Discovery Park Distinguished Lecturer: Steven Koonin, "Certainties and uncertainties in our energy and climate futures"

April 16, 2019
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Burton D. Morgan Center, Room 121


Please view Dr. Steven Koonin's recorded seminar here:

Abstract: Discussions of the energy-climate nexus necessarily involve (but often conflate) aspects of science, technology, economics, policy, behavior, and values. Seeing the way forward with clarity is greatly helped by clearly separating what is (or was) from what will be / could be / should be. In this discussion, Koonin will first discuss the certainties and uncertainties in our understanding of the earth’s changing climate and its response to human influences. The historical record, climate models, and projections through the next century will be reviewed in ways not usually covered in policy-informing summaries. Koonin will then discuss the global challenges of both reducing human influences

Bio: Steven E. Koonin, a University Professor at New York University, was the founding director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress from 2012-2018. Before joining NYU, Dr. Koonin served as the second Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy from May 2009 through November 2011. In that capacity, he oversaw technical activities across the Department’s science, energy, and security activities and led the Department’s first Quadrennial Technology Review for energy. Before joining the government, Dr. Koonin spent five years as Chief Scientist for BP plc, where he focused on alternative and renewable energy technologies. Dr. Koonin was a professor of theoretical physics at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1975-2006 and was the Institute’s Provost for almost a decade. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the JASON advisory group. Dr. Koonin holds a B.S. in Physics from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from MIT (1975) and is a trustee of the Institute for Defense Analyses.

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