The IMSC achievement award was presented to Francis Zwiers at the 10IMSC in Beijing, 2007 to recognize his leadership and his influential publications that have significantly improved the application of statistics to climate science.

Francis obtained his PhD in Statistics in 1980, but has spent virtually his entire career since then in Climate Science, rising to his current position as Director of the Climate Research Division, Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada. He has developed a unique capability to combine a very thorough knowledge of statistics with great experience in, and knowledge of, climate research to address climate questions. He has published on climate predictability, on changes in climate extremes due to greenhouse warming, on sampling problems in climate research, and on a large variety of other important topics in climate research. His publication on changes in climate extremes in climate change simulations has influenced the way the community thinks about changes in extremes, since it combines uniquely rigorous statistical extreme value theory with applicability to climate data. His publication on sub-global scales detection is a major step forward in climate change research. Many of his publications include statistical novelty applied to important climate problems. As well as his research contributions, he is co-author of a well-regarded book, which has helped many climate scientists who are less statistically aware than him to learn about new techniques and avoid pitfalls.

His contributions to the application of statistics in atmospheric and climate science extend well beyond his publications. He has been active in editorial work, including a five-year stint as an Editor for the Journal of Climate. As a leading member of the IMSC Steering Committee, he has been instrumental in the successful continuation of the meetings. On a bigger stage, he has served on various national and international committees, including major contributions to the third and fourth IPCC assessments. Throughout all these varied activities there are common themes: enthusiasm and dedication in addressing statistical problems in climate research, in promoting good practice of statistical analysis in climate research, and in encouraging statisticians and climate scientists to work together.