Ian Lowe

Leading Environmental Scientist

One of Australia’s most respected environmental scientists, Ian Lowe is emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University, where he was previously Head of the School of Science, and an adjunct professor at Flinders University and University of the Sunshine Coast. He holds earned degrees from University of NSW and the University of York, as well as honorary doctorates from Griffith University and the University of the Sunshine Coast. His principal research interests are in the broad area of policy decisions influencing use of science and technology, especially in the fields of energy and environment. He is the author or co-author of 10 Open University books, 12 other books, more than 50 book chapters and over 500 other publications or conference papers. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2001 for services to science and technology, In 2002 he was awarded a Centenary Medal and won the Eureka Prize for promotion of science. His contributions have also been recognised by the Prime Minister’s Environment Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement and the Queensland Premier’s Millennium Award for Excellence in Science. In 2009 the International Academy of Sciences awarded him the Konrad Lorenz Gold Medal, presented biennially for an outstanding contribution to sustainable futures.

From 1983 to 1989, he was a member of the National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Council, chairing its standing committee on social, economic and environmental issues. He was Director of the Commission for the Future in 1988, and chaired the advisory council that produced the first independent national report on the state of the environment in 1996. Among many other advisory roles for all three levels of government he was a member of the Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council from 2002 to 2015 and chaired Brisbane’s Urban Environment Advisory Committee for several years. He currently chairs the Wakefield Futures Group, which advises on broad issues of sustainable development.

He has long been active in promoting innovation at all levels of education and was a member of the advisory group that produced Education 2010, the Queensland strategy plan. He chaired the State government task force implementing the reform of science education and has conducted consultancies for government as well as individual companies and organisations in the private sector.

He has been a referee for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, attended the Geneva, Kyoto and Copenhagen conferences of the parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change and was a member of the Australian delegation to the 1999 UNESCO World Conference on Science. He was on the steering group for the UNEP project Global Environmental Outlook, an invited participant in the 2000 workshop on Sustainability Science and a referee for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program’s 2004 book on planetary science.

He makes frequent contributions to radio and television in such areas as news, current affairs and science. He wrote a weekly column for New Scientist for thirteen years and has been a regular columnist for several other publications, including The Weekend Australian and Australasian Science. He gave the ABC’s Boyer Lectures in 1991.

In his spare time, Ian plays cricket, sings in choral groups, walks in the Australian bush and overseas, reads voraciously, watches films and is trying to improve his golf game.

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