Princeton faculty members played a part in the project that won the Nobel Peace Prize Oct. 12, while a visiting Princeton professor, Eric Maskin, shared the prize in economics.
The peace prize was shared by Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was honored for its efforts to “build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” Ten Princeton professors were among the thousands of scientists and officials who have contributed to that project in recent years: Leo Donner, Anand Gnanadesikan, Isaac Held, Gabriel Lau, Denise Mauzerall, Michael Oppenheimer, Venkatachalam Ramaswamy, Jorge Sarmiento, Robert Socolow, and Robert Williams. Their work is in the fields of geosciences, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and public and international affairs.
Oppenheimer was a lead author of a report presented to the United Nations in April. “The Nobel Committee’s recognition of the IPCC is very encouraging to the thousands of scientists over the years who have dedicated large amounts of time for these reports,” he said. “The recognition makes it clear that expert advice means something.”
Maskin, who since 2000 has been a visiting lecturer with the rank of professor in economics, was one of three scholars to share the economics prize this year. The Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Maskin is a leading figure in economic theory and “mechanism design” theory, which explores the design of institutions in situations where markets do not work properly. He lives in the Princeton home that was once the residence of Albert Einstein.