Professor to tackle hot topics in public lectures


Selby Fellow Professor Herbert Huppert

Selby Fellow Professor Herbert Huppert

An esteemed Sydney-born Cambridge geophysicist will demystify some of the science and paranoia surrounding carbon politics at a public lecture in Darwin next month in the aftermath of Australia’s hottest summer.

Theoretical Geophysicist Professor Herbert Huppert will examine the idea that Earth may become too hot for our grandchildren, as part of the Australian Academy of Science Selby Fellowship lecture tour.

“The talk will describe the background of atmospheric temperatures in both the distant and recent past,” Professor Huppert said.

“It will explain the definite connection between the carbon dioxide and methane content of the atmosphere and the average global surface temperature. Various predictions will be presented as well as useful ways of restoring a balance, including storage and chemical reaction.

“I’ll also explore some of the reactions of politicians to these ideas.”

The lecture will be timely, coming on the back of a year in which global fossil carbon dioxide emissions reached a record-high 37 billion tonnes.

Professor Huppert also will speak at CDU campus in Alice Springs, on the unrelated topic “Cheating: in science, sport, politics, business, the animal kingdom, life.”

“It may sound strange that a good, honest scientist is interested, and even worse, knowledgeable about, cheating,” Professor Huppert said.

“I’ll challenge the notion that cheating is the receiving of a reward for finding an easy way out of an unpleasant situation.

“I’ll describe examples of outright cheating, followed by questions of where exactly to draw the dividing line between cheating and possibly even exemplary behaviour, although this is not always clear.”

This too will be timely, given the proximity to the Federal election.

The lectures will be free and open to the public.

2 May (5.30pm – 7pm) at the Mal Nairn Auditorium, Casuarina campus - Will the Earth become too hot for your grandchildren to handle: the science and politics of carbon emissions and storage. RSVP 8946 6554 or

8 May (6pm – 7pm) at the Higher Education Theatre, Alice Springs campus, 17 Grevillea Drive - Cheating: in science, sport, politics, business, the animal kingdom, life.

About the speaker
Herbert Huppert is the Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Geophysics at the University of Cambridge, where he has been since 1968, having completed his undergraduate studies at Sydney University. He has used fundamental fluid mechanics to contribute to areas in meteorology, oceanography and the “solid” Earth Sciences.

About the Selby Travelling Lectures
This lecture forms part of a series of Selby Travelling Fellowship Lectures by Professor Huppert. The Fellowships are awarded by the Australian Academy of Science to distinguished overseas scientists to give public lectures and visit scientific centres in Australia.

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