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Innovating the IPCC review process - the potential of young talent

Article | 19-05-2014

There is significant potential for young talent to enhance the credibility of scientific assessments, such as those of the IPCC, by contributing to quality assurance and quality control. In this essay, we reflect on an experiment carried out by the Dutch Government as part of its review of a contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

In an effort to review the entire Working Group II contribution to the AR5 within the official review period for the Second Order Draft (SOD), PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency turned to PhD students. This article shows that a systematic review that focuses on transparency and errors in a large scientific assessment document using young talented scientists can be successful, if certain conditions are being met. The reviewers need to have an intrinsic motivation to conduct the review. There needs to be a communication plan that fosters engagement and a clear methodology to guide the reviewers in their task. Based on this review experiment, we reflect on the greater potential for openness and crowdsourcing in scientific assessment processes, such as that of the IPCC.

Author(s)Lianne van der Veer, Hans Visser, Arthur Petersen, Peter Janssen
Publication date20-05-2014
PublicationClimatic Change