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Dr John Emsley - 2050: Sustainable UK?

Dr John Emsley, award-winning science writer, will discuss how chemists can find ways to create a healthy, wealthy sustainable Britain, and set an example to the world.

The world is approaching a crossroads.
To continue on the present route is to rely on fossil reserves and eventually suffer the consequences of climate change.
Or we can turn aside and take the road advocated by those of the green movement who support organic farming and natural materials. However, with a predicted population of 9 billion by 2050, we will end up in a world blighted by famine and scarcity.
Or we can take a third way and continue to enjoy the things we regard as essential to a modern lifestyle, namely a secure food supply, clean water, transport fuel, polymers, and a comfortable home.
Chemistry offers this third route and it can be a sustainable way, based on renewable resources for the chemical, agrochemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Creating such a world has to be possible, but it will require dedicated young chemists to achieve it. John Emsley explains how together they could create a healthy, wealthy, and sustainable Britain, and set an example to the world.
However, there is an elephant in the room…


Dr John Emsley | talks


Date and Time:

18 September 2012 at 6:00 pm


1 hour



15 Belgrave Square

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Additional Information:

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.
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