Katharine Mach Explores the Value and Challenges of Scientific Assessments at Pardee Center Seminar

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future hosted a seminar on October 19 titled “Assessment of Risks and Options in a Changing Climate,” featuring Katharine Mach, a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University.

Over decades, assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many others has bolstered understanding of the climate problem: unequivocal warming, pervasive impacts, and serious risks from continued high emissions of heat-trapping gases. Societies are increasingly responding with early actions to decarbonize energy systems and prepare for impacts. In this emerging era of climate solutions, new assessment opportunities arise. They include learning from ongoing real-world experiences and helping close the gap between aspirations and the pace of progress.

Against this backdrop, Mach explored how transparent, high-traction assessment can support decisions about contested and uncertain futures. In particular, she considered some core challenges in assessment, such as integrating diverse evidence; applying rigorous expert judgment; and deeply embedding interactions between experts and decision-makers.

The full presentation and discussion can be viewed in the video above.