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Public Evening Lecture: Sir John Beddington

Globe Sir John Beddington PEL

14 Aug 2017

Invitation to SCI’s Free Public Evening Lecture

Sir John Beddington - Global Sustainability Challenges: food, water, and energy security

Wednesday 20 September 2017

  • Every year, an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted globally while 870 million people go hungry.
  • 550 billion m3 of water and 1.4 billion hectares of land are used to produce that waste, while 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases are emitted at a cost of US$750 billion.

Food, water, and energy security are some of the major challenges of the 21st century, after the huge period of growth in the second half of the 20th century. Sir John Beddington’s lecture on the legacies of the 20th century and the challenges of the 21st, to be held on Wednesday 20 September, will address these sustainability challenges and the role of scientists and engineers in approaching them. He will also consider how climate change, regulation, and the public perception of science and engineering complicate these issues and the enormous effort now required from politicians, engineers, and scientists.

About the Speaker

Sir John Beddington HonFREng, CMG, FRS is Senior Adviser at the Oxford Martin School and was previously the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) 2008-2013.During that period, crises included the pandemic influenza outbreak in 2009, the volcanic ash closure of UK air space in 2010, and the results of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.

The Government Office for Science, under Sir John’s leadership, conducted a major Foresight project ‘Global Food and Farming Futures’; and, at the invitation of the World Bank, he chaired an International Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change.

One of his key achievements as CSA was to found the Government Science and Engineering body to support those professions and ensure that government has access to the best expertise and advice for decision making.

Andrew Medal and Lecture
Sir John’s lecture will perfectly highlight why he is receiving the inaugural Andrew Medal for his work. Dr Sydney Andrew, a brilliant chemical engineer working for ICI, was long-time SCI member who exemplified the Society’s mission to encourage the application of chemistry and related sciences for public benefit, who died in November 2011. He bequeathed a substantial share of his estate to SCI for the founding of the Andrew Medal Lecture, to be presented every third year on the theme of neglected science. These are areas of science which, though of importance in agriculture and the chemical industry, receive scant attention.

Date for your diary: Wednesday 20 September 2017
Venue: SCI HQ, 15 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PS

Reception opens at 18.00 and the lecture starts at 18.30. This is a free event.

There will be a drinks and networking reception with the opportunity to meet the speaker after the lecture.

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