The St Andrews Prize is an international initiative of
the University of St Andrews in Scotland and the energy company,
ConocoPhillips. It is a forum for practical environmental
ideas that combines good science, economic reality and political
acceptability. Each year, the Prize attracts entries from
more than forty countries around the world.
The environmental debate tends to be dominated by strong
views, vigorously pursued, but destined to be totally unacceptable
to one side or the other. It is important to bring together
those having some broad agreement on what is important, what
can be done and what can make a difference, to address issues
in a way that attempts to reflect various strands and shades
of scientific and public opinion. The prize was developed
to create a forum to do just that.
The St Andrews Prize and its associated environmental seminar
were formally launched by a British Cabinet Minister, the
Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP, in 1998. Reflecting the aims
of the Prize, the seminar is attended by high-level representatives
of three important constituencies: science and academia to
assess and evaluate ideas, industry to look at the economics
and the practicality of these ideas and government to consider
their political feasibility.