Governor Richardson Elected as Chairman of the International Council for Science and the Environment
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 14, 2012) – Governor Bill Richardson has been elected Chairman of the International Council for Science and the Environment (ICSE), an organization dedicated to closing the dangerous gap that is developing between science and international leaders in government and business. Governor Richardson will lead the ICSE in its two headlight goals: 1. to connect scientific findings and conclusions to policy making; and, 2. to educate political and business leaders about the urgent need for a higher level of funding for research and development to achieve the goals of sustainable development.
“I am honored to have been chosen,” said Governor Richardson about his election. “There is no greater challenge than to ensure that political and business leaders in countries around the world are guided by the light of science. If we are to win the fight against climate change, famines, water shortages, diseases, and ecosystem destruction, we need to improve the scientific basis for environmental decision- making.”
“Governor Richardson is the right leader to unite the realm of science with the world of decision makers. He has earned the respect of national leaders around the world. He has the unparalleled experience and a record of success in dealing with scientists, parliamentarians, heads of governments, and the private sector,” declared Executive Director Dr. Peter Saundry.
“The ICSE is building on a firm foundation. The National Council for Science and the Environment, with 187 universities as members and a twenty year history of programs, has acted as the catalyst for the creation of the ICSE. “With the leadership of Governor Richardson, we expect hundreds of universities and their cadres of scientists from around the world to join the ICSE and thereby find innovative ways to ensure that those who shape our future are informed by the best science available”, said ICSE Envoy Dr. David Jhirad.
The former Director of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Rita Colwell, has underscored the ominous gap that is growing and why the ICSE is an indispensable institution to establish internationally. “The light of scientific knowledge is being pushed into the background and too often ignored altogether, while the decisions that determine our common future are being made in the obscure world of half- truths and even fundamental misunderstandings. As scientific advances become more complicated, arcane, and specialized, the need for an organization to bridge this critical gap becomes more urgently needed.”
The idea for the ICSE received powerful momentum from the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel Report on Global Sustainability: Resilient People—Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing. It recommended that ” measures should be taken to strengthen the interface between science and policy making in order to facilitate informed political decision making on sustainable development. Responding to this call to action, the ICSE will work with other organizations, such as the UN Environment Programme, to implement this recommendation.
“I am profoundly encouraged to see the ICSE organizing scientists at universities and elsewhere to take significant leadership for the future. By convening, empowering, and developing platforms for the global scientific community to express their actionable scientific conclusions, the ICSE will make the voice of science more influential in the corporate suites, in the halls of parliaments, and in the executive offices of Presidents and Prime Ministers,” said Maurice Strong, the Secretary General of the original Earth Summit of 1992 and the founder of the international environmental movement.
Executive Director, Peter Saundry concluded, “We are excited to have such a visionary leader take the helm. With Governor Richardson acting as the champion for this historic cause, we are confident that ICSE can rise to the grand challenge of connecting science to decisionmaking.”