The Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication

The Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication is an annual award for a prominent climate scientist with an outstanding record as a communicator and mentor. It was established to honor Stephen Schneider’s legacy as a founding father of modern climate science and fearless, poignant communicator; to recognize outstanding climate science communicators; and to support a promising member of the next generation of science communicators. 

Schneider Award speaker

Steve was the first member of the Climate One Advisory Council and launched his last book, Science As a Contact Sport at Climate One in 2009.

On the day Steve died he was scheduled to attend a Climate One dinner in San Francisco featuring blogger Joe Romm. A few days before that event, Steve emailed Climate One’s host Greg Dalton and wrote, ominously, that he was not in good health and needs “to stop burning the candle at both ends and in the middle.” After Joe Romm informed Greg of Steve’s death, Greg dedicated the event to him and later conceived the award with Steve’s friends.

Watch Steve Schneider's last talk at the Commonwealth Club: Science as a Contact Sport.


Past Winners of The Stephen H. Schneider Award Presented By Climate One

The $20,000 award is presented each winter by Climate One. The recipient of the Schneider award is selected by a three-member jury. Current jury members are Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University; Cristine Russell, an award-winning science journalist and senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Environment & Natural Resources Program; and Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia.

Ben Santer

Ben Santer

Fowler Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Woods Hole; Visiting Researcher, UCLA

2023 Winner

Stefan Rahmstorf

Professor of Physics of the Oceans, University of Potsdam

2022 Winner

Edward Maibach

Director, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication

2020 Co-Winner

Robert Bullard

Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern U.

2019 Winner

Michael Mann

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University

2017 Winner

Naomi Oreskes

Professor of History of Science, Harvard University

2016 Winner

Chris Field

Faculty Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

2015 Winner

Jane Lubchenco

University Distinguished Professor, Marine Studies, Oregon State University

2014 Winner

Nicholas Stern

IG Patel Chair of Economics and Government, London School of Economics

2013 Winner

James Hansen

Former Head, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

2012 Winner

Richard Alley

Professor of Geosciences, Penn State

2011 Winner
Schneider Award

Nomination Process

In order to make this award more inclusive, avoiding blind spots, and systemic disadvantages, we are opening the nomination process to the public. Please read the guidelines below and consider nominating an outstanding scientist and communicator making a difference in the climate crisis.


Nomination Period
Nominations for the 2023 award will be accepted from June 1 to July 31, 2023.

Who can submit a nomination?
Anyone can submit a nomination with the exception of award jurors.


Eligibility Criteria for Scientist Communicators

  1. The nominee should have a well-documented track record of independent scientific accomplishment in at least one of the following areas:
    1. The physical climate system (in particular the role of clouds, aerosols, and the ocean), and the nature and causes of climate change
    2. Projections of future climate change (and decision-making in the face of uncertainties in these projections)
    3. Assessment of the biophysical impacts of climate change
    4. Assessment of the public health impacts of climate change
    5. Assessment of climate change policy options.
    6. Hold an advanced scientific degree, including natural, physical or social sciences, medicine or public health
  2. In addition to 1) above, the nominee should have made important and sustained contributions to improving public understanding of human-caused climate change, including causes, consequences and potential solutions.

    These contributions may be in the form of books, articles, and blogs accessible to a general audience, public lectures, a leadership role in scientific assessments, expert testimony, op-eds, media appearances, mentoring of students, etc.

Required Documentation

Incomplete nominations will not be considered by the Jury.
All nominations must include the following documentation, in English:

  1. Nominator’s name, affiliation, title, address, phone number, and email. (This information should be entered into the nominations form. That information is for internal use only and will not be made public. Nominators agree to be contacted by Jury or Climate One representative.)
  2. Nominee’s name, affiliation, title, address, phone number, and email.
  3. A brief explanation of 250-500 words, in support of the nomination, addressing the following areas:
    • Quality and significance of scientific contributions
    • Impact of communications on public understanding
  4. Resume or CV of nominee. (Link or Upload)
  5. Supporting information. Please provide links, descriptions or documents for as many of the following you think helps to demonstrate the nominee’s contributions to the climate conversations and their area of practice.
    • Social media accounts used by nominee to communicate about their work and the connection to climate change
    • Personal websites
    • Videos of presentations given by nominee
    • Media appearances
    • Expert Testimony
    • Published work