SCoPEx Governance

The SCoPEx research team sought external advice from a range of stakeholders for governing SCoPEx. We would like to thank everyone who provided their thoughtful insights and guidance.

Based on this guidance, we decided to establish an independent Advisory Committee to provide advice on the research and governance of SCoPEx.

This Advisory Committee has been established under the auspices of the Harvard Dean of Engineering, Frank Doyle, and the Harvard Vice Provost for Research, Richard McCullough, who will work as liaisons between the Advisory Committee and the SCoPEx research team. The Advisory Committee is providing advice to the Harvard Dean of Engineering, the Harvard Vice Provost for Research, and the SCoPEx Principal Investigator, Frank Keutsch.

An independent Search Committee supported the establishment of the Advisory Committee. This was intended to help ensure its independence from the SCoPEx research team. 

You can learn more about the roles of the committees and Harvard below.

Preamble

This section describes SCoPEx management and the intentions of Harvard University and the SCoPEx team with regard to the formation of and interaction with the Advisory Committee.

SCoPEx Principal Investigator and Experiment Team

Principal Investigator (PI): Frank Keutsch (keutsch@seas.harvard.edu | (617) 495-1878)
Mission Scientist: David Keith (david_keith@harvard.edu | (857) 294-2050)
Other Key Scientists and Engineers: Michael Litchfield (litch@g.harvard.edu); Yomay Shyur (yshyur@g.harvard.edu); and John Dykema (johnd@huarp.harvard.edu)
Governance Project Manager: Lizzie Burns (eburns@g.harvard.edu | (302) 670-8246)

Others from Harvard University

Harvard Dean of Engineering: Frank Doyle (dean@seas.harvard.edu)
Harvard Vice Provost for Research: Richard McCullough (richard_mccullough@harvard.edu)

SCoPEx Project Objectives

Harvard University would like to ensure that the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx) contributes to building an international, transparent, and sustainable solar geoengineering research program that includes useful field experiments with appropriate governance. 

The SCoPEx research team has two high-level objectives:

  • To perform a set of atmospheric field experiments that improve understanding of solar geoengineering’s efficacy and risks, and that contribute to the development of methods to improve efficacy and reduce risks.
  • To perform the experiments in a manner that exemplifies good governance by developing and implementing norms, mechanisms and practices that can serve as useful templates for possible future solar geoengineering field experiments.

The SCoPEx research team hopes that achieving these objectives will lead to increased support among diverse stakeholders for well-governed, scientifically-relevant field experiments.

The SCoPEx research team sought external advice for its governance. The outcome of these conversations resulted in a terms of reference (ToR) for an independent Advisory Committee. It was developed in consultation with the Search Committee (see below), the Harvard Dean of Engineering, the Harvard Vice Provost for Research, the SCoPEx Principal Investigator, and the Advisory Committee Chair. 

Intentions of Harvard University and the SCoPEx team

Harvard University or the SCoPEx experiment team intend to:

  • Take the Advisory Committee’s questions and recommendations with the utmost seriousness.
  • Respond publicly and in a timely manner to the Advisory Committee’s public questions and recommendations.
  • Not initiate field experiments until after they have responded to the Advisory Committee’s questions and recommendations in its initial report.
  • Alter, delay, or cancel the experiment if, taking into account committee recommendations, Harvard University or the SCoPEx experiment team conclude that failing to do so would imperil Harvard’s goal of an international, transparent, and sustainable research program.

Transparency and Publicity

The composition and remit of the Search Committee (which selected the Chair of the Advisory Committee), the composition and terms of reference of the Advisory Committee, the reports from the Advisory Committee, and other appropriate materials will be posted on the Harvard University website in a timely manner, in consultation with the Advisory Committee. 

In the interest of fostering open dialogue within the committee, Harvard University and the SCoPEx experiment team will not promote or draw attention to non-public statements of these committees or their members in the media or other public venues without the express written consent of Search and Advisory Committee members. 

SCoPEx Search and Advisory Committees

To help inform and guide the SCoPEx project, Harvard University, under the auspices of the Dean of Engineering (Frank Doyle) and the Vice Provost for Research (Richard McCullough), has established an independent SCoPEx Advisory Committee.

Process for establishing the SCoPEx Advisory Committee

An independent Search Committee supported the establishment of the Advisory Committee. This was intended to ensure its independence from the SCoPEx research team. 

