On Tuesday 12 March, WCRP expert James Renwick has been awarded the New Zealand 2018 Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize. The prestigious prize worth 100,000 NZD honors scientists with a demonstrated interest, passion and aptitude for science communication and public engagement.
James is a professor at Victoria University of Wellington and has a long-standing history of engagement with WCRP: from 2013 to 2018 he was a member of the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee (JSC), which provides scientific guidance in all aspects to WCRP. Since 2017 he is co-chair of the Scientific Steering Group of WCRP's Climate and Cryosphere Core Project.
James' engagement with the World Meteorological Organization (one of WCRP's co-sponsors) has likewise been long-standing: from 1999 to 2009 he was New Zealand's focal point for the WMO Climate Information and Prediction Services Project (CLIPS); from 2005 to 2010 a member of a WMO Commission for Climatology Expert Team on Seasonal Forecasting; and he was also a member of the WMO Executive Council Panel of Experts on Polar Observations, Research and Services.
The prize was awarded to James for his exemplary habit of incorporating science communication into everyday practice. He is well known internationally for his opinion pieces, frequent media interviews, collaboration with the arts community and engagement with policy makers.
For the IPCC, James has been a contributor during its Third Assessment Report (2001), as well as a Lead Author for the 4th Assessment Report (2007), for a follow-up Technical Paper on Climate Change and Water (2008), and for the 5th Assessment Report (2013).
Information on the prize award to James is available directly from the homepage of the New Zealand Prime Minister's Science Prizes, as well as through a Radio New Zealand interview with James about his prize, the climate, and his future plans. WCRP congratulates James to this great achievement and recognition.