Priestley International Centre for Climate Launch


The Priestley International Centre for Climate will have its launch on Tuesday 14 June at the University of Leeds. It comprises a formal afternoon event (internal) and a ‘Climate Question Time’ evening panel debate open to all.

The afternoon launch will be attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, and includes the presentation of  the first international prize for solutions-facing climate research,  as well as a substantial prize for a University of Leeds PhD student conducting excellent and timely research into climate change. This will be introduced by a keynote speech from a VIP Leeds alumnus and the main prizewinner will be invited to give a short introduction to their work. We are also delighted to host a presentation by our international partners; this will be followed by a talk and Q&A on new climate research led by key Priestley Centre academics. The afternoon event will conclude with a catered reception.

The launch takes place in the Maurice Keyworth lecture theatre at the Leeds University Business School, commencing promptly at 3.30pm (registration from 3.00pm) and runs until 5.00pm. The event is open to University of Leeds staff, PhD students and invited guests only.  Pre-registration is essential and early booking is advised. Register for your free tickets here.

Climate Question Time

The ‘Climate Question Time’ event, which is open to the public, will take place 7.00pm for 7.30pm at the 340-seater Rupert Becket lecture theatre in the Michael Sadler Building and will feature high-profile panellists from government, policy, research and communications. Panellists will discuss the question, ‘Are there achievable solutions for limiting climate impacts at 1.5C level?’ and questions from the audience should be submitted in advance on the Eventbrite registration form (for preference), or in writing before the commencement of the debate. Tickets are free and will be issued on a first-come basis; pre-booking is required. Register for Climate Question Time tickets here.

Names of VIP speakers and international partners are currently embargoed and will be released in May.

Inaugural Climate Exchange seminar


Piers will be examining the feasibility of the 1.5°C target set  by the Paris Agreement within the context of  how much warming has already occurred and how much future warming we are committed to. The analysis employs different disciplinary interpretations to explore possible future rates of decarbonisation.

Speaker Bio:

Piers Forster is the Director of the Priestley Centre and Professor of Physical Climate Change at the University of Leeds. Piers is a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award holder and leads the Physical Climate Change Group in the School of Earth and Environment. Piers’ research interests are centered around climate change and radiative forcing, climate modelling, climate change impact and adaptation. Piers Forster on Google Scholar.

A Decision Science Approach to Climate and Energy Solutions

Abstract: Decision science approaches any problem through three interrelated activities: formal analysis of the decision involved, characterizing how thoughtful, well-informed individuals would view it; descriptive research, examining how people actually behave in those circumstances; and interventions, informed by the formal analysis and descriptive research, designed to create attractive options and help decision makers choose among them.  Each activity requires collaboration with technical experts (e.g., climate scientists, geologists, power systems engineers, regulatory analysts) and continuing engagement with decision makers.  Carnegie Mellon’s Behavior Decision and Policy Working Group ( has pursued a decision science strategy in a variety of domains related to mitigating climate change or adapting to its effects, including preparing for sea level rise, adopting smart grid technologies in homes, and investing in energy efficiency for office buildings.  The talk will illustrate the approach through examples of the work.  When successful, decision science can facilitate creating climate- and energy-related policies that are behaviorally informed, realistic, and respectful of the people whom they seek to aid.”

Based on Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, Tamar Krishnamurti, Alex Davis, Daniel Schwartz, and Baruch Fischhoff, “A decision science approach for integrating social science in climate and energy solutions,” Nature Climate Change (in press).

About the speaker: Baruch Fischhoff is Howard Heinz University Professor, Department of Engineering and Public Policy and Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, where he heads the Decision Sciences major.  A graduate of the Detroit Public Schools, he holds a BS (mathematics, psychology) from Wayne State University and a PhD (psychology) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has served on many NAS/NRC/IOM committees.  He is past President of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making and of the Society for Risk Analysis.  He chaired the Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Committee and has been a member of the Eugene Commission on the Rights of Women, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee and the Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Board, where he chaired the Homeland Security Advisory Committee.  His books include Acceptable Risk, Risk: A Very Short Introduction, Judgment and Decision Making, A Two-State Solution in the Middle East, Counting Civilian Casualties, and Communicating Risks and Benefits.  He co-chaired two National Academy Sackler Colloquia on the Science of Science Communication, with associated special issues of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  A recent review is Fischhoff, B.  (2015).  The realities of risk-cost-benefit analysis.  Science, 350(6260), 527.