor to the European Commission President Barroso for several years. He is a member of numerous national and international panels addressing scientific strategies and sustainability issues. Schellnhuber has authored, co-authored, or edited more than 250 articles and more than 50 books in the fields of condensed matter physics, complex systems dynamics, climate change research, Earth System analysis, and sustainability science.

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Photo credit: Hollin, 2009

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