The mandate of the Search Committee was as follows:

  1. To advise Harvard University about the need for an Advisory Committee and the consequential attributes of that committee.
  2. To review the draft terms of reference (ToR) of the SCoPEx Advisory Committee and recommend adjustments to them. 
  3. To identify and recommend one or more candidates to chair the SCoPEx Advisory Committee to the Harvard University Dean of Engineering and Vice Provost for Research.
  4. To assist the chair in identifying Advisory Committee members to be appointed by the Harvard Dean of Engineering and the Harvard Vice Provost for Research. 
  5. To work with the chair, the Harvard Dean of Engineering, the Harvard Vice Provost for Research, and the SCoPEx Principal Investigator to ensure that the Search Committee, the chair, and the Principal Investigator were satisfied with the final ToR.

Additional notes:

  1. Service on the Search Committee was uncompensated. Search Committee service did not preclude serving on the Advisory Committee itself. 
  2. The Principal Investigator provided the Search Committee with a summary of external advice he had previously received about Advisory Committee membership, but the Search Committee was not bound by this advice or other suggestions the Principal Investigator made.

Members of the Search Committee

Chris Field, Stanford University
Peter Frumhoff, Union of Concerned Scientists
Jane Long, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (retired)

Advisory Committee Selection

The Search Committee recommended an Advisory Committee chair who has deep experience and a reputation for balance in international environmental research and governance, and has no significant ties to the SCoPEx experiment team. Search Committee members then supported the Chair in recommending potential Advisory Committee members. 

Confirmed Members of the Advisory Committee

  • Louise Bedsworth, Executive Director, California Strategic Growth Council (Chair)
  • Kevin Knobloch, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Energy (Vice Chair)
  • Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School
  • Michael Kleeman, Visiting Scholar, University of California San Diego and Senior Fellow, UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation
  • Robert Lempert, Principal Researcher, RAND Corporation and Director, Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition
  • Katharine Mach, Associate Professor, University of Miami Rosenstiel School and Faculty Scholar, Abess Center
  • Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union
  • Shuchi Talati, Geoengineering Research, Governance, and Public Engagement Fellow, Union of Concerned Scientists

SCoPEx Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

The purpose of the Advisory Committee is:

  1. To advise the Harvard Dean of Engineering, the Harvard Vice Provost for Research, and the SCoPEx project Principal Investigator on the research and governance of SCoPEx.
  2. To advise Harvard University and the SCoPEx project team on several arenas, including: (a) The scientific quality and importance of the proposed experiments, including scientific review and processes and standards for transparency; (b) Risks associated with the proposed research program, including environmental and social risks; (c) Effectiveness of risk management including regulatory compliance management of environmental health and safety; (d) The need, objectives and possible formats for stakeholder engagement; and (e) Other issues as deemed necessary by the Advisory Committee. 
  3. To provide a periodic public written evaluation of the experiment plan in the arenas described above.
  4. To ensure that mechanisms are established to share both research outcomes and governance lessons learned from SCoPEx with researchers and diverse stakeholders.  

Committee Process

  1. The committee will engage in formal and public communication with the SCoPEx experiment team. For example, the committee will receive a formal experiment plan from the experiment team and will produce a formal evaluation in a process that may involve several public iterations. Separately, the committee may publicly pose questions or recommendations to the experiment team.
    1. Committee deliberations can be private even though their formal statements will be made public. 
    2. The committee will strive for consensus in its findings and recommendations but will present, as needed, dissenting views. It may be appropriate and useful, for example, to produce a primary report and one or more dissenting reports.
    3. The committee will produce an initial report and set of findings and recommendations in advance of any initiation of SCoPEx field experiments.
  2. The committee may conduct other activities, such as those related to stakeholder engagement, if they deem them necessary to implement good governance over the experiment.
  3. Support
    1. Service on the Advisory Committee is uncompensated. Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program is covering expenses for travel, meeting logistics, and administrative support, as necessary. 
    2. The Advisory Committee may decide to take on additional activities, such as expert meetings, stakeholder workshops or preparation of technical reports to conduct its work.
    3. Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program will provide up to $335,000 to support these activities.
  4. Outputs. The committee will deliver reports, recommendations, questions, and evaluations as appropriate. A first task of the Advisory Committee will be to define these needs and adjust them as necessary.

Staff
 



Sally Klimp
Sally is the Executive Coordinator for the SCoPEx Advisory committee at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). She acts as the liaison between the committee and SCoPEx team to provide advice on research and governance of SCoPEx. Prior to her position at SEAS, she supported faculty at Harvard Business School. She is also an alum of AmeriCorps, working with both the Student Conservation Association in Shenandoah National Park and Teach for America in Memphis, TN. She earned her B.A. in Biology and Environmental Analysis and Policy from Boston University and M.L.A. in Strategic Management from Harvard Extension School. 
Email: sklimp [at] g.harvard.edu