Reading leads the world in list of most influential climate scientists
Release Date 26 April 2021
The University of Reading has the joint highest number of scientists in a list of the world’s 1,000 most influential climate researchers.
The Hot List, compiled by global news agency Reuters, features 13 scientists affiliated to the University of Reading, including two ranked inside the top 100. The total means that the University of Reading is the joint most represented of any institution in the world, and is the most represented in the UK.
The list was created by analysing how often scientists’ published climate change studies had been cited by other researchers, and how widely they had been discussed in public, in order to identify the individuals whose research is best informing the world.
Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “The Reuters Hot List confirms that Reading is home to some of the world’s leading climate change experts, and also highlights the importance we place on communicating our work with public and policymakers.
“If we are to effectively tackle the issue of climate change, we need everyone, from presidents to school pupils, to understand the key issues. Climate education and communication are critical elements of this long-term global fight, and we are proud to make this a key part of our mission as a university.”
The Hot List is Reuters’ first published ranking of the world’s climate scientists based on their influence.
The overall ranking was based on scoring scientists in three areas: the number of their published climate change-focused studies over the last three decades that have been cited by at least one other scientist; the number of citations compared to other similar studies; and the public reach of their studies through press, social media and public policy papers.
Reading’s 13 listed scientists were ranked between 61 and 547 in the list of 1,000.
Their research, often in collaboration with international colleagues, covers projections of future climate change impacts such as temperature rise, wildfires, sea level rise and air pollution, as well as analysis of the main causes of climate change.
Centres led by these Reading scientists, backed by millions of pounds of research funding, are providing cutting edge science to inform policymakers in their strategies to understand and cope with future climates.
The University of Reading’s 13 named scientists places it joint first in the world, alongside two others: the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, China.
In the UK, the Met Office has 12 scientists listed, the University of Leeds has nine, the universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, Exeter and East Anglia have six each, and Cambridge five. In total, 39 UK institutions are represented in the list, contributing 184 individuals to the worldwide list of 1,000 – an indication of the strength and global influence of British climate science.
The European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, another Reading-based research institution with which the University has collaborated on multiple climate-related research projects, had two scientists featured on the list – further strengthening the claim that Reading is one of the world’s leading centres for climate research.
The University of Reading is also contributing seven authors to the UN’s forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report, which summarises the latest evidence on climate change and its impacts.