Professor Gordon McBean, President of the International Council for Science (ICSU), visited the Tang Prize Foundation Offices Monday, June 13, where he met with Foundation CEO and colleagues. Discussion focused on the area of sustainable development and disaster prevention while also touching on the importance of communication in the sciences.
Coming from a diverse scientific and social background straddling physics, meteorology, geography, and political science, McBean expressed that one of his concerns at present is bridging the gaps between the natural sciences and the social sciences. This important aspect of science is one of the challenges we are facing in such problems as climate change. Since the field is a complex tangle of many different aspects of science and human endeavor, solving its problems thus calls for a more integrated approach, with experts in all fields working together on solutions.
McBean is the former Assistant Deputy Minister in Environment Canada, where he was responsible for climate, weather and air quality sciences. He was also a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. In 2014 he was elected President of the International Council for Science, succeeding former ICSU President Y.T. Lee, who had held the position from 2011.
McBean expressed optimism about the Tang Prize, which he said is making “a positive influence, not only in Taiwan, but in the world.” It is an important voice for the contributions of the Tang Prize laureates, and is a way that these world-changing ideas can be brought closer to and integrated with the people.