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Short Biography

Source: Foto Hollin, 2009(Status: January 2018)

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber founded the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in 1992 and has been its Director ever since. He is a Professor for Theoretical Physics at Potsdam University and holds positions as Research Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Senior Advisor at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. From 2001-2005 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 member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), Chief Scientific Advisor of the Climate-KIC and Chair of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative of the European Commission. He is an elected member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the Academia Europaea, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Society and several other academies. He received, inter alia, 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 was given honorary citizenship of his hometown Ortenburg and the Culture Prize of the district Passau (2014). In 2017, he received the Blue Planet Prize from the Japanese Asahi Glass Foundation, which is considered the most important award for environmental sciences worldwide, as well as the Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Sustainability Award.

Schellnhuber has been a long-standing member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was Chief Government Advisor on climate and related issues during the German G8/EU twin presidency in 2007 and has served as a principal advisor to the European Commission President Barroso. He is a member of numerous national and international panels addressing scientific strategies and sustainability issues. Schellnhuber has authored, co-authored or edited almost 350 articles and more than 60 books in the fields of condensed matter physics, complex systems dynamics, climate change research, Earth System analysis, and sustainability science.

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