The Reuters Hot List of “the world’s top climate scientists” has come under fire by the climate change community for only listing five African scientists in its list of the world’s 1000 top climate scientists.
“To identify the 1,000 most influential scientists, we created the Hot List, which is a combination of three rankings,” the news agency says in its introduction to the list. “Those rankings are based on how many research papers scientists have published on topics related to climate change; how often those papers are cited by other scientists in similar fields of study, such as biology, chemistry or physics; and how often those papers are referenced in the lay press.”
Social media, policy papers and other mediums are not included.
Despite three-quarters of the global population living in both Asia and Africa, more than three-quarters of the scientists on the list from North America and Europe.
The top 10 scientists are all from the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Austria.
Kenyan scientist, Philip K Thornton from the International Livestock Research Institute, ranked 39th, is the first African to make the list and also the only African scientist on the list who is not from South Africa.
Mark George New of the University of Cape Town is ranked 151. Guy Franklin Midgley of South Africa’s Stellenbosch University is ranked 180th. At 772, Chris J C Reason of the University of Cape Town is the next African to make the list, while Mark R Jury of the University of Zululand comes in at 828 while
According to The Conversation, the geography of this “global” list is imbalanced because the list includes 130 of 929 authors contributing to the current reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
It says that the panel is “arguably the most influential source for climate change policy.”