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Challenges of climate change: Sir John Houghton delivers keynote speech at Cardiff University

17 March 2010

Media release

One of Wales’ most eminent scientists and the former co-chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will give a keynote speech on global warming at Cardiff University.

Sir John Houghton FRS CBE will give the inaugural lecture for the Climate Change Consortium of Wales (C3W), a £4M Wales-wide initiative that brings together natural and social scientists from across the University and beyond to study the impact of climate change.

As well as addressing the challenges climate change and global warming present for scientists and policy makers, Sir John will highlight the effects of climate change on communities around the world.

Sir John has been recognised with many international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the IPCC delegation. He was the editor of the first three IPCC reports which have been instrumental in informing global policy in response to climate change. Sir John also founded the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research – regarded as a leading centre of scientific excellence.

Professor Nick Pidgeon, School of Psychology and C3W member said: "The launch of the C3W consortium brings a unique and exciting opportunity for natural and social scientists across Wales and Cardiff to collaborate on a range of policy and climate science issues of critical importance in both the UK and Welsh Assembly Government contexts."

C3W was announced in 2009 and has two overarching aims: to improve our fundamental understanding of the causes, nature, timing and consequences of climate change on planet earth’s environment and on humanity; and to reconfigure climate research in Wales as a recognisable centre of excellence on the world stage.

The consortium sees Cardiff joining forces with the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, and Swansea. It is financed by the Welsh Assembly Government through the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, together with additional support from the Countryside Council for Wales and substantial investment from the four universities.

The lecture is hosted jointly by the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and School of Psychology. It takes place on Thursday 25th March 2010 and is part of a number of events that day to celebrate the official launch of C3W. It starts at 6.00pm in the Wallace Lecture Theatre, Main Building, Cardiff University with a reception from 5.15pm in the Council Chamber, also in Main Building.


Notes to editors

1. Cardiff School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

The Cardiff School of Earth and Ocean Sciences was established in 1891, and is one of the leading research and teaching Earth Science institutions in the UK.

Researchers at the School are addressing some of the most significant research themes in world science at the moment, including global change, biosphere-hydrosphere-geosphere interactions, environmental science, natural resource exploration, and the evolution of the Earth and its biosphere.

Through a modular course structure, the School offers an exciting and relevant range of vocational professionally accredited undergraduate as well as postgraduate degree programmes both taught and research.

Major research laboratory refurbishment includes extensive new geomicrobiology facilities, geochemical laboratories, microscopy, stable isotope laboratories and 3D semi-immersive visualisation laboratory. The School also owns a research vessel, Guiding Light, which is used for teaching in coastal mapping and hydrographic surveying.

2. Cardiff School of Psychology
The School of Psychology is one of Britain top-rated schools of psychology, it being the first to achieve the double accolade of the highest grade of merit for both research and teaching. In an independent assessment of teaching, conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales it was rated ‘Excellent’, and in the latest Research Assessment Exercise it was awarded the highest level of distinction, Grade 5A, indicating research of a uniform international standard. The School is one of the largest Schools of psychology in the United Kingdom. It currently has some 40 full-time teaching staff, including 12 professors, alongside 40 full-time research staff, and nearly 60 research students.

The School’s researchers are aligned with five focal areas:

Behavioural neuroscience (understanding the mechanism of learning and memory)
Cognitive ergonomics (human factors and human-computer interaction)

Cognition and neuropsychology (understanding how we see, hear, remember, solve problems, learn language, etc)

Personal relationships (in particular romantic relationships, family relationships, children peer interactions, and the elderly)

Social cognition (stereotyping, causal attribution, the self, intergroup relationships, and social influence)

3. For more information

Victoria Dando

Public relations

Cardiff University