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Robert Watson

Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, UK

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Professor Watson’s career has evolved from research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: California Institute of Technology, to a US Federal Government program manager/director at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to a scientific/policy advisor in the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), White House, to a scientific advisor, manager and chief scientist at the World Bank, to a Chair of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, the Director for Strategic Direction for the Tyndall centre, and Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.    In parallel to his formal positions he has chaired, co-chaired or directed international scientific, technical and economic assessments of stratospheric ozone depletion, biodiversity/ecosystems (the GBA and MA), climate change (IPCC) and agricultural S&T (IAASTD).  Professor Watson’s areas of expertise include managing and coordinating national and international environmental programs, research programs and assessments; establishing science and environmental policies - specifically advising governments and civil society on the policy implications of scientific information and policy options for action; and communicating scientific, technical and economic information to policymakers.   During the last twenty years he has received numerous national and international awards recognizing his contributions to science and the science-policy interface, including in 2003 - Honorary “Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George” from the United Kingdom.