PROGRAM SUMMARY STATEMENT
- This program is an interdisciplinary effort
involving the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy and the Center
for the Study of the Environment and Society.
- It will address the disconnect between public
understanding of the implications of climate change (global, regional and
local) and related environmental phenomena -- including social and economic
impacts -- and the scientific findings, consensus and uncertainties.
- Efforts will be made to reduce the climate
change knowledge gap that hinders the efforts of policymakers to develop,
rationally debate, and implement rational policy to deal with the implications
of climate change.
ITS GOALS ARE
- to understand and articulate all facets
of the knowledge gap between science and public understanding
- to carry out activities and develop policy
options that can be taken to lessen this gap in understanding
- to insure a better-informed public and a
more rational discussion of climate change among policymakers.
- The Program functions as an independent
and non-partisan analytical and critical research organization committed to
disseminating its findings for the benefit of the public.
- The Program serves as a bridge between science,
economics and public policy by providing practical knowledge for decision-makers.
- The Program helps to build consensus, affording
scholars, business leaders and government officials a mechanism to insure
a better informed public and to reach a common ground for action on public
policy issues having to do with climate change and related environmental matters.
- The Program serves to identify and encourage
interested members of the Rice scholarly community and help focus and integrate
their knowledge and talents toward improving public understanding of the various
elements, concepts and possible societal implications of current and future
- The program strengthens the interaction
between academic departments, schools, and other organizations within the
University through the Center for the Study of the Environment and Society
and the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy.
- The Program gives Rice faculty, staff, research
scholars and students the opportunity to interact with corresponding groups
in other universities, government agencies, private organizations, business
- The Programs initiatives will serve
to enhance educational opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students,
in keeping with the traditions of academic excellence at Rice University.
- Individual and group projects on important
issues of climate change science and policy will be commissioned by a Steering
Committee. These will be published as Baker Institute Reports and will be
written for the general public and policy makers, as well as scientists .
- Workshops, including participants from universities,
non-governmental organizations, the media, government, business and industry,
will be held to insure that all relevant perspectives are considered when
developing possible policy recommendations.
- Seminars and symposia, geared to students,
faculty and other scholars, will be presented to promote sharing of progress
on projects of the Program and to stimulate ideas for additional ones.
COMMUNITY BUILDING ACTIVITIES
- New courses at both the graduate and undergraduate
levels, will arise, naturally, out of the Programs activities.
- Visiting scholars and post-doctoral fellows
will be invited to participate in the program projects and to enhance the
- Faculty and research scholars will be available
to the media (e.g. op-eds, interviews, consultation), to community groups,
to government agencies, to testify in Congressional or State Legislative Hearings.
- A Web site will be developed and kept current
on all activities of the Program.
PUBLICATIONS (SELECT TO VIEW)
CHANGE SCIENCE AND PUBLIC AWARENESS
COOL TO BE HOT IN HOUSTON