On June 20, 2014, we received the following letter:
Dear Dr. Houghton,
We are very glad to inform you that the Woods Hole Research Center is the Winner of the 2013 edition of the ICCG Climate Think Tank Ranking. The ranking has taken into account the performance of a think tank in conducting high quality research and its role in influencing climate-related and energy policy.
Our best congratulations to the Woods Hole Research Center.
International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG)
Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore 8
I-30124, Venezia, Italia
What a wonderful letter to receive! What an honor!
This ranking makes us very proud, of course. There are many, much larger think tanks that accomplish a great deal in the context of climate policy, but, when calculated on a per capita basis, the Woods Hole Research Center came out on top. Per person, our small institution is efficient in conducting first-rate research and in making the results of that research available to policy makers. Being small has its advantages.
The International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG), founded in 2009, disseminates science-based and socio-economic research in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation to policymakers and the general public. It analyzes climate and energy policies and defines governance models to control climate change.
Their ranking system is based on scientific publications, the normal currency of scientists, but it is also based on engagement with policy fora, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Being at the top of this ranking is particularly rewarding because it recognizes the two things that WHRC seeks to emphasize: excellent science and putting the results of that science in places where they can have an impact. Our scientists pursue important topics – land-use change in tropical forests and vulnerability of carbon pools in the soils of arctic and boreal zones. And, at the same time, because the results from the research are important, both individual scientists and the Center as a whole actively participate in outreach, communications, networking, and engagement with various policy communities.
Most institutions excel in either science or policy engagement. The Center is unusual because we excel in both. The task is becoming only more difficult as funding for science declines and more of our attention has to be diverted to secure funding. Nevertheless, we have succeeded so far, as evidenced by this recognition. And those achievements and opportunities are what make this institution a great place to be associated with: interesting and important science, translation of that science into policy, and good people working together.