Schellnhuber to advise EU Commission’s President in new capacity

02/28/2013 - The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, yesterday in Brussels met the newly appointed members of his Science and Technology Advisory Council (PSTAC). Physicist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, will be part of this independent group of eminent experts. The Council is charged to provide foresight and recommendations that could be used to explore opportunities and make informed judgements based on the evidence and advice provided.
Schellnhuber to advise EU Commission’s President in new capacity
1st meeting of the Science and Technology Advisory Council to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. (Photo: European Commission)

“Science and innovation are a key driver for European competitiveness, economic growth and the creation of new jobs,” Barroso said. “This Advisory Council will focus on science and technology related topics that are of cross-cutting nature, with a clear societal dimension. It will identify the issues of value where science, research and innovation can contribute to support future development in Europe.” The PSTAC differs from other advisory boards in the Commission in that it would not have a defined subject yet, but would tackle files that are of cross-cutting nature.

“In the very beginning, the EU was a project for peace, after the collapse of communism a project for freedom – and now it could become a project for sustainability, with the climate challenge being a part of this,” Schellnhuber pointed out. “Such a project could only be achieved through the power of ideas and rational thinking, so obviously I’m grateful that President Barroso invited me to participate in this joint effort for providing advice to the leaders of a continent of more than 500 million people.”

Amongst the other members of the Council is Nobel Laureate Ada E. Yonath of Israel, a crystallographer, Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, CEO of General Electrics Europe & North Asia, a born Italian, Cedric Villani, a French mathematician who won the Fields medal, or Susan M. Gasser, a molecular biologist from Switzerland. The only other German member of the Council will be Ortwin Renn, a sociologist and renowned risk expert.

Schellnhuber joined Barroso after briefing leading World Bank experts on issues of sustainability and climate change in Washington D.C. earlier this week.

Press release of the European Commission: