« Back to the full team
Professor Will Steffen


Will Steffen

Legacy Councillor (1947-2023)
Expertise :

(June 1947 - January 2023) Professor Will Steffen was a brilliant scientist, a gifted communicator, and a kind man.

Professor Will Steffen made an indelible contribution to ensuring that the world understands the severity of the climate crisis and our capacity to tackle it. The groundbreaking scientific contributions he made will continue to shape our understanding of the climate crisis for many years to come. His innate ability to translate complexity for a general audience will continue to be the benchmark for effective science communications. His work in public policy will continue to ripple through Canberra and Australia. 

Will was a climate change expert and the Executive Director of the Australian National University Climate Change Institute. He was on the panel of experts supporting the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, had served as the Science Adviser to the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and was chair of the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee.

From 1998 to 2004, Professor Steffen served as Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, an international network of scientists studying global environmental change. Will Steffen was active on the climate change science-policy interface for three decades and played a leading role in the development of Earth System science internationally.

He was the author of numerous publications on climate science, including contributing as an author and reviewer to five IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessments and special reports between 2000 and 2018.

His dedication, courage, passion, guidance and conviction stay with us as we continue his work. Will lives on in all of us as we use his science and his words to continue making the case for more urgent climate action to safeguard all that is precious to us.

Leave a message of condolence on his memorial page here

Download a booklet of messages to Will compiled by the Climate Council here.


Bushfires Summer of Crisis

Australia’s Black Summer of 2019-2020 was characterised by catastrophic bushfires. The bushfire season started in winter…

Extreme Weather The Angry Summer

Continuing hot on the heels of the ‘Angry Summer’ of 2012/2013, Australians again endured record breaking extreme events this…