Professor Oran R. Young – Founding Director and Chair and of the Board of Directors with the Science Diplomacy Center™ – has been awarded the 2024 International Mohn Prize for Outstanding Research Related to the Arctic. The Mohn Prize laureate 2024 was announced on 6 November 2023 in Tromsø at UiT | The Arctic University of Norway by the Rector, Dag Rune Olsen, who noted: “What Oran Young has done for interdisciplinary, geopolitical cooperation and research is unsurpassed. His work has left, and will continue to leave, a decisive imprint on how we talk about and understand the Arctic.”
Oran is a mentor and collaborator, who has pioneered research about international governance of the Arctic with local-to-global relevance, considering lessons and strategies to peacefully manage the High North as well as the world all 8 billion of us inhabit together. As Prof. Young noted in his initial response, being awarded the Mohn Prize 2024 is the “capstone of 50 years of active engagement in Arctic affairs.”
“Today, we stand at a critical juncture regarding international cooperation in the Arctic and, indeed, in the world at large,” Prof. Young noted. With the Arctic intertwined with Russia and the war in Ukraine, Prof. Young asks: “So, what does this mean for international cooperation in the Arctic going forward?“
“Does it make international cooperation impossible? No, it does not! It’s an illusion to think we can somehow turn the clock back, making use of existing institutions with only modest adjustments. But at the same time, there is great interest in Arctic cooperation: there are numerous issues calling for cooperation and there are no really serious conflicts in the Arctic itself.”
The wisdom shared by Prof. Oran R. Young in his many books and papers have an ageless quality, with relevance and hope across generations, as recognized by his being awarded the Mohn Prize 2024.