CEC17 Opening Event + Reception

Monday, 18:30 - 22:00
01 I Großer Saal

This evening reception will mark the official opening of the Climate Engineering Conference 2017. Mark Lawrence, Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and Chair of the CEC17 Advisory Group, will welcome all conference participants and introduce three keynote speakers, Michael Taylor of the University of the West Indies, author Oliver Morton and Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, of the Executive Office of the Secretary General, United Nations (UN EOSG). Following the keynotes, drinks and snacks will be served, and participants will invited to get to know each other.

The full texts of the opening statements can be accessed below. 

Opening remarks by Mark Lawrence, IASS Potsdam

Keynote 1: Climate Change and the Caribbean – The Take Away Messages: Speech by Prof. Michael Taylor, University of the West Indies

Keynote 2: Re-imagining geoengineering and the world: Speech by Oliver Morton, The Economist

Keynote 3: International Context for the Geoengineering Debate: Speech by Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, Director, Sustainable Development Unit, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, United Nations



Mark Lawrence (Advisory Group Chair)

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam
Chair of advisory group

Prof. Dr. Mark Lawrence is Scientific Director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). His primary areas of research are the impacts and mitigation of short-lived, climate-forcing pollutants (SLCPs), and on the potential impacts, uncertainties and risks of climate engineering.

He received his Ph.D. in 1996 in Earth and Atmospheric Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, (USA). His Ph.D. research was mainly conducted at the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) in Mainz.From 2000 until 2005, he led an independent junior research group at the MPIC, and in 2006 he took over the atmospheric modelling group at the MPIC. He received his Habilitation in 2006 at the University of Mainz, where he also served as interim professor for meteorology during 2009-2010, winning the 2010 annual Teaching Award from the State of Rheinland-Pfalz, as well as a University Teaching Award. In 2011 he moved to the IASS, and in 2014 he was appointed as an Honorary Professor at the University of Potsdam.

Prof. Lawrence is author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications.  He co-coordinated the EU project “MEGAPOLI” (2008-2011) and coordinated the project “EuTRACE” (European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering, 2012-2014). He has served as editor for the journals Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, and Atmospheric Environment, and has served or serves on various international committees, most notably the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry project (IGAC, for which he was co-chair from 2015-2018), the Science Team of the UNEP Atmospheric Brown Clouds project (ABC), and the international Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP), as well as being a contributing author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report.

Michael Taylor

University of the West Indies
CEC17 keynote speaker

Michael Taylor is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of the West Indies, Mona (Jamaica). He also served as Head of the Department of Physics from 2009-2016 and is currently the Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Science and Technology. His research interest is in the area of Caribbean climate science, including climate variability and change. Professor Taylor is the director of the Climate Studies Group, Mona (CSGM), (since 2007). The CSGM plays a leading role in coordinating and producing climate research related to the Caribbean region. Their work has been incorporated into several reports for CARICOM governments including for reporting purposes to the UNFCCC. Professor Taylor is well published, and serves on a number of national and regional climate related boards and panels.

Oliver Morton

The Economist
United Kingdom
CEC21 advisory group
CEC17 advisory group
CEC17 keynote speaker
CEC14 advisory group

Oliver Morton writes about scientific and technological change and their effects. He concentrates particularly on the understanding and imagining of planetary processes. 

He is a senior editor at The Economist, responsible for the magazine’s briefings and essays. He was previously Chief News and Features Editor at Nature and editor of Wired UK, and has contributed to a wide range of other publications. He writes on subjects from quantum physics to synthetic biology to moviemaking; his articles have been anthologised and won awards.

He is the author of three books: Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination and the Birth of a World (2002), which was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award; Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet (2007), a book of the year in The Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement; and The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World (2015), longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and shortlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize. In The Sunday Times Bryan Appleyard described it as “ambitious, enthralling and slightly strange”.

He is an honorary professor in Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at UCL and has a degree in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University. He lives with his wife in Greenwich, England, and Asteroid 10716 Olivermorton is named in his honour. 

Michelle Gyles-McDonnough

Executive Office of the Secretary General, United Nations (UN EOSG)
CEC17 keynote speaker
CEC17 contributor

Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough (Jamaica) is the Director, Sustainable Development Unit, Executive Office of the Secretary-General at the United Nations, New York.
Throughout her career, Ms. Gyles-McDonnough has practiced privately as a lawyer; served as advisor to the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States and has deep development experience within UNDP, including as Chief of UNDP's sub-regional facility for the Caribbean, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS, Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam and was recently appointed as Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director Designate for Asia and the Pacific. She is currently Director of the Sustainable Development Unit in the Executive office of the Secretary-General.
Ms. Gyles-McDonnough holds a law degree from Columbia University School of Law, with honours in international and foreign law, a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and also a Diploma in Executive Education from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.