UW Economics Professor Named to Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

October 1, 2008
Man smiling
University of Wyoming College of Business Professor Jason Shogren.

University of Wyoming College of Business Professor Jason Shogren has been appointed as a lifetime member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, a group that annually awards the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, literature and economics.

Shogren, UW's Stroock Professor of Natural Resource Conservation and Management in the Department of Economics and Finance, is among three professors worldwide selected this year as a "foreign" member of the academy. Three Swedish members also were appointed to the organization.

Their disciplines range from biochemistry, geosciences and astronomy to neuroscience and economics. The other two members of the foreign group are Eigil Friis-Christensen, professor at DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen; and Victor Alderson, professor of applied ocean sciences and Distinguished Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.

"To be a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is an unexpected honor that just goes to show you can find a Wyoming graduate just about anywhere," Shogren says. "I am proud to be invited to join this prestigious institution."

Shogren was selected to the Swedish academy for the social sciences class based on his specialty fields such as microeconomics (interaction between producers and consumers in the markets), the political economy of environmental and natural resources and the public economy. In recent years, he has also become interested in paleoeconomics, which attempts to reconstruct early mankind's management of resources.

Among his duties with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is to participate in science and policy debates and dialogues, vote on the Nobel Prizes, serve on committees that nominate people for awards.

"Someone in the academy nominated me and the academy voted. I then a got a letter out of the blue inviting me to join the academy," Shogren says. "I believe the nomination came about because of my strong connections to Sweden during the last two decades."

His topics of interest include the political economy of environmental and natural resources, climate change policy, endangered and invasive species, food safety and game theory and experimental economics.

Shogren earned a bachelor's (1980) degree in economics from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and his doctorate (1986) in economics from UW. In 1997 he was the White House senior economist for environmental and natural resource policy, Council of Economic Advisers. He is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore, and he also served on Wyoming's Environmental Quality Council from 2000-2004. During the 2007-2008 academic year, he accepted a royal appointment as Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf's professor of environmental science.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, founded in 1739, is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization that promotes the sciences, primarily the natural sciences and mathematics.

The academy seeks chiefly to be a forum where researchers can meet across subject borders; offer unique research environments; support young researchers; reward prominent contributions to research; arrange international scientific contacts; promote science and influence research policy priorities; stimulate interest in mathematics and the natural sciences in schools; and disseminate scientific and popular scientific information in various forms.

The international organization also administers a researcher exchange with academies in other countries and publishes six scientific journals. Every year the academy awards the Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in economic sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the Crafoord Prize and a number of other large international prizes.

For more information, call Shogren at (307) 766-5430.


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