Symons Gold Medal Lecture: On Missing Gravity-Wave Forces, and Scientific Understanding#

Wednesday 15 May 2024, 12:00 - 13:00 (BST) (13:00 - 14:00 CET)
Virtual lecture

Professor Michael Edgeworth McIntyre, member of the Earth and Cosmic Sciences section of Academia Europaea since 1989, gives his Symons Gold Medal Lecture awarded by the Royal Meteorological Society on May 15th, 2024.

Professor McIntyre says about the lecture:

The lecture is in two parts. The first part is about an unresolved technical issue in weather and climate modelling - the 'missing forces' problem - which I suspect may have dropped out of sight in the community, but which is still a big challenge for a bright young dynamicist. The second part broadens out to visit some generic issues about science itself, and how best to understand it and communicate it. The generic issues have a philosophical flavour, but as a humble scientist I think I'm permitted to discuss them in a simpler and more direct way than can a card-carrying philosopher.

This talk has been pre-recorded and Prof. McIntyre will be available to answer any questions at the end of the presentation.

Professor Michael Edgeworth McIntyre

Professor Michael Edgeworth McIntyre#

Professor Michael Edgeworth McIntyre has made outstanding contributions to our understanding of geophysical fluid dynamics.

Michael’s work on fluid dynamical `wave breaking' lies at the foundation of many classes of extreme weather events. His prescient insights and anticipation of the dynamics of breaking Rossby waves is at the heart of some of the most extreme bouts of severe weather in the world, including long-lived ‘blocking events’ that cause intense cold air outbreaks in winter and devastating heatwaves and firestorms in summer. The impacts of Michael’s work extend to tropical cyclones and even other planets such as the gas giants.

Michael is an exceptionally inspiring scientist. His deep understanding, combined with careful communication, make his lectures and seminars an unparalleled experience. Numerous prominent researchers have profoundly benefitted from McIntyre’s mentorship and have gone on to hold leading academic positions worldwide. Michael’s influence also extends to many other fields, including much-cited work in musical acoustics, a breakthrough in solar physics (the first credible model of the fluid dynamics of the solar tachocline), and a recent book (Science, Music and Mathematics – The Deepest Connections) discussing biological evolution, human language, all of which demonstrate our unconscious mathematical abilities.

Professor McIntyre is a giant in the geosciences. His untiring communication of deep scientific ideas has armed generations of scientists with new tools, insights and communication skills and he has contributed to the amazing strength and vitality of meteorological research in the UK and beyond. He is a very worthy winner of the Symons Gold Medal and Lecture.



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