Prof. Dr. Ilan Chabay

Prof. Dr. Ilan Chabay

Head of Strategic Research Initiatives and -programmes

Ilan is Head of Strategic Science Initiatives and Programs and the knowledge, learning, and societal change research alliance (www.KLASICA.org) at IASS, where he has been since 2012. He is also Adjunct Professor in the School of Sustainability of Arizona State University (ASU) and works in alternate blocks of several weeks in Potsdam and in the ASU Barrett and O’Connor Washington DC Center. Over the past decade, his focus has been on understanding and facilitating processes of societal change toward just and equitable sustainable futures, including understanding scientific, local, and cultural knowledge systems for decision-making on common resources; characterizing the role in different cultural and socio-economic contexts of affective narratives of vision and identity in guiding and motivating collective behavior change; and the potential utility of narratives in modeling social dynamics. From 2013-2016, he co-led inter- and transdisciplinary research on decision making for ecological, social, and economic transformations in the Eurasian Arctic. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in major journals, books, and reports in both social and natural science and holds three patents. He serves on international advisory boards on affordable energy for humanity, environmental systems research, social dimensions of creativity and innovation, and integrated risk governance. He was Helmholtz Alliance Energy Trans professor at the University of Stuttgart Institute for Social Science (2012-2014), elected Honorary Member of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2012, and appointed Hasselblad Professor in sociology and applied IT in Gothenburg and Chalmers Universities, Sweden (2006-2011). He founded the New Curiosity Shop, a workshop in Silicon Valley (1984-2006), where he led design and production of interactive learning exhibitions for more than 230 museums, science centres, and corporations worldwide, including Disney and NASA. He was Associate Director of the Exploratorium Science Museum in San Francisco (1982-83), consulting professor of chemistry at Stanford (1984-88). Ilan led research on Doppler-shift, Raman, and non-linear laser spectroscopy at the US National Institutes of Standards and Technology (1974-82) after receiving his Ph.D. in chemical physics (first measurements of molecular chirality with circular dichroism in the infrared) from the Univ. of Chicago and holding a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship in biophysical chemistry at the University of Illinois in Urbana (1972-1974).