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The Responding to Climate Change Channel – meet our new Channel Editors Emma Archer & Johan Lilliestam

The Responding to Climate Change Channel is delighted to welcome Emma Archer and Johan Lilliestam as a Channel Editors!

The Responding to Climate Change Channel highlights research efforts from a range of disciplines focused on understanding, evaluating, predicting, mitigating, and adapting to the causes and effects of the changing climate. Joining Channel Editors Juan Antonio Añel, Vanesa Magar and João Miguel Dias, Emma will bring her expertise in climate variability with a focus on drylands, while Johan will bring his expertise in renewable energy policies and strategies to the team.

Meet Our New Channel Editors

Emma Archer

I am based at the University of Pretoria in the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology in South Africa. Prior to this appointment, I served for more than a decade as a Principal and Chief Researcher in Natural Resources and the Environment, at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). A geographer by training, with a research focus on drylands, I have experience throughout the SADC region and Africa. From 2015 to 2018, I served as Co- Chair for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Africa Assessment. I have also served as a Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) on the Forests and Water Assessment of the Global Forestry Expert Panels (GFEP), and as a Review Editor on GEO-6. In 2018, I was appointed as a Global Land Programme Fellow. My twitter handle is @EmmaArchervG.

Johan Lilliestam

I am Assistant Professor of Renewable Energy Policy at ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and head the research group with that same name. My research focuses on policies and strategies for the complete decarbonisation of the energy system using only renewables. In this, my team and I conduct problem-driven, interdisciplinary science, rooted in transitions research but drawing on a diverse set of theories and methods, especially from the social sciences. At the ETH, we are supported by a grant from the European Research Council for our work on interactions and policy mixes for the energy transition. In addition, we work intensively on policies to support the development and deployment of immature renewable energy technologies, in particular concentrating solar power. A further emerging focus of our work is on the use(fulness) of energy models and ways to make them more appropriate tools for policy advice.

From April 2019, I will be Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Potsdam, Germany, and lead the renewable energy policy team at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), also in Potsdam.

Channel Update Highlight: Editor’s Pick

In our most recent Channel update, Emma’s “Editor Pick” highlights recent work from Drs Nathan F. Dieckmann and Branden B. Johnson (Decision Research) entitled “Why do scientists disagree? Explaining and improving measures of the perceived causes of scientific disputes” published in PLOS ONE.

Fig 1. Study 2. Conceptual model tested for participants assigned to the salt and nanotechnology dispute scenarios.

An issue of particular importance when discussing climate change, this article considers how laypersons perceive the causes of scientific disputes – a question partly of interest due to concerns that the general public might ignore scientific evidence or advice. The authors found that several factors play a role – including knowledge of science, ‘conspiracist ideation’ and political ideology. Which of these apply, and/or in what combination, depends on the actual scientific dispute focused on. Understanding how such factors differ and play out is further critical for scientists in understanding perceptions of the scientific evidence base in decision-making (not least in policy).


Find more content like this and keep up to date on the latest climate change research by following the Responding to Climate Change ChannelYou can also send any questions or content recommendations to or tweet us @PLOSChannels using the hashtag #PLOSClimateChange.



Featured image: CC BY SA Inchi9

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