American Philosophical Society
Member History

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105. Physical Earth Sciences[X]
1Name:  Lord Oxburgh
 Institution:  House of Lords; Shell Transport & Trading Company
 Year Elected:  2005
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  105. Physical Earth Sciences
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1934
Lord Oxburgh played a key role in providing a dynamic basis for plate tectonics, mainly in collaboration with D. L. Turcotte, who he allegedly persuaded to abandon engineering for geophysics. Lord Oxburgh went on to become a university administrator and wrote a notorious report on U.K. earth science which advocated the concentration of resources into a small number of well-founded geology departments. Since being ennobled he has played a prominent role in U.K. government science policy (as chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defense from 1988-93), and as chairman of Shell Oil he has voiced widely publicized concern over global warming. Formerly a lecturer in geology (1962-78) and professor of mineralogy and petrology (1978-89) at the University of Cambridge, Lord Oxburgh has chaired the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology since 2001. He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1978 and of the National Academy of Sciences in 2001.
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