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Bob Ward is Policy and Communications Director of the Grantham
Research Institute and in this position has been widely quoted
in the media on the subjects of climate change and climate
scepticism. Ward has been highly active in promoting the views of
the majority of scientists that humans are responsible for global
warming, and in challenging what he sees as poor-quality media
reporting of the subject.
Ward joined Grantham from Risk
Management Solutions, which offers "expertise for the
quantification and management of catastrophe risk". Previously,
he was head of communications for the Royal Society for eight years.
Ward is also a freelance science journalist, a member of the
executive committees of the Association of British Science Writers
and the World Conference of Science Journalists. He sits on the
board of the Science Media
Ward studied geology to degree level and has an unfinished PhD
on palaeopiezometry, the study of the structure of rocks. Ward has
considerable access to some of Britain's leading scientists, not
least Grantham Institute chairman Lord Stern.
He has called for a better communications strategy for the
climate science community - following the "Climategate" saga
in which emails of climate scientists from the Climatic Research
Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia were hacked and
published he called for institutions to "take the heat", consider
resignations and to engage with critics. Writing in New Scientist
in June 2010, he argued:
"Climate science is facing reputational meltdown similar to the
Roman Catholic church's over allegations of child abuse and the
British parliament's following the scandal over MPs'
He supplied evidence to the Times newspaper about the links
between ExxonMobil funded thinkthanks and attacks on
CRU scientists which supported a front page story titled
"Oil giant gives £1 million to fund climate skeptics." Ward has
also called for scientific institutions including the Royal Society
"open up their internal debate to the public, and clarify whether
the criticisms made by the 'sceptics' have any validity."
While working for the Royal Society, Ward wrote to ExxonMobil calling
for the company to stop funding climate sceptic organizations and
to accept the science behind global warming. His letter, later
published in the Guardian, stated: "At our meeting in July  …
you indicated that ExxonMobil would not be providing any further
funding to these organizations. I would be grateful if you could
let me know when ExxonMobil plans to carry out this pledge."
The company cut funding to the Competitive Enterprise Institute and
some sceptic thinktanks, although Greenpeace
later established it continued to fund others.
Ward was central to organizing the response to the documentary The
Great Global Warming Swindle, directed by Martin Durkin and
broadcast by Channel Four. A total of 37 academics and experts
signed an open letter to Durkin stating: "The programme
misrepresented both the scientific evidence and the interpretations
of researchers that have been documented in the scientific
Ward has also complained to the Press Complaints Commission
about print articles that he has said breach the PCC's code in
terms of accuracy. He complained to the PCC about an article
written by Christopher Booker published in March 2009 titled:
"Rise of sea levels is 'the greatest lie ever told." The PCC
found the article was based on evidence from 2001 of sea levels in
Tuvalu, which had been superseded by evidence of rising tides. It
ruled that the Sunday Telegraph had taken sufficient remedial
action after it agreed to publish a letter.