2050: A Sustainable UK?

Duration: 56:02 | 17 September 2012
Dr John Emsley

The population threatens to exceed 9 billion by 2050, putting everything at risk, unless a sustainable way is found for producing everyday items. Dr Emsley, having identified the seven essentials for a civilised life: food, water, transport fuel, medicinal drugs, housing, material goods and recreation, uncovered how chemistry can be used to deliver sustainable solutions for each.

About the speaker

Dr Emsley has had a love affair with chemistry since he was a boy, practicing experiments with bangs and flashes. He specialised in inorganic chemistry, with a PhD from Manchester University. His academic career, specialising in non-metal inorganic chemistry and hydrogen bonding, spanned 25 years, during which he published over 100 papers. He earned the title of Doctor of Science from London University.

He started a second career as a writer in the 1970s, which started with two textbooks and a collaboration with New Scientist magazine. Dr Emsley has also collaborated with The Independent and the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre. He has been Science Writer in Residence at Imperial College and Cambridge University. His writing has earned him nine prestigious awards, including SCI's first Science Communication Award. He is the author of twelve popular science books, including A Healthy, Wealthy, Sustainable World and Nature's Building Blocks.

Dr John Emsley, eminent academic and science writer, opened our autumn programme of Public Evening Lectures on 18 September. John addressed a full house at SCI’s Belgrave Square headquarters, presenting an optimistic view of how we can ensure sustainability into 2050.

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