My watch list  

David King (scientist)

Professor Sir David King FRS

BornAugust 12, 1939
South Africa
Fieldphysical chemistry
InstitutionsCambridge Univ.
Alma materWitwatersrand Univ.
Notable prizesRumford Medal 2002; knighthood 2003

Sir David King FRS (b. August 12, 1939) is the outgoing Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, and consequently head of the Office of Science and Innovation. He will be replaced in January 2008 by John Beddington.

He is also the Director of the Surface Science Research Group at the Department of Chemistry at University of Cambridge [1] and a Fellow of Queens' College. He was Master of Downing College, Cambridge until 2000.

In 1988, he was appointed Professor of Physical Chemistry at Cambridge, and subsequently became Master of Downing College (1995–2000), and Head of the University Chemistry Department (1993–2000). From 2000, he has served as Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, In 2002, he was awarded the Rumford Medal by the Royal Society.

He founded two research centres, the Leverhulme Centre for Innovative Catalysis at Liverpool in 1987 and the Unilever Cambridge Centre for Molecular Informatics in 1998.

In his role of scientific advisor to the UK government he has been outspoken on the subject of climate change, saying:

I see climate change as the greatest challenges facing Britain and the World in the 21st century [2]


climate change is the most severe problem we are facing today - more serious even than the threat of terrorism [3]

He strongly supports the work of the IPCC, saying in 2004 that the 2001 synthesis report is the best current statement on the state of play of the science of climate change, and that really does represent 1,000 scientists [4]

He has criticised the United States government for what he sees as its failures in climate change policy, saying it is: failing to take up the challenge of global warming [5].

In an article published in The Guardian newspaper on 25 October 2005, George Monbiot drew attention to King's increasing support for nuclear power in the UK, which, Monbiot argues, contradicts his stance on climate change, and represents a mutation of his role. [6]

Sir David King told The Independent newspaper in February 2007 "he agreed that organic food was no safer than chemically-treated food" and openly supported a study by the Manchester Business School that implicated organic farming practices in unfavourable CO2 comparisons with conventional chemical farming. Questions have been raised about King's support for intensive bird farms in the context of the dangers it posed regarding bird flu and further questions have been raised about his environmental credentials again when he spoke on the BBC talking about "the end of free range farming practices."

King has confirmed that he will return to the land of his birth to give a talk at SciFest Africa, the annual science festival in Grahamstown, a small university town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa in 2008.[7]

Preceded by
Sir Robert May
Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government
Succeeded by
John Beddington

David King in the news

  • David King: Three billion lives hang on three degrees, warns scientist
  • David King: London could be among the first cities to go if global warming causes the planet's ice to melt
  • David King: Climate change is a far greater threat to the world than international terrorism
  • Scientist David King renews climate attack
  • Presentation by Sir David King at The Scottish Oil Club, December 2004
  •, February 2007
  • Organic farming 'no better for the environment', 20th February 2007
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "David_King_(scientist)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE