McBean to head world science council

University of Western Ontario professor Gordon McBean was named president-elect of the International Council for Science (ICSU) at the organization’s 30th General Assembly in Rome, Italy.

The event brought together more than 250 leading scientists from around the world to discuss and address how science can contribute to solving some of the most pressing challenges facing society.

Nominated by the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics and the International Geographical Union, McBean will begin his term as president-elect in early 2013. He will serve under current ICSU president Yuan Tseh Lee, a Taipei professor and Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemistry 1986. McBean will assume the presidency at the 31st General Assembly in 2014.

He defeated Luciano Maiani, an Italian physicist, for the post.

McBean, a Western geography and political science professor, is a distinguished Canadian scientist and has been recognized for his contribution to science and the scientific community. A world-renowned expert in climate change and the science and practice of disaster risk reduction, McBean is the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the Chair of the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences and formerly an Assistant Deputy Minister in Environment Canada.

As a lead author and review editor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), McBean shared the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the IPCC in 2007.

He serves as director of Western’s Policy Studies Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

Founded in 1931, the ICSU is a non-governmental organization with a global membership of national scientific bodies (121 members representing 141 countries) and International Scientific Unions (30 members). ICSU’s activities focus on three areas: planning and coordinating research; science for policy; and strengthening the universality of science.

ICSU’s mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society.