What is the likelihood that global average sea level will rise more during this century than IPCC forecasts? Did global warming make the recent record high U.S. summer temperatures worse? For answers, the public and policymakers can turn to Vision Prize, an online poll of climate and earth scientists. Poll results are now searchable by topic and include average h-index scores of the experts giving the various answers.

"We're very encouraged by the high quality of our 275+ expert participants," says Peter Kriss, the director of research. Vision Prize provides mean h-index scores to give readers of the poll an approximate metric for assessing the relative expertise of the participants who selected a given answer. "We were very impressed to find mean h = 36 among our top 50 experts," says Kriss. As a point of reference, h ≈ 12 might be a typical value for advancement to tenure at major research universities; membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences may typically be associated with h ≈ 45 and higher (Hirsch, PNAS, 2005).

Vision Prize is now seeking additional participants from the scientific community, including doctoral students. "The larger the number of climate and earth scientists participating, the more useful the results," says Kriss.

Join your distinguished colleagues: http://visionprize.com/why

Closing the 'public perception versus reality gap' with respect to where scientists agree and disagree

It takes about five minutes, after quick registration, to share your predictions – and help identify where there is substantial agreement or disagreement on possible iconic changes of great interest to the public.

Incentives both to participate and to carefully consider one's responses are integral to the design of Vision Prize. "Though we think interest in communicating scientific opinion is the key motivator," says Kriss, "we also make use of a scoring algorithm designed to encourage thoughtful answers, especially with regard to predicting the beliefs of others." This makes it possible for expert participants to win charity gift card prizes, based on their answers to poll questions, and to gain recognition as domain experts." We all recognize the need to do science communication, but we still seem to struggle to do this well," says Jonathan Foley, Director of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. "As a new approach to this problem, Vision Prize deserves our attention."

"Vision Prize: Poll of Climate and Earth Scientists" is an online research platform for communicating expert opinion on climate risk. The project currently involves more than 275 experts from institutions around the world. Vision Prize is affiliated with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. The research program is strictly nonpartisan – Vision Prize is not an advocacy organization.

Source: Vision Prize