An evangelical Christian scientist has been named one of TIME's 100 most influential people in the world amidst popular individuals such as Beyonce, Pope Francis and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, the scientific advisor to the Evangelical Environmental Network and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, was recognized for her efforts to improve the environment and advocacy for action on climate change.
"I am honored to be included in the TIME 100 list," Dr. Katharine Hayhoe said upon hearing of her inclusion.
"Even more so, I am encouraged to see climate change emerging as an urgent concern. With 97 percent of climate scientists agreeing that climate change is happening due to the choices people make every day, I am a spokesperson with one principal goal - to bring public awareness to the simple truth that the scientific debate is over, and now it's time for all of us to take action. I'm grateful to TIME for bringing further visibility to my work and to everyone who is standing up to climate change around the world," she continued.
Rev. Mitch Hescox, President and CEO of EEN, wrote on his blog that Hayhoe, who is commonly referred to as the "climate evangelist," is proof that it is possible to be both an evangelical Christian and notable scientist.
"[Dr. Hayhoe] understands that creation-care is truly a matter of life and speaks to churches and conservative groups across the country to address climate change," he wrote, "her particular scientific specialization has allowed her to help communities and organizations across the country and the world understand how to prepare for the impacts of climate change."
In the TIME article featuring Hayhoe, actor and Goodwill Ambassador Don Cheadle says he admires the scientist's ability to combine her faith with her work. "There's something fascinating about a smart person who defies a stereotype...that's what makes Katharine Hayhoe so interesting," he writes.
"It's hard to be a good steward of the planet if you don't accept the hard science behind what's harming it, and it can be just as hard to take action to protect our world if you don't love it as the rare gift it is. For many people, that implies a creator," Cheadle writes, who collaborated with Hayhoe on Showtime's climate documentary "Years of Living Dangerously."
Hayhoe and her husband, evangelical pastor Andrew Farley, also wrote "A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions," in 2009, a book which Cheadle calls "defining ...for the planet-loving believer."
Rev. Hescox says Hayhoe's faith is what drives her to success. "It is her love for her children and Jesus Christ that has Dr. Hayhoe refusing to be intimidated from speaking the truth."