Christopher G. Rapley - Biography#

Professor Chris Rapley CBE is Professor of Climate Science at University College London (UCL). He is a Fellow of UCL and of St Edmund's College Cambridge, a member of the Academia Europaea, Chair of the European Science Foundation’s European Space Sciences Committee, Member of the Advisory Board of the UK government’s Clean Growth Fund, Patron of the Surrey Climate Commission, a member of the UK Science Museum Group’s Science Advisory Board, a member of the Science Advisory board of Scientists’ Warning, and a member of the UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee. He has an MA in Honours Physics from Oxford University, an MSc in Radio- Astronomy from the University of Manchester, a PhD in X-ray Astronomy from the University of London, Honorary DSc’s from the University of Bristol and the University of East Anglia, and Honorary Professorships from Imperial College London and the University of East Anglia.

His previous posts include Director of the Science Museum, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Chairman of the London Climate Change Partnership, President of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, and Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He spent the first 25y of his career as a space scientist at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory developing instruments to study the soft X-ray sky, solar flares, and the Earth’s polar regions and land based-water bodies. He was founder and Head of UCL MSSL’s Earth Remote Sensing Group. He was Chair of the International Planning Group for the International Polar Year 2007-2008, and Chair of the European Space Agency Director General’s High-Level Science Policy Advisory Committee.

More recently he has focused on the role of climate scientists in delivering value to society through decision making, public policy and more effective communication. He is Chair of the UCL Policy Commission on Communicating Climate Science.

In 2014 Prof Rapley and the playwright Duncan Macmillan wrote the acclaimed play ‘2071’ which Prof Rapley performed at the Royal Court theatre and in Hamburg and Brussels. The script is available in paperback published by John Murray. More recently Prof Rapley was the Science Consultant on BBC1’s ‘Climate Change – The Facts’ presented by Sir David Attenborough.

In 2003 Prof Rapley was appointed CBE by Her Majesty the Queen. In 2008 he was awarded the Edinburgh Science Medal for having made 'a significant contribution to the understanding and wellbeing of humanity'.

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