April 2, 2010 – "Sustainable Energy—Without the Hot Air"
David MacKay, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK
How easy is it to get off our fossil fuel habit? Could typical developed countries live on their own renewable energy sources? What do the fundamental limits of physics say? How does our current energy consumption compare with our sustainable energy options? This talk will offer a straight-talking assessment of the numbers, and discuss how to make energy plans that add up.
David MacKay, author of Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air, is Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK and a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and then obtained his PhD in Computation and Neural Systems at the California Institute of Technology. He returned to Cambridge as a Royal Society research fellow at Darwin College. He is internationally known for his research in machine learning, information theory, and communication systems, including the invention of Dasher, a software interface that enables efficient communication in any language with any muscle. He has taught Physics in Cambridge since 1995. Since 2005, he has devoted much of his time to public teaching about energy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Climate Change.