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Dr. Oran Young Awarded Mohn Prize by Norwegian Prime Minister for Arctic Research


On 1 February, the final day of the 2024 Arctic Frontiers Conference, Dr. Oran Young was awarded the International Mohn Prize by Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, who presented the award at The Arctic University of Norway.

In explaining its selection of Dr. Young for the prize, the Scientific Committee of the Mohn Prize wrote:

“Dr. Young is an international leader in studies of international governance and environmental institutions and is the world's foremost expert on these topics in the Arctic. … He combines basic and applied research with practice, and actively promotes this integrative vision of Arctic research at both academic and policy-making fora. Dr. Young has led the creation of many national (USA) and circumpolar Arctic governance and science policy institutions. He has used his knowledge of the Arctic to inform wider studies on the role of policy and governance globally. …

Dr. Young has published 20 books, 25 edited volumes, and more than 150 articles and book chapters, a highly impressive record in social science. … Dr. Young's seminal article 'Age of the Arctic' (Foreign Policy, 1985) and his book of the same title (co-authored, 1989) initiated research on international relations in the Arctic as a distinct planetary region, and one with high potential for scientific cooperation. He helped launch circumpolar scholarly collaboration in the late 1980s and 1990s. His work has identified lessons from the Arctic to inform international governance regimes globally. … Dr. Young has played a major role in building Arctic scholarly institutions, with involvement in many key Arctic non-governmental research organizations since the 1980s. …”

“Dr. Oran Young is a giant in the field of Arctic research and governance and the Mohn Prize is well deserved. The Arctic is currently warming at four times the global average and it is essential to have Dr. Young engaged in finding solutions,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development.

Prime Minister Støre, referencing Dr. Young’s words, noted in his speech at the award ceremony that “this is a critical time for the Arctic. And we know that when it is a critical time for the Arctic, it is also a critical time for the globe, the Antarctic, and everything in between.”

The Mohn Prize seminar is here; the Mohn Prize Scientific Committee’s statement is here.