William C. Clark

William C. Clark
Harvard University | Harvard · Harvard Kennedy School of Government

BSc (biology) Yale Univ.; PhD (ecology) Univ. British Columbia

About

176
Publications
70,606
Reads
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13,614
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1987 - present
Harvard University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • sustainability science, science and technology for sustainable development
September 1984 - July 1987
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Position
  • Project Manager
Description
  • Research Scholar and Leader of Program on "Sustainable Development of the Biosphere: Interactions between the Global Economy and the World Environment."
September 1981 - July 1984
Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • Research on energy/environment interactions, risk assessment; editor of "Carbon Dioxide Review.”
Education
September 1971 - June 1979
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Field of study
  • Zoology (ecology)
September 1967 - June 1971
Yale University
Field of study
  • biology

Publications

Publications (176)
Book
Full-text available
The book may be ordered directly from the publisher at http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10777.html Sustainability is a global imperative and a scientific challenge like no other. This concise guide provides students and practitioners with a strategic framework for linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable development, and serve...
Article
Full-text available
This PNAS Special Feature, and the NAS Sackler Symposium on which it is based, explores the barriers and opportunities for better linking knowledge with action in support of sustainable development. Its contributions grapple with the transscientific questions of which practical ends merit our attention, the inadequacy of our tools for the tasks at...
Article
Full-text available
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 relationsh...
Article
Full-text available
Meeting fundamental human needs while preserving Earth's life support systems will require an accelerated transition toward sustainability. A new field of sustainability science is emerging that seeks to understand the fundamental character of interactions between nature and society and to encourage those interactions along more sustainable traject...
Book
Available as Open Access ebook at https://www.sustainabilityscience.org/guide. This project is a dynamic Research Guide to the principal findings of sustainability science. The goal of the project is to provide a synthesis of research in the field that highlights its principle insights and their practical implications for the pursuit of sustainabl...
Chapter
The main purpose of this Supplementary Material is to explain how we arrived at the list of influential research programs listed in Table 1 of this Research Guide (see An Integrative Framework for Sustainability Science). In addition, we provide additional information about those programs: their substantive focus, their “footprint” on sustainabilit...
Article
Full-text available
This review synthesizes diverse approaches that researchers have brought to bear on the challenge of sustainable development. We construct an integrated framework highlighting the union set of elements and relationships that those approaches have shown to be useful in explaining nature–society interactions in multiple contexts. Compelling evidence...
Preprint
Full-text available
This review synthesizes diverse approaches that researchers have brought to bear on the challenge of sustainable development. We construct an integrated framework highlighting the union set of elements and relationships that those approaches have shown to be useful in explaining nature-society interactions in multiple contexts. Compelling evidence...
Article
This final article in Environment's Earth Day series explores the environmental surprises of the recent past and those yet to come. It speculates on ways of anticipating and responding to surprise, indeed, of using it creatively to sustain human use of the Earth.
Article
Decision-makers often seek to design policies that support sustainable development. Prospective evaluations of how effectively such policies are likely to meet sustainability goals have nonetheless remained challenging. Evaluating policies against sustainability goals can be facilitated through the inclusive wealth framework, which characterizes de...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents insights and action proposals to better harness technological innovation for sustainable development. We begin with three key insights from scholarship and practice. First, technological innovation processes do not follow a set sequence but rather emerge from complex adaptive systems involving many actors and institutions operat...
Chapter
Full-text available
Sustainability is a global imperative and a scientific challenge like no other. This concise guide provides students and practitioners with a strategic framework for linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable development, and serves as an invaluable companion to more narrowly focused courses dealing with sustainability in particula...
Article
In this paper I sketch key episodes in the two thousand year history of interactions between society and environment that have shaped the City of London and its hinterlands. My purpose in writing it has been to provide an empirical puzzle for use in teaching and theorizing about the long term coevolution of social-environmental systems and the pote...
Chapter
Extraordinary rates of biodiversity loss, coupled with rising human population and consumption rates, threaten the sustainability of Earth’s life support systems. An inclusive wealth framework that considers the current and future stocks and flows of human and Earth system assets, including biodiversity, provides one means of examining progress tow...
Article
Full-text available
Biological systems exhibit extraordinary diversity, whether considering the genetic variation within species, the differ- ences among the more than 8 million recognized species found on the Earth, or the range of environments inhabited and shaped by those organisms. Over the past two centuries, the expansion of human populations, resource demands,...
Article
This paper investigates the conditions under which firms are able to develop and implement innovations with sustainable development benefits. In particular, we examine "green chemistry" innovations in the United States. Via interviews with green chemistry leaders from industry, academia, nongovernmental institutions (NGOs), and government, we ident...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research on the determinants of effectiveness in knowledge systems seeking to support sustainable development has highlighted the importance of "boundary work" through which research communities organize their relations with new science, other sources of knowledge, and the worlds of action and policymaking. A growing body of scholarship po...
Article
Now published in revised form as "Boundary work for sustainable development: Natural resource management at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(17):4615 · August 2011 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900231108 · Previous research on the determinants of effectiveness in kno...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Sustainability science is an emerging field of use-inspired research that addresses how to improve human well-being in ways that account for the ultimate dependence of that well-being on the natural environment. In the course of addressing this ultimate question, there arise a number of subsidiary challenges for sustaina...
Article
Note: Correct title (misprint in journal) is "Evidence of scarce intelligence"
Article
Full-text available
We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should...
Article
Full-text available
In the last in a series of four articles highlighting the changing nature of global health institutions, Suerie Moon and colleagues propose future actions to strengthen these institutions.
Article
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In the first in a series of four articles highlighting the changing nature of global health institutions, Nicole Szlezák and colleagues outline the origin and aim of the series.
Article
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We developed a “continual engagement” model to better integrate knowledge from policy makers, communities, and researchers with the goal of promoting more effective action to balance poverty alleviation and wildlife conservation in 4 pastoral ecosystems of East Africa. The model involved the creation of a core boundary-spanning team, including comm...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem stewardship is an action-oriented framework intended to foster the social-ecological sustainability of a rapidly changing planet. Recent developments identify three strategies that make optimal use of current understanding in an environment of inevitable uncertainty and abrupt change: reducing the magnitude of, and exposure and sensitivit...
Article
Full-text available
We applied an innovation framework to sustainable livestock development research projects in Africa and Asia. The focus of these projects ranged from pastoral systems to poverty and ecosystems services mapping to market access by the poor to fodder and natural resource management to livestock parasite drug resistance. We found that these projects c...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This paper asks ‘What kinds of approaches and institutions, under what sorts of conditions, are most effective for harnessing scientific knowledge in support of strategies for environmentally sustainable development and poverty alleviation?’ In applying an innovative conceptual framework to a diverse set of sustainable poverty-focused projects unde...
Article
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. The session attracted more than 25 of the w...
Article
Full-text available
On July 26-29, 2007, researchers, scholars, and practitioners convened at Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, to share, learn about, and discuss, preliminary findings from a research project conducted by the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) South Asia and the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University called, "Integrating knowledg...
Book
For the Balinese, the whole of nature is a perpetual resource: through centuries of carefully directed labor, the engineered landscape of the island's rice terraces has taken shape. According to Stephen Lansing, the need for effective cooperation in water management links thousands of farmers together in hierarchies of productive relationships that...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This document consists of the External review of the ASB, together with the response by ASB to the review and the comments on the review by the CGIAR Science Council. The review, chaired by William Clark, developed and applied an original methodology for conducting the review.
Article
The U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change was a federally coordinated nationwide effort that involved thousands of experts and stakeholders. To draw lessons from this effort, the 10 authors of this paper, half of whom were not involved in the Assessment, developed and administered an extensive surv...
Article
Full-text available
Despite scientific progress in everything from nanotechnology to the exploration of Mars, vexing questions remain about our own planet: For example, is humankind about to disrupt the natural dynamics of the Earth System? What will we need to do to avoid this and steer ourselves toward a sustainable future?
Article
This paper provides a context for the Dahlem Workshop on “Earth System Analysis for Sustainability.” The authors begin by characterizing the contemporary epoch of Earth history in which humanity has emerged as a major—and uniquely self-reflexive—geological force. They turn next to the extraordinary revolution in our understanding of the Earth syste...
Article
J. Michael Hall received the Smith Medal at the 2004 Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony on 15 December, in San Francisco, California. The medal is given for extraordinary service to geophysics.
Article
Anthropogenic interference has resulted in climate change, ocean acidification, eutrophication and toxic pollution of the earth and it's ecosystems. The Earth System Analysis is an international research program on global environmental change to understand these processes in order to work towards global sustainability
Article
Full-text available
I am honored and delighted to be here today at the launching of the Zuckerman Institute for Connective Environmental Research (ZICER). With many of my colleagues around the world, I look on ZICER as both as a grand new home for many of the uniquely strong programs in environmental science and policy that the University of East Anglia has nurtured o...
Article
Full-text available
The challenge of meeting human development needs while protecting the earth's life support systems confronts scientists, technologists, policy makers, and communities from local to global levels. Many believe that science and technology (S&T) must play a more central role in sustainable development, yet little systematic scholarship exists on how t...
Article
Full-text available
Incl. abstract, bib. This paper argues for a broader emphasis on sustainable security and sustainable development, and for examining both opportunities as well as threats to security. The authors note that many of the significant risks arising from human and natural interactions do not emerge at global or local levels, but at intermediate scales. T...
Article
The State of the Nation's Ecosystems project was created to provide a "just the facts" report on the status of U.S. ecosystems - intended to inform opinion leaders and policy makers in much the same way statistics on unemployment and inflation provide data for economic policy debates. This article provides insight into the process behind the report...
Article
This book reports the results of a grand experiment in how lay publics might be more effectively engaged in linking science and technology to the quest for sustainable development. The experiment integrates three long-established but usually isolated lines of thought. The first concerns the appropriate role of science and technology in a transition...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability concerns have occupied a place on the global agenda since at least the Brundtland Commission’s 1987 report “Our Common Future” (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987; Clark 1986). The prominence of that place has been rising, however. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reflected a growing consensus when he wrote in his Mi...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I summarize 3 years of intensive consultation among members of the world's scientific community on the question of how science and technology could be more effectively harnessed to meet the goals of sustainable development. I begin with a review of the historical roots of the sustainability science movement and characterize the R&D a...
Working Paper
The boundary between science and policy is only one of several boundaries that hinder the linking of scientific and technical information to decision making. Managing boundaries between disciplines, across scales of geography and jurisdiction, and between different forms of knowledge is also often critical to transferring information. The research...