Program Science and Policy Summer School 2012


Thanks everyone for a great event!  See our photo gallery and send your comments, notes, and pictures to spss-info(AT)

The challenges facing the 21st century are simultaneously socially, politically, and scientifically complex. As science continues to grow ever more specialized and policy struggles with new international demands we must forge a deep connection between the two, in order to secure a sustainable future. At the intersection between science and society, the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development has the potential to bridge these gaps.

Alliance Program’s Science and Policy Summer School will facilitate this dialogue during a week-long workshop in Paris, June 26-July 3, at Columbia University’s Reid Hall in Paris. Led by Prof. Laurence Tubiana, the summer school brings together students from US and European universities to meet international professors and industry and policy experts. These speakers will discuss and work with students as well as lecture on global problems facing the scientific and policy communities.

Confirmed Guest Speakers

  • Laurence Tubiana, Founder of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), Professor at Sciences Po and Columbia University
  • Eric Maskin, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics, Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Claude Henry, Economist and Physicist, Professor at Sciences Po and Columbia University
  • Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Paleoclimatologist from the French Laboratory for Climate and Environment Sciences
  • Bruno Latour, Sociologist of Science and Anthropologist, Professor and Vice-President for research at Sciences Po
  • Scott Barrett, Vice Dean, School of International and Public Affairs; Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics
  • John Mutter, Professor of International and Public Affairs; Professor, Earth & Environmental Sciences

The summer school will have approximately 10 speakers.

Lecture/Discussion topics

  • The role of technocrats in democracies
  • The debate of scientific uncertainties
  • Bringing science to policy-makers
  • Policy roadmaps and the needs for connecting with scientists
  • Building collaborative institutional structures
  • Activism, science and policy
  • Developing environment and climate change law


Guest Speakers will deliver a short presentation of their understanding of relevant issues, after which they will engage in discussion in the realm of linking science and policy.

During the program, students will develop research topics and divide into working groups. Each group will be assigned with the task of understanding how science and policy can be better linked within the realm of a chosen topic. The groups will review existing institutional structures and challenges, identify relevant needs for scientists and policy makers, and design recommendations founded in research.

Over the course of the week, each student group will work together to produce a short report, which can be the foundation for future work and collaboration.

For more information, contact spss-info(AT)