Sir John Rex Beddington CMG FRS FRSE HonFREng (born 13 October 1945) is Senior Adviser at the Oxford Martin School, and was previously Professor of Applied Population Biology at Imperial College London, and the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser from 2008 until 2013.
Beddington was educated at Monmouth School in south-east Wales, close to the English border. He then attended the London School of Economics, gaining a BSc degree in Economics in 1967, and later an MSc degree in 1968. In 1973 he was awarded a PhD degree from the University of Edinburgh.
Research and career
Beddington's research applies biology and economics to the sustainable management of natural resources.
From 1968 to 1971 Beddington was a research assistant at the University of Edinburgh. From 1971 to 1984 he was a lecturer in population biology at the University of York.
Oxford Martin School
Beddington was part of the Oxford Martin School from May 2013 until 2018. He served as the senior advisor to Professor Ian Goldin, the School's Director. The Oxford Martin School is made up of a community of more than 200 researchers, working to address the most pressing global challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
Imperial College London
Beddington joined Imperial in 1984, was promoted to Reader in 1987 and was appointed Professor of Applied Population Biology there in 1991.
Beddington has been a specialist in the economics and biology of sustainable management of renewable resources, and has previously advised UK ministers on scientific and environmental issues. He has chaired the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' science advisory panel and the Defence Scientific Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Natural Environmental Research Council. He has also advised the European Commission and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Chief Scientific Adviser
On 1 October 2007, it was announced by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown that Beddington would succeed Professor Sir David King as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government with effect from 1 January 2008. His annual remuneration for this role was £165,000. Beddington was closely involved in helping the British government formulate its response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the eruptions of Icelandic volcanoes and ash dieback disease in the UK. In April 2013 Beddington was succeeded by Mark Walport.
Awards and honours
Professor Beddington was awarded the Heidelberg Award for Environmental Excellence in June 1997, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001 and was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, in recognition of his services to fisheries science and management. He was also appointed a Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011.
In July 2014, he was recognised by the Government of Japan for his contributions to strengthening the co-operation between Japan and the UK in the areas of science and technology.
Beddington was knighted in the 2010 Birthday Honours. He was married to Sarah West from 1968 until their divorce in 1972. They have one son. In 1973, he married social policy professor Sally Baldwin. They divorced in 1979, and have one daughter. He married his current spouse, Caroline Hiller, in 1990.
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