Showing articles associated with Gideon Henderson

Gideon Henderson is Professor of Earth Sciences in the Earth Sciences Department and Chief Scientific Advisor at Defra.

Main area(s) of interest/expertise

Gideon is a geochemist, with expertise in the carbon cycle, climate, ocean chemistry, and more broadly across the environmental sciences.

Why is Oxford a good place to work in research related to environmental challenges?

Oxford is a fantastic place to pursue environmental research because of its people. There is world-leading expertise in a broad range of environmental areas, and across all disciplines, from law and social science, to physics and chemistry.  When I, as a scientist, have questions about other aspects of environmental research and policy, there is always a genuine expert in that field to talk to. This is true from senior professor to graduate student, and makes Oxford a really productive place to integrate environmental thinking. 

What is the biggest environmental challenge facing the planet right now?

From a science point of view there are many challenges; climate change, pollution of air and water, and biodiversity loss amongst them. But the biggest challenge is society's unwillingness to really address these challenges. Thankfully we are starting to see a real swing in public opinion, and an increasingly desire for action to protect our planet. I sincerely hope we can build on that desire and limit the changes that will otherwise be so damaging to Earth as a place for humans to live.  

Despite the challenges, are you optimistic about our future?  

I think we have to remain optimistic. Pessimism leads to the tendency to give up in despair and fail to act. We cannot afford to do that. We have to keep looking for ways to improve the future environment.  

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Gideon Henderson