Top marks for PIK: Senate of the Leibniz Association confirms excellence

03/24/2015 - The senate of the Leibniz Association - an organisation uniting more than 80 scientific institutions - issued a statement on Monday which brings the evaluation of PIK to a successful conclusion. The research results of the institute as a whole were rated “outstanding”. The rating is based on a review carried out by a team of top international researchers, which takes place only once every seven years. The reviewers judged that PIK has developed into a globally leading institute for climate science. As well as its achievements in research, the institute's important role in scientific policy advice was praised.
Top marks for PIK: Senate of the Leibniz Association confirms excellence
Leibniz Association logo: neon sign in the headquarters of the organisation. Photo: Leibniz-Gemeinschaft/Peter Himsel

"Two of its four research domains are being rated as 'excellent' and two as 'very good to excellent'", the Leibniz Association states. This is reflected in a "high number of excellent publications in renowned scientific journals", the statement says. Moreover, "the institute's advice is sought for and highly appreciated by policy-makers, public institutions, and businesses". Since the last evaluation, the institute "achieved great progress". The extensive review process is intended to ensure that top quality is maintained in scientific practice. It is thus the basis for any decisions on whether the research institute concerned receives further public funding.

"Overall, PIK has produced excellent results and established itself as a major player in international climate research," the review team's report states. "Many of its models are world-leading. The institute is also very involved in public outreach and in high-profile scientific consultancy to policy-makers as well as academic and industrial partners. These activities are highly valued. The outstanding contributions to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are particularly noteworthy." This report has made clear that dangerous climate change has essentially been caused by humans and that humans can also stop it by for instance changing their energy systems.

Review team from Oxford, New York, Jülich, Munich

Among the review team were the Chair, the Belgian Harry Vereecken from the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences of Forschungszentrum Jülich, which is one of the biggest interdisciplinary scientific institutions in Europe. Other acclaimed scientists and institute directors came from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, Columbia University in New York, the Technische Universität München and the universities of Freiburg, Frankfurt, Bonn and Darmstadt in Germany, the Australian Clean Energy Council, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in the US, and the Rotterdam School of Management.

"We are very pleased and feel encouraged to carry on along the path we've set," said PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. "Understanding the climate system is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time - not just because of its complexity, but because the consequences of unchecked climate change carry immense risks for people on every continent." The institute was given a number of recommendations which provide valuable orientation for the efforts of the whole institute. The review team recommended, for example, that PIK may expand its already successfully started research on the potential for and the limits of adaptation to climate change. In this matter, PIK starts this year by initiating a new assistant professorship focusing on this theme.


For further information please contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
Twitter: @PIK_Climate