University of Delaware removes Nobel Prize reference from its website

The University of Delaware has removed a reference from its website that described Climate Professor John Byrne as sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, Junk Science reports.

Junk Science contacted the university’s general counsel earlier this month after it noted that a page on the university’s website said Byrne “shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the authors and review editors of the International Panel on Climate Change.”

The page provides information on Environmental and Energy Policy for prospective students.


While the IPCC as an organization did win the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, the group's hundreds of contributors and editors did not win, nor did they “share” the award, Junk Science reports. A memo released by the IPCC in 2012 explained that “the prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner.”

The Nobel Prize reference was quickly removed from the page on the university’s website, according to Junk Science, which cited around six or seven similar incidents related to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

"The University follows the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's guidelines on references to its 2007 Nobel Prize," explained a University of Delaware spokeswoman, in an email to "The website in question is new as is the individual who posted the incorrect information on the site. It was a simple error on the University's part created by cutting and pasting from outdated text."

The spokeswoman added that when the error was brought to the university's attention, it was immediately corrected.

Byrne, the university’s Distinguished Professor of Energy Climate Policy, has contributed to IPCC reports since 1992. The professor was a member of a working group within the IPCC when the organization was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore, according to the university’s website.