Members of the Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) for 2016 heard from Presidents Heinz Fischer of Austria (above) and Tarja Halonen of Finland, who spoke on the importance of science in policy-making. It was interesting to hear directly from them, who were involved in many of the high-level negotiations towards international climate change agreements about what worked (and what didn’t). From left to right: Navid Rekabaz (from Iran, studying at TU WIEN); Chibulu (Lulu) Luo (from Zambia, studying at the University of Toronto); Stephanie Roe (from the Philippines, studying at the University of Virginia); Marcus Thomson (me, from Canada but doing my PhD at UCLA); Yue Qin (from China, studying at Princeton University); Frank Sperling (from Germany, studying at Oxford University); former Austrian President Fischer; Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek (from Poland, studying at the University of Lapland, Finland); Maria Xylia (from Greece, studying at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden); Corinthias (Morgan) Sianipar (from Indonesia, Institut Teknologi Bandung).
Here are Fischer (right) and Halonen (center) on a panel with YSSP 2016 members Maria Xylia and Roshan Adhikari. Maria comes from Greece, but as a PhD student in Sweden is studying the conversion of the bus system in Stockholm to electric and bio-diesel. Roshan is from Nepal and is doing his PhD at Oregon State University in the US, where he studies the economics of irrigation and grain production in Ethiopia, where increasing variability in precipitation is expected over the next century.