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Monday, 30 September 2019, 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

How to Avert a Climate Catastrophe

Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Professor Geoffrey Beattie, Vicky Pope, Dr Damien Short

After the UN Climate Action Summit in September, our Environment Professor will be talking to three experts about whether we still have a meaningful chance of averting a climate catastrophe, and how we can get there. The Extinction Rebellion protests pushed climate up the news agenda early in 2019, but what has happened since then, and what is happening globally? 

Professor Vicky Pope will discuss the challenges of climate modelling and reduction of emissions; Dr Damien Short will talk about why we need to legislate against Ecocide; and Professor Geoffrey Beattie will discuss the psychology that stops us from taking action.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture 

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Professor Jacqueline McGlade is the Frank Jackson Foundation Professor of the Environment at Gresham College. She is also a Professor of Resilience and Sustainable Development at University College London and Professor at the Maasai Mara University in Kenya.

On leave from her role at UCL, Professor McGlade was Director of the Science Division and Chief Scientist and Statistician at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Kenya. There she led many key global assessment activities including the Global Environment Outlook, UN Emissions Gap Report and Frontiers. She also led the creation of Environment Live, an intelligence system for environmental monitoring. Before moving to Kenya, she served as Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, where she introduced citizen science, systems for sharing environmental information for national reporting and delivered key assessments and analyses for all major European environmental policies.

For four decades Professor McGlade has worked at the interface of sustainable development, science, society and policy. Her research on biodiversity, climate change, ecosystems, oceans and social dynamics are known the world over. From developing innovative software for virtual gaming and decision-making in areas such as flood management to pioneering open access to data and information she has changed the way we look at and understand the environment.

Professor McGlade has given over 800 public lectures around the world showing her audiences how we can live sustainably on Earth while adapting to the changing nature of the environment. She has produced award-winning films, television series and radio programmes. In 2017 she gave a TEDx talk on Building Resilience to Climate Change.

With a background in marine biology and environmental informatics Professor McGlade has done fieldwork in Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, North America, Europe, the Caucasus, and the Arctic. She is passionate about local communities and has trained and supported indigenous people to map their lands and sacred sites. She has been instrumental in helping indigenous people participate in local, national and international fora. She recently became a senior member of the Maasai tribe in Kenya, where she is helping to design and implement clean technologies and a green growth local economy in the famous Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Appointed the Frank Jackson Foundation Professor of the Environment in 2018 this is Professor McGlade’s first lecture series at Gresham College. She will explore “Frontiers – Emerging Environmental Issues with Global Implications”. 

The lectures will present the latest knowledge about emerging issues that affect us all. They will cover antimicrobial resistance, nanotechnology, cognitive development and childhood malnutrition, food security and climate adaptations in crops, the intertwined impacts of inequality and pollution on human health, and the exploration of earth from space.

Professor McGlade's lecture series are as follows:

2019/20 Sustainable Planet

2018/19 Frontiers - Emerging Environmental Issues with Global Implications

All lectures by the Frank Jackson Foundation Professors of the Environment can be accessed here.

Current Gresham Professor of Environment

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Professor Beattie is an academic psychologist, writer and broadcaster. He is Professor of Psychology at Edge Hill University. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and was awarded the Spearman Medal by the BPS for 'published psychological research of outstanding merit'.

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Professor Vicky Pope had a long and varied career in the Met Office. She worked for many years on climate change, developing climate models and leading the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme. In her last role she was Head of Science and Technology Futures and member of the Met Office Government Services Senior Management Board. Vicky is a Trustee of BRE Trust, the Devon Wildlife Trust and In2ScienceUK. She is also the National Labs lead for the Association of Research Innovation and Technology Organisations (AIRTO) and a member of the EPSRC Mathematics Advisory Team. She is also an honorary professor at UCL.


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Damien is Director at the Human Rights Consortium and Reader in Human Rights at the University of London.

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