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Eden Project Science Advisory Panel Chair elected as Fellow of the Royal Society

Special Advisor and Chair of the Eden Project’s Science Advisory Panel, Professor Michael Depledge CBE, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.


Prof Michael Depledge CBE FRS


Mike, whose role at Eden over the last 10 years has seen him support, advise and guide the senior Eden Project team, is joining some of the world’s most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists at the Fellowship.

Mike said: “Over more than 360 years the Society’s many eminent scientists have transformed our understanding of the world. To be included among their ranks as the Society goes forward is both humbling and exciting.”

Rob Chatwin, Group CEO of the Eden Project, said: “I know everyone at the Eden Project will join me in offering hearty congratulations to Mike for this incredible and deserved accolade. He has achieved much in his time with us and, most recently, he has been fundamental in setting up our Science Advisory Panel which is instrumental in informing Eden Project narratives today and in the future.”

Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project, said: "Mike has been a huge friend to Eden as we have developed our strategy for the engagement of science and has chaired our Science Advisory Panel since its inception. His wonderful inclusive temperament, gift for friendship and mischievous spirit of enquiry have been a constant inspiration and encouragement for our creative interpretation teams. The influence of his thought can be seen in Eden projects everywhere.

"Mike’s desire is for science to be at the service of everyone and communicated so that we can all understand the wonder of the planet we live on, and thereby choose to protect it with all our might. We are all thrilled to bits that our dear friend and colleague has been recognised by the scientists and thinkers he himself so admires and in whose company he will now become a welcome member."

Edward Benthall, Chair of the Eden Trust, said: “Mike has guided scientific thought at Eden for years. His polymathic view has helped us to demonstrate to our audiences that humans are part of nature’s complex overlapping systems and that our vision for a healthy planet must include healthy people living in harmony with nature.”

Mike’s career spans more than 45 years working on environment and human health issues. He trained as a marine biologist, investigating chemical pollution in the sea, but then broadened his approach to include medical toxicology.

He has spent his career at world-leading universities, research institutes and hospitals in the UK, Hong Kong, Denmark and New Zealand. Mike is a founding board member of Natural England (the UK’s conservation agency) and a former member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

He served as the Chief Scientist of the Environment Agency of England and Wales for five years and as the Chair of the Science Advisory Group on Climate Change and the Environment, for the European Commission. In 2010, he founded the EU-funded European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter.

The Royal Society, founded by King Charles II in 1660, is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists from the UK and worldwide. Past Fellows include, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein. Elizabeth Garett Anderson, Dorothy Hodgkin and Rosalind Franklin. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.

There are approximately 1,700 Fellows and Foreign Members, including around 85 Nobel Laureates.