Chris Field, professor of interdisciplinary environmental studies, has been selected co-recipient of the 2013 Max Planck Research Prize for his contributions to the understanding of climate change.

Field's efforts include his recent caution that it's "a myth" to define a maximum increase of 2 degrees Celsius as a safe threshold for the rise in average global temperature. Current scientific calculation puts the global rise at 0.8 degrees Celsius since the mid-1800s, but Field argues that focusing on average conditions distracts from the problem of extreme events that are intensifying because of climate change.

Examples include record-high temperatures in the United States and worldwide, and the prospect of more rainfall in events that trigger floods. "People and ecosystems can adapt to the average conditions," says Field, "but where things fall apart is in the extremes."


The Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies established its first regional center in July, starting a program for West African businesses in Accra, Ghana. The goal is to provide training and management support that might fuel business expansion in a region where almost 70 percent of the 300 million people live on less than $2 a day.

The institute, founded in 2011 at the Graduate School of Business with a $150 million gift from Dorothy and Robert King, MBA '60, combines education and research with hands-on entrepreneurship in impoverished communities.