2014 Winner of the Frederick Seitz Memorial Award
Dr. Sherwood B. Idso, one of the world’s leading authorities on the effects of carbon dioxide on plants, is president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Prior to 2001 he was a research physicist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked since 1967.
He also was closely associated with Arizona State University over most of this period, serving as an adjunct professor in the Departments of Geology, Geography, and Botany and Microbiology. His Bachelor of Physics, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are all from the University of Minnesota.
As a result of his early work in the field of remote sensing, Dr. Idso was honored with an Arthur S. Flemming Award, given in recognition of “his innovative research into fundamental aspects of agricultural-climatological interrelationships affecting food production and the identification of achievable research goals whose attainment could significantly aid in assessment and improvement of world food supplies.” This citation continues to express the spirit that animates his current research into the biospheric consequences of the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content.
In 2014, Dr. Idso received the 2014 Frederick Seitz Memorial Award, with a financial award, from by the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)( http://www.sepp.org/). The award recognized Dr. Idso for “courageously and tirelessly opposing efforts to demonize carbon dioxide and man’s role in climate. His work forms the scientific foundation for understanding the biospheric consequences of the ongoing rise in the air’s carbon dioxide content.”
Dr. Idso was born and raised in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, where he attended and graduated from Knox Elementary School and Lincoln High School. Immediately thereafter, he enrolled in the Physics Department of the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology in Minneapolis, from which he graduated four years later with a Bachelor of Physics degree with distinction. He moved from the Minneapolis campus to the St. Paul campus, earning a Master of Science degree two years later and a Ph.D. degree the following year.
In June 1967, Dr. Idso began his 35-year career at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked as a research physicist in its Environmental and Plant Dynamics Research Unit within the purview of the Agriculture Research Service’s National Program for Global Change. Contemporaneously, he also was associated with Arizona State University, serving as an adjunct professor in the Departments of Geology, Geography, and Botany and Microbiology.
During this period of his life, Dr. Idso authored 480 publications as part of his official duties and 88 more on his own time, including three influential books on carbon dioxide and global change,the most recent being Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (2014). Of his publications produced at work, 40 were abstracts, 57 were book reviews, 29 were technical discussions, 27 were symposia presentations, 24 were popular articles, 18 were technical reports, 23 were book chapters, and 262 were refereed scientific journal articles of which Dr. Idso was the senior author of 186. As of July 2000, Dr. Idso’s research papers had been cited in the scientific literature in excess of 6,500 times, more than an order of magnitude above the norm for all scientists of that time period.
Dr. Sherwood Idso richly deserves the honor of receiving the first Frederick Seitz Memorial Award. Fred Seitz, a good friend of mine, would have been very pleased with this selection.
Thanks for giving CO2 some well-deserved and long-overdue credit.
“I join with your many friends and admirers in congratulating you and your well-deserved Award.”