Alexander King (scientist)

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Alexander King CMG CBE (26 January 1909 – 28 February 2007) was a scientist and pioneer of the sustainable development movement who co-founded the Club of Rome in 1968 with the Italian industrialist Aurelio Peccei.

At the time of the Club of Rome's founding, King was a "top international scientific civil servant, Scots by birth, living in Paris."[citation needed]

Education and early work[edit]

King attended Highgate School, studied chemistry at London's Royal College of Science and the University of Munich, then taught and carried out some important research at Imperial College, London.[1]

In 1940, Henry Tizard invited King to join the Ministry of Production as Deputy Scientific Adviser. While there he would learn from an intercepted letter the properties of the insecticide dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, coining the acronym DDT. He travelled to the U.S. in 1943, becoming Head of the UK Scientific Mission and Scientific Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington.[1]

Following the war he became Secretary of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy and personal adviser to the Lord President of the Council, Herbert Morrison. He later became Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.[1]

In 1957 he joined the European Productivity Agency in Paris, where he remained until 1974.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Alexander King". The Independent. 26 March 2007. 

External links[edit]

  • The Club of Rome: Beginnings
  • Memoirs of a Boffin contains some biographical material on King
  • CPTM contains information about Alexander King's autobiography 'Let the cat turn round: one man's traverse of the Twentieth century' published by CPTM, November 2006
  • Brabyn, Howard (1972). "Cool Catalyst". New Scientist 55 (24 Aug): 390–391.  Profile of Alexander King.