Science and Policy Impacts

For nearly four decades, the interdisciplinary environment at IIASA has provided a fertile seed bed for advancing scientific investigation.

Here we  highlight some examples of how past IIASA research has had an impact on science and policy making using articles from IIASA's Options magazine.

All the research featured here continues in new forms and directions at IIASA today.

Climate change - what next?

Options Magazine, Summer 2014: How IIASA research and the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report are changing the narrative on climate change mitigation, impacts, and adaptation. More

A blueprint for clean air

Options Magazine, Summer 2014: IIASA research underlies new European policies for reducing air pollution and tackling climate change. More

Adaptive Environmental Management

Options Magazine, Autumn 1978:  In 1975 a new research field, Adaptive Ecosystem Policy and Management, was founded at IIASA based on the results of a study relating forest conditions to pest propagation with implications for forest management policy across North America and Scandinavia.  More

40 Years' Research into Climate Change

Options Magazine, Winter 2006 - From Ice Age to Global Warming In the early 1970s warnings of global cooling appeared in the media, as some scientists concluded the Earth was gradually heading toward a new ice age. Yet, by the end of the decade, global warming was scientifically recognized as a major problem – IIASA research helped shift opinion toward "global warming."   More

Energy in a Finite World

Options Magazine, Issue 1, 1981:  The good news from IIASA’s large-scale  international study of the prospects of meeting global energy needs over the next 50 years is: “It could be done.” More

Increasing Returns

Options Magazine, Winter 2007: Groundbreaking research by an IIASA scholar in the 1980s pioneered a new approach in economics that helped the U.S. government take legal action against Microsoft. The research argues that small, random events could lead a technologically inferior product to dominate the market.  More

Sustainable Development

Options Magazine, September 1989: In the mid-1980s IIASA’s Environment Program turned its attention to studying the interactions between development and the environment.  More

Modeling Uncertainty

Options Magazine, Summer 1995: If you build a mathematical model to answer the question, “What is the cleanest energy technology?” a so-called deterministic model will typically yield the answer—for example—“solar power.” But without knowing the future, investing all research resources in solar power may represent too much risk. More

Carbon Accounting and the Kyoto Protocol

Options Magazine, Autumn 2000: Based on extensive research IIASA scientists concluded that only full carbon accounting (FCA), covering all carbon-related components of terrestrial ecosystems, can provide the accuracy needed to balance the carbon emissions —carbon savings budget.   More

Cleaning Europe’s air without burdening economic development

Options Magazine, Winter 2007: IIASA scientific model guides successful multilateral treaty to protect environment. More

Planning for a Country's Energy Needs 

Options Magazine, Winter 2010/2011: More than 80 countries have used an IIASA analytical tool to find cost-effective approaches to meeting future energy needs More

Assessing the impacts of fisheries-induced evolution

Options Magazine, Summer 2011: Pressure from large-scale commercial fishing, as well as intense recreational and sport fishing, is accelerating evolution in some fish populations and threatening the sustainability of fisheries. Scientists are responding with tools to conduct evolutionary impact assessments that can lead to better management of fisheries. More

Fiscal planning for extreme events in Mexico

Options Magazine, Winter 2011/2012: IIASA analysis has supported the Mexican government in trying to identifyhow best to prepare financially for a major natural disaster More

Education spells hope for world wellbeing

Options Magazine, Winter 2011: Education has a positive effect on every aspect of human health, wealth, and wellbeing. Educational attainment, the evidence now clearly shows, is linked to economic growth as well as fertility and life expectancy. Even the transition of societies into modern democracies is rooted in widening educational participation among the young. But strong further investment in education in the developing world is needed if the potential benefits of education are to be realized. More

Young Scientists Summer Program

IIASA's flagship Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP), now in its 35th year, offers talented young PhD candidates the opportunity to immerse themselves for three months in IIASA's "systems analysis" approach to research. More

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Last edited: 31 July 2014


Read other science and policy impacts in IIASA's Options Magazine

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