London’s Gresham College creates historic environment professorship

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London’s oldest higher education establishment has created a new professorship for only the second time in its 400-year history – in the field of the environment.

Gresham College in Holborn has appointed Carolyn Roberts, a senior scientist at the UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and a water resource management specialist, as the new Frank Jackson Foundation professor of the environment.

She has been commissioned to deliver a series of free public lectures around the theme: ‘Green Complexity: Science, Innovation and Society’. The talks will outline some environmental problems and their solutions, within a wider context that will incorporate business, industry, policy, society and academia.

Prior to her appointment, Roberts was based at the University of Oxford where she was the director of the Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network (ESKTN).

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    The new position is being sponsored by the Frank Jackson Foundation – a grant-making trust established by the late philanthropist Frank Jackson. The principal objectives of the foundation are to promote world-class research in higher education establishments, while benefiting the disadvantaged through education.

    Gresham said Roberts was renowned for creating links between real life problems and fundamental learning – with a particular focus on human-made impacts on the environment.

    As well as multiple academic papers, she has authored and joint authored four books and spoken around the world on water management and sustainability.

    She is currently chair of the Society for the Environment, vice-president of the Institution of Environmental Sciences and a trustee of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators.

    Photo source: Elliott Brown via Flickr 

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