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Vaclav Smil is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. An interdisciplinary scholar, he has published more than 40 books and 500 papers on energy, environmental and population change, food production, history of technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy) and a Member of the Order of Canada. Smil lives in Manitoba. 

Award History

2022 Finalist

Balsillie Prize for Public Policy
for How the World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We're Going

Jury Citation

“Staggering in its empirical richness, Vaclav Smil provides a tract to better understand the challenges in the years ahead for industrial societies, for as he argues, the ‘gap between wishful thinking and reality is vast.’ Public policy across the globe must seriously grapple with how we get to a decarbonization of our societies. Achieving consensus on that goal – as hard as even that is – is one thing. Doing the things required to actually achieve that goal is quite another, and infinitely harder, task. Most public policy practitioners have a rough feel for how hard that end game will be. Smil accelerates that dialogue.”