International recognition for Environment Professor

Professor Barry Brook

Professor Barry Brook
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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The University of Adelaide's Professor Barry Brook - an environmental scientist who holds strong pro-nuclear energy views - has received recognition from two prominent international bodies.

Professor Brook, who is Director of Climate Science at the University's Environment Institute, has become the first Australian appointed to the international selection committee of the $1.2 million Global Energy Prize.

Known as the "Nobel Prize of Energy", this is the most prestigious international award granted for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of energy that have benefited the human race.

Professor Brook has also been made a 2012 Senior Fellow at the California-based think tank, The Breakthrough Institute.

The Institute is dedicated to "modernizing liberal thought for the 21st Century" and creating "secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling lives on an ecologically vibrant planet".

Both appointments are in recognition of Professor Brook's work on energy policy. He holds strong views on the use of nuclear energy and alternative energy systems from an economic, environmental and scientific point of view.

"I'm honoured to have been chosen for the international selection committee of the Global Energy Prize and as a fellow of The Breakthrough Institute within a short space of each other," Professor Brook says.

"Although many environmentalists consider nuclear power to be somehow anti-environment, it's my firm belief that nuclear energy actually offers a viable low-carbon, low-impact alternative that cannot be matched by other low-carbon solutions.

"The reality is that any of the main 'green energy' solutions - solar, wind, geothermal - are expensive and won't be sufficient for displacing fossil fuels. Even if we were willing and able to pay for them, the result, without nuclear being part of the mix, would be an unacceptably unreliable energy supply system," he says.

In addition to his extensive research, supervision and public outreach duties, Professor Brook runs a highly popular blog on climate change and energy options.

The blog - - has already received more than three million page hits and fifty thousand comments since he established it in August 2008.

In that time, Professor Brook's own views have shifted towards nuclear energy as a viable alternative to fossil fuels, with a particular emphasis on next-generation technologies that recycle nuclear waste, are passively safe, and provide a truly sustainable energy source.

Professor Brook blogs about scientific findings and commentary from a range of sources, including many of his colleagues who work in the fields of conservation, climate, environment and energy science.

One such colleague is University of Adelaide Adjunct Professor Tom Wigley (from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in the United States). Professor Wigley has also been made a 2012 Senior Fellow at The Breakthrough Institute.


Contact Details

Professor Barry Brook
Director of Climate Science, Environment Institute
The University of Adelaide
(now at University of Tasmania)
Mobile: +61 420 958 400