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The University of Southampton

Environment lecture highlights the importance of sustainability to address global challenges

Published: 23 April 2008

The Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser will discuss the importance of global challenges such as food and energy security in the context of population growth, economic growth and climate change, at the University of Southampton next week.

Professor John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office for Science, will deliver this year’s Vitacress Conservation Trust Annual Environment Lecture at 6pm on Thursday 1 May in the Nightingale Building, University of Southampton.

Professor Beddington’s lecture entitled ‘Sustainability in a Changing World’ will discuss various global challenges and possible solutions to them. This includes challenges to provide scientific and engineering solutions to food, energy and water security in the context of climate change, population growth and alleviating poverty.

The lecture will also consider how governments, non-governmental organisations and others need to work together and use science, technology and engineering to help combat the threats posed.

Professor Beddington comments:

“Issues surrounding sustainability and climate change are increasingly coming to the fore for everyone. The challenges we face on matters such as food and energy security are serious.

“I am grateful to both the University of Southampton and the Vitacress Conservation Trust for inviting me and I welcome this opportunity to outline my thoughts on some of these issues.”

This event is hosted by the University of Southampton, highly regarded for its wide-ranging research into environmental issues. The event celebrates the partnership between the University and The Vitacress Conservation Trust (VCT). The VCT has been established to research, conserve and enhance the wildlife and habitats associated with watercress and salad crop farming, with the key objectives of communication and education.

Gail Taylor, Chair of The Vitacress Conservation Trust, adds:

“The issue of sustainability is central to all the activities of The Trust, and we are delighted that this year’s lecture on this very important subject is to be given by such an eminent speaker as Professor Beddington.”

The lecture is free to attend but places are limited so pre-registration is required. To reserve your place, please contact Rosie Dwelly on 023 8059 9114 or email:

You can also register online at

Notes for editors

    • Professor John Beddington was appointed as Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) in January 2008. Before this he acted as a Senior Adviser to several major national and international bodies including the British Government, the European Commission and the United Nations Environment Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation. Awarded the Heidelberg Award for Environmental Excellence in 1997, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001. In 2003 he was awarded the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George by the Queen for services to fisheries science and management. In post at Imperial College London since 1984, John was Professor of Applied Population Biology until his appointment as GCSA.
    • The Vitacress Conservation Trust ( ), who’s Patron is former University of Southampton Chancellor, Lord Selborne, has been established to help research, conserve and enhance wildlife and habitats predominantly associated with watercress and other salad crops. Vitacress and the University of Southampton began working together in 1999. The partnership was established via a link with Professor Gail Taylor from the University’s School of Biological Sciences, now Chairman of The Vitacress Conservation Trust, and Dr Steve Rothwell, Production and Technical Director at Vitacress and Trustee of The Vitacress Conservation Trust.
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