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Oreskes appointed provost of UCSD’s Sixth College

Science historian Naomi Oreskes, whose work has played a role in establishing a clear consensus about global warming among scientists, has been appointed to serve as provost of the University of California, San Diego’s Sixth College. Her appointment becomes effective July 1, 2008.

Established in 2002, Sixth College focuses on the intersection of culture, art and technology, and seeks to prepare students to become effective global citizens who engage creatively and ethically with the complex issues facing the world in the 21st century.

A professor of History and Science Studies and a member of the UCSD faculty since 1998, Oreskes is known for her seminal work dealing with the science of climate change, specifically on the societal framing and reception of the scientific consensus on global warming. Her 2004 study, "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change," which appeared in the journal "Science," led to numerous citations in a variety of national and international news media outlets. Her research, which was also referenced in the academy-award winning film, "An Inconvenient Truth," documented a scholarly consensus on two points: The earth is warming and humans are the cause.

From 2003-2006, Oreskes served as director of UCSD's Science Studies Program. She has also served as co-chair of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women and is a member of the UCSD Center for the Humanities Executive Committee and the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation.

Oreskes has published numerous journal articles, opinion pieces and books. Prior to joining UCSD, Oreskes held professorships at Dartmouth College and New York University. In 2001, she was a visiting professor in the History of Science Department at Harvard University. She has also worked as a consultant to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Oreskes received her Ph.D. in geological research and history of science from Stanford University and a B.Sc. in mining geology from The Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, at the University of London.

Oreskes will succeed UCSD biologist Gabriele Wienhausen, who stepped down in fall 2007 and had, since 2002, served as Sixth College’s founding provost. Former Warren College Provost David Jordan served as interim provost since fall of 2007, and will continue his service through winter quarter. Professor Richard Moore is slated to serve as interim provost during spring quarter 2008.

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