World-renowned scientist and environmentalist to visit UP

Sir David King is the Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. He was the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office of Science from October 2000 to 31 December 2007. In that time, he raised the profile of the need for governments to act on climate change and was instrumental in creating the new £1 billion Energy Technologies Institute. In 2008, he co-authored “The Hot Topic” (Bloomsbury 2008) on this subject.

As Director of the Government’s Foresight Programme, he created an in-depth horizon scanning process that advised government on a wide range of long-term issues, from flooding to obesity. He also chaired the government’s Global Science and Innovation Forum from its inception. He advised government on issues including: the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic 2001; post 9/11 risks to the UK; GM foods; energy provision; and innovation and wealth creation; and he was heavily involved in the Government’s Science and Innovation Strategy 2004-2014.

He has published over 450 papers on his research in chemical physics and on science and policy, and has received numerous prizes, Fellowships and Honorary Degrees. He continues as Director of Research in the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University, and is currently President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science

Born in South Africa, with a PhD (Chemistry) from the University of the Witwatersrand, Sir David will receive an honorary doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Pretoria on 23 April and will deliver two lectures in the Senate Hall as part of the University’s Centenary lecture series on this occasion.

The details of the lectures are as follows:

1. Student-directed, general lecture, 10:30 - The Hot Topic (climate change)

2. Victor Pretorius memorial lecture, 18:30 - Twenty first century challenges for science and global policy

Everybody is welcome to attend both lectures. For catering purposes, please inform Naomi Steenkamp: Tel (012) 420 4412 before 21 April if you will attend the reception after the 18:30 lecture.

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