Top White House science advisor addresses future of climate change at Seminars |

Top White House science advisor addresses future of climate change at Seminars

Dr. John Holdren

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Seminars at Steamboat nonpartisan policy discussions continue with a talk about climate change by Dr. John Holdren, former White House science advisor and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, a MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner and current Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

His talk, “Meeting the Climate-Change Challenge: What We Know. What We Expect. What We Should Do.” starts at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 15, in the Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Springs Road. Free tickets are distributed at 4:45 p.m., and doors open at the same time.

Holdren is co-director of Harvard’s science, technology and public policy program, professor of environmental science and policy in the department of earth and planetary sciences and faculty affiliate in the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is also visiting distinguished professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and senior advisor to the president at the Woods Hole Research Center, a pre-eminent scientific think tank focused on the role of the terrestrial biosphere in global climate change.

From January 2009 to January 2017, he was President Barrack Obama’s science advisor and Senate-confirmed director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, becoming the longest-serving science advisor to the president in the history of the position. During the Clinton administration, he served for both terms on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, leading multiple studies for the president on energy-technology innovation and arms control.

His responsibilities in his White House role included advising the president on all science and technology issues bearing on the president’s agenda, including their role in economic competitiveness and job creation, biomedicine and public health, energy and climate change, the oceans and the Arctic, the nation’s space program and national and homeland security.

He was also responsible for coordinating R&D strategy and budgets across the executive branch departments and agencies; overseeing interagency science and technology programs, including the U.S. Global Change Research Program; developing initiatives in STEM education; advancing scientific integrity and openness in government; and representing the U.S. government in interactions with the U.S. and global science and engineering communities.

In 1995, he gave the acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an international organization of scientists and public figures in which he served in leadership positions from 1982 to 1997.

Founded in 2003 as a nonprofit organization with a mission to bring experts on a wide range of public policy topics to the Steamboat community, Seminars at Steamboat presents nonpartisan policy talks for free to the community. Run by an all-volunteer board, the speaker series is supported by individual contributions.

Each talk lasts about 50 minutes, followed by a Q & A session.

For more information about Seminars at Steamboat, archives of past talks and the 2019 schedule, visit

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