Grew elected to finance panel of international geophysics organization

Photo Credit: Jozsef Adam, Corina Risso, and Priscilla Grew
Thu, 08/08/2019 - 10:30

Photo above: IUGG Finance Committee members Jozsef Adam, Corina Risso, and Priscilla Grew.

The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) has elected Priscilla Grew, professor emerita in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to their Finance Committee.

Established in 1919, IUGG is a non-governmental scientific organization of 72 nations promoting international cooperation in geophysical disciplines to advance knowledge of Earth and its space environment. The Finance Committee advises the organization on financial matters and works to recruit and retain members.

Grew is the second woman elected to the committee. 

"I remember the 13th IUGG General Assembly in August 1963 meeting on the University of California-Berkeley campus while I was a graduate student," Grew told IUGG Council delegates. "At the opening ceremony, President John F. Kennedy's Science Advisor, Jerome Wiesner, spoke about the international need for a 'scientifically literate citizenry.' Otherwise, he said, 'as things stand, the public is simply condemned to a continuing ignorance of the forces that shape its future.'

"Today we can look back on immense scientific progress in geodesy and geophysics since 1963, but we still face widespread public misunderstanding and mistrust of science. The need for greater diversity and inclusion in science persists. Across the globe, there is increasing human vulnerability to geophysical risks such as climate change, earthquakes, and volcanoes."

Previously, Grew was the first woman elected chair of the U.S. National Committee for IUGG from 2003 to 2011. National committees are appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to represent the U.S. in the International Science Council, a group of 40 natural science and social science unions. She was also the leader of the U.S. delegation and member of the IUGG Council at the 2007 and 2011 IUGG General Assemblies.

Grew is director emerita of the University of Nebraska State Museum and a faculty fellow of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute. She served as the university's vice chancellor for research from 1993 to 1999.