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William C. Clark

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Littauer 360B
Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA, 02138

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William C. Clark

Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Area Chair, HKS International and Global Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 495-3981
Fax: (617)-495-8963
Email: william_clark@harvard.edu
Website: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/william-clark
Publications: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/wclark/Clark_WC_All%20Publications%20160603.pdf

 

Experience

*NEW Book: Pursuing Sustainability

William Clark is the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  Trained as an ecologist, his research focuses on sustainability science: understanding the interactions of human and environmental systems with a view toward advancing the goals of sustainable development. He is particularly interested in how institutional arrangements affect the linkage between knowledge and action in the sustainability arena.

At Harvard, he currently co-directs the Sustainability Science Program.  He is co-author of Pursuing sustainability: A guide to the science and practice (Princeton, 2016), Adaptive environmental assessment and management (Wiley, 1978), and Redesigning rural development (Hopkins, 1982); editor of the Carbon dioxide review (Oxford, 1982); coeditor of Sustainable development of the biosphere (Cambridge, 1986), The earth transformed by human action (Cambridge, 1990), Learning to manage global environmental risks (MIT, 2001), Global Environmental Assessments (MIT, 2006) and The global health system: Institutions in a time of transition (Harvard, 2010);  and co-chair of the US National Research Council’s study Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability (NAP, 1999).  He serves on the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Clark is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize, the Humboldt Prize, the Kennedy School’s Carballo Award for excellence in teaching, and the Harvard College Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

 

 

By Date

 

2016

August 12, 2016

"Making Technological Innovation Work for Sustainable Development"

Journal Article, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

By Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Gabe Chan, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2015, Alicia Harley, Kira Matus, Suerie Moon, Sharmila L. Murthy and William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP

This article sets forth the authors' perspective on how technological innovation can better advance the goals of sustainable development. The authors seek to help bridge the gap between scholarship and practice by drawing from conceptual research, empirical cases, and real-world experience to highlight practical guidelines for use by practicing scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and policy advocates.

 

 

March 30, 2016

Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice

Book

By William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP, Pamela Matson and Krister Andersson

Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice, by leading authorities Pamela Matson, William C. Clark, and Krister Andersson, is a concise guide that provides everyone interested in sustainability – students, scholars, and practitioners alike – with a strategic framework and approaches for understanding, analyzing, and effectively engaging in sustainability challenges. While individuals from every realm of society can and need to engage in this, innovations from the research and innovation communities are particularly needed; creating useful knowledge and linking it effectively with decision-making is an urgent need. In educational settings, the book serves as an invaluable primer and companion to research and teaching that deals with sustainability in particular sectors such as energy, food, water, and cities, or in particular regions of the world. In professional settings, it offers a guide to how we all—regardless of profession—can become more effective in the pursuit of sustainability.

 

 

2016

"Crafting Usable Knowledge for Sustainable Development"

Working Paper

By William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP

This paper distills core lessons about how researchers (scientists, engineers, planners, etc.) interested in promoting sustainable development can increase the likelihood of producing usable knowledge. We draw the lessons from both practical experience in diverse contexts around the world, and from scholarly advances in understanding the relationships between science and society.

 

 

December 2015

"Making Technological Innovation Work for Sustainable Development"

Paper

By Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Gabe Chan, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2015, Alicia Harley, Kira Matus, Suerie Moon, Sharmila L. Murthy and William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP

Sustainable development requires harnessing technological innovation to improve human well-being in current and future generations. However, poor, marginalized, and unborn populations too often lack the economic or political power to shape innovation processes to meet their needs. Issues arise at all stages of innovation, from invention of a technology through its selection, production, adaptation, adoption, and retirement.

 

 

2016

Adaptive Environmental Assessment and Management

Book

By William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP, Albert Carnesale, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Bernd Kasemir, Former Research Fellow, Global Environmental Assessment Project/Environment and Natural Resources Program, 2000-2002

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2012

September 4, 2012

"Living Sustainable Development: Opportunities for Planets, Places and People"

Presentation

By William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP

On April 23, 2012, Harvard Kennedy School professor William Clark, a leading scholar on sustainable development, spoke to HKS faculty and staff about “Living Sustainable Development:  Opportunities for Planets, Places and People.” Clark’s presentation not only conveys the big picture of sustainable development challenges and policy choices that affect the whole planet -- it also brings the issues down to the level of personal decisions that can make a difference.

 

2008

July 29, 2008

New Report from Harvard Kennedy School Researchers Calls for Changes to Biofuels Incentives

News

By Henry Lee, Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program, William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP and Charan Devereaux

Despite pressure from biofuel critics, governments should avoid simplistic and precipitous changes in course such as rollback or moratoria on existing biofuels mandates or incentives, according to a new report from three Harvard Kennedy School researchers. Instead, the researchers urge governments to initiate an orderly, innovation-enhancing transition towards incentives targeted on multi-dimensional goals for biofuels development.

 

 

July 9, 2008

Report of the Harvard University Task Force on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Report

By William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP and John P. Holdren, Former Director and Faculty Chair, Science, Technology and Public Policy Program

Harvard University released the report of its Greenhouse Gas Task Force. The task force, appointed by President Drew Faust in February, proposes elements of a framework for much-intensified efforts to reduce the University's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as part of a broader effort to promote environmental sustainability.

 

 

July 3, 2008

Biofuels and Sustainable Development

Report

By Henry Lee, Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program and William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP

The goals and concerns surrounding the debate over government policies related to the greater use and production of biofuels were addressed in an executive session convened by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Venice International University on May 19th and 20th, 2008.

 

 

Winter 2008

"Fuel for Thought"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, John F. Kennedy School of Government Bulletin

By Madeline Drexler, Henry Lee, Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program and William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP

As the Biofuel industry surges with investments and new entrepreneurial players, Kennedy School scholars are analyzing it working to develop new ways to create carbon-neutral fuels. Madeline Drexler writes on the Kennedy School's input on this emerging new way to lower greenhouse gas emissions and become less dependent on non-renewable energy resources.

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.