The Chinese Academy of Sciences published its list of 77 newly-elected academicians, 61 Chinese and 16 foreigners, on November 28, 2017. Deliang Chen B.S. '83 of the Department of Climatology, now the August Röhss Chair at the University of Gothenburg, is one of the 16 foreign scientists to receive this academic honor.
Deliang Chen was born in 1961 in Taizhou, Jiangsu. He entered Nanjing University in 1979 through the National College Entrance Examination and received a bachelor degree of science in Climatology in 1983. He went to Germany in 1989 to study under Nobel laureate Paul J. Crutzen at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and obtained his Ph.D. in 1992. He joined the University of Gothenburg as a senior lecturer in Physical Meteorology in 1993 was promoted to tenured Professor in 2000. He was appointed the August Röhss professorship by the university in 2007, being the fourth person to hold this chair since its establishment in 1891.
Chen is an internationally renowned climatologist, an academician of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg and the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He has made prominent contribution in many areas of study including connections between regional climate and atmospheric circulation, climate dynamics and climate change. In the last decade, he led or participated in more than 20 international and domestic research projects and advised more than 20 doctoral and post-doctoral candidates. He had more than 200 papers published in academic journals and was the author of two monographs and a coauthor of eight books. He is a highly cited scientist with an h-index of 57, whose research findings have been quoted for more than 13,000 times.
Chen is not only a climatologist of international impact, but also a strategic scientist with a rare global vision and a huge influence in the scientific community. He was the first Chinese to become executive director of the International Council for Science (ICSU) since its establishment in 1931. During his time in office, he formulated the Earth System Visioning Process and launched a 10-year international research program called Future Earth. As the chief coordinator of the scientific community, he provided scientific support for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) during the Leader Summit Agenda. He works as science consultant and assessment expert for several governments and intergovernmental organizations and national research supported agencies and has participated in internationally famous research center and project as a member of Science Steering Committee or Council. He is listed on the review committee of many international awards such as the Volvo Environment Prize and the Olav Thon Foundation's International Research Award and is the chairman of the Environment Climate Data Sweden (ECDS) and the Nominating Committee of Stockholm Water Prize.
Chen has cooperated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), the Chinese Meteorological Association (CMA), Nanjing University and other institutes in China and done lot of work in supporting Earth system science development in China, including works in academic journals and science culture development, talent recruitment and cultivation as well as the modernization of scientific research and education. He has also provided consulting services for the central and local governments as well as many other academic institutes. He was the scientific director for the National Climate Center for eight years, during which period the Climate Center was accepted by the World Meteorological Organization as its Asian regional climate center and global data center and developed into an important regional center for climate research, analysis, applications and services. In addition, he has been involved in the overall development and strategic planning of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and is a member of the executive board for the CAS-initiated international program the Third Pole Environment. He contributed greatly to the Assessment Report of Tibetan Plateau Eco-environment Changes. The joint report by more than 100 scientists provided a strong guidance for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau’s environmental protection and ecological conservation and a scientific basis for President Xi Jinping’s instructions on ecological civilization during the 6th National Conference on Tibet Work. He had the honor to win the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award in 2016.
Chen has been recommending Chinese scientists to international scientific organizations and assisting them in related activities for a long time. He helped to set up the first Asia-based project office for ICSU and spared no efforts in promoting Chinese scientists’ achievements in front of international organizations, renowned foreign academies and institutes as well as the review committees for international scientific rewards. He has made tremendous contributions in bringing China’s scientific and technological innovations to the international stage and in securing the deserved academic honor and leadership status for Chinese scientists in international projects and organizations.