Dr. Martin Kowarsch

Head of working group Scientific Assessments, Ethics and Public Policy

Dr. Martin Kowarsch

Dr. Martin Kowarsch is head of the working group Scientific Assessments, Ethics, and Public Policy (SEP). His research interests include:

  • Analysis and evaluation of integrated (global) environmental assessment-making and other science-policy interfaces -- with a focus on the role of values, ethics and multiple stakes therein;
  • Theoretical models for the science-policy interface building on J. Dewey's philosophy (deliberative democracy, etc.);
  • Environmental ethics and normative political philosophy concerning sustainability and climate policy; the relationship between ethics and economics; and Albert Schweitzer's moral philosophy.


See our report of the *ETHICS & VALUES IN ASSESSMENTS conference*.


Dr. Martin Kowarsch was coordinator of a joint research initiative (2013 - 2017) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called “The Future of Global Environmental Assessment Making” (FOGEAM). This interdisciplinary evaluation of past global assessment-making was intended to inform future choices in assessment design. Jointly with Ottmar Edenhofer, Kowarsch also developed a refined science-policy model called the “Pragmatic-Enlightened Model” (PEM). Based on Dewey’s pragmatist philosophy, it suggests to explore alternative policy pathways and their implications jointly with stakeholders. The PEM influenced the assessment strategy of IPCC Working Group III during the fifth assessment cycle, and guides the assessment activities at MCC. Moreover, Kowarsch provided reviews and advice for UNEP's GEO-6 assessment, the new EU science advice mechanism, and other science-policy interfaces. Kowarsch studied philosophy and furthermore economics.


See also Kowarsch's book on social-science assessments by the IPCC, and a report of the expert workshop (Sep 2018, Berlin) on deliberative, multi-stakeholder learning platforms.


In the media: Statements on the new EU science-policy interface in "Science-Business", the German newspaper "taz", again in the taz, and in the "FAZ". Comment on German Commissions in Tagesspiegel.


Curriculum vitae

Short CV

List of publications, advice for assessments, talks, and teaching




Latest Publications

Garard, J., Koch, L., Kowarsch, M., 2018

Elements of success in multi-stakeholder deliberation platforms

Palgrave Communications 4, 129
Peer Review
Lenzi, D., Lamb, W.F., Hilaire, J., Kowarsch, M., Minx, J.C., 2018

Don’t deploy negative emissions technologies without ethical analysis

Peer Review
Garard, J.; Kowarsch, M., 2017

Objectives for Stakeholder Engagement in Global Environmental Assessments

Peer Review
Kowarsch, M.; Jabbour, J. , 2017

Solution-oriented global environmental assessments: Opportunities and challenges

Environmental Science & Policy
Peer Review

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