Members of the France-Arizona Institute for Grand Challenges traveled to Washington, D.C., for a “Make Our Planet Great Again” seminar, October 17–18. Hosted by the French Embassy and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the goal of the two-day conference was to share successes of the MOPGA program and brainstorm future avenues for collaboration between the United States and France.
Featured at the conference was the MOPGA Scholarship Program, created in 2017 by the French government in response to the urgent threat of climate change on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge. The program supports goals set out in the Paris Agreement by funding postdoctoral research aimed at finding scientific solutions to the climate crisis.
Over the past 12 months, an international cohort of scholarship recipients have conducted cutting-edge climate research in France. Twenty MOPGA laureates were present at the seminar in Washington to share their research and experiences. On the first afternoon of the first day, they broke into panel discussion groups organized around key themes: Earth System Sciences, Climate– Change, Sustainability Sciences and Energy Transition, and Impacts of Climate Change on Ecosystems.
The University of Arizona associate professor of biology Regis Ferriere moderated the discussion on the impact of climate change on ecosystems and found the experience to be “very positive, with a lot of enthusiasm.”
The day’s agenda finished with a keynote speech by Dr. Susan Solomon, chair of the Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, titled “Solvable: How We’ve Repaired the Planet Before and Why We Can Do It Again.”
On day two, participants looked back at achievements resulting from North-American–French collaboration. The France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges, a partnership between the University of Arizona and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), figured prominently.
France-Arizona Institute member Régis Ferrière, and Sylvette Tourmente, Director of CNRS Office for USA and Mexico, presented “A Successful Collaboration: CNRS–University of Arizona International Research Center: France–Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges,” highlighting the importance of such centers in developing and disseminating international research to confront existential threats to our planet. According to Régis Ferrière, “The take-home message is the importance and value of creating international research networks.” Participants of the seminar agreed
MOPGA PROGRAM : https://tinyurl.com/bdcsmdck
6th MOPGA 2023 call for applications : https://www.campusfrance.org/en/mopga-2023
2022 BOOKLET MOPGA : https://tinyurl.com/mrxtxcym