Accepted paper:

Who are the IPCC authors from the Global South?


Kari De Pryck (University of Geneva)
Tommaso Venturini (École Normale Supérieure Lyon)
Audrey Baneyx (Sciences Po / Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques)

Paper short abstract:

Our research is interested with both quantitatively and qualitatively exploring the participation of scientists from developing countries in one of the largest international expert organizations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Paper long abstract:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the biggest and oldest global environmental assessment: established in 1988, it has been surveying the state of climate science for 28 years and has involved more than 4200 scientists from 117 countries. Since its establishment, the IPCC's has been criticized for not including enough scientists from developing countries and it has struggled ever since to respond to such challenge. In this perspective, we propose to look back to the involvement of IPCC scientists from developing countries over the five assessment cycles (from 1990 to 2014), the largest participation of Southern scientists. Building on a comprehensive database of IPCC authors and interactive visualizations developed at the médialab (Sciences Po Paris), we trace the commitment of scientists from the Global South over the three Working Groups, chapters and roles. This database allowed us to explore the organization as a datascape from the whole to the individual and understand their interactions. The results show a gradual rise in developing country participation (between 32%-36%), with significant differences between Working Groups, roles (the increase is significantly higher for responsibility roles then for contributing roles) and party groupings. We further explore those findings using a more qualitative approach based on expert interviews and participant observation. In particular, we discuss the distribution of authors according to different regions, by presenting our first-hand observation of the complex balance practices employed to elect the members of the IPCC's Bureau in October 2015.

panel T030
STS and Climate Change: Perspectives on/from the Global South