Barry Brook (scientist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Barry Brook
Barry W Brook.jpg
Prof. Barry W. Brