National Academy of Sciences president to discuss “causes and responses” to climate change, Oct. 21 at URI

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Event is part of URI’s fall Honors Colloquium

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 14, 2008 – Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences and renowned atmospheric chemist, will discuss “Global Climate Change: Human Causes and Responses” as part of the University of Rhode Island’s annual fall Honors Colloquium.

Free and open to the public, the lecture will be held Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium on URI’s Kingston Campus.

The 2008 Honors Colloquium, “People and Planet: Global Environmental Change,” explores human-caused global change, its consequences and potential responses through a series of lectures, films, exhibits and a cabaret. Weekly events run through Dec. 9.

Cicerone’s research in atmospheric chemistry and climate change has involved him in shaping science and environmental policy around the world. The former chancellor of the University of California at Irvine and past president of the American Geophysical Union, he was recognized by the United Nations Environment Program with its Ozone Award for his research on protecting the Earth’s ozone layer.

In 2001, Cicerone led a National Academy of Sciences study of the current state of climate change and its impact on the environment and human health, requested by President Bush. The American Geophysical Union awarded him its 2002 Roger Revelle Medal for outstanding research contributions to the understanding of key elements of Earth’s climate system and its James B. Macelwane Award in 1979 for outstanding contributions to geophysics. In 2004, the World Cultural Council honored him with the Albert Einstein World Award in Science.

The National Academy of Sciences is a non-governmental honorific society of distinguished scholars that provides independent advice on matters of science, technology and medicine to the nation and its leaders.

Cicerone has served as a research chemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, director of the atmospheric chemistry division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the Daniel G. Aldrich Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine.

The next Honors Colloquium event will feature URI Professors Arthur Spivack and James Opaluch dissecting documentary film clips to navigate proposals for mitigating the global climate problem. Entitled “Astonishing Solutions,” the program will take place Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

The major sponsors of the 2008 Honors Colloquium are the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation, the URI Office of the President, the URI Honors Program, the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and the College of Arts and Sciences. Additional support came from the Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment, the Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, the deans of the remaining URI colleges, the offices of the URI vice presidents, the EPA Atlantic Ecology Division and Rhode Island Sea Grant.

For further details about the colloquium, including an updated schedule and information on parking, go to or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or