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Fellows Directory

Ron Oxburgh

Ron Oxburgh

The Lord Oxburgh KBE HonFREng FRS


Elected: 1978


Ron Oxburgh is a geologist whose expertise in the field of plate tectonics has made him a highly sought-after scientific adviser and a leading figure in the UK science community. His work has improved our historical understanding of the Earth’s crust and shed light on the slow processes that have shaped its surface.

As a young researcher in the early days of plate tectonic theory, Ron’s extensive field work in South America and the Austrian Alps led to valuable insights into the mobility of ancient geological regions. He has since conducted important studies on the heat lost to the atmosphere through the Earth’s mantle, improving our understanding of convection processes on the largest scales.

Ron is a former Non-executive Chairman of Shell, in the capacity of which he was a powerful voice for the need to adhere to global carbon emission targets. Knighted in 1992, Ron was made Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool in 1999 and subsequently spent four years as chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee of the House of Lords.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Geology
  • Other
    • Science policy, Public understanding of science
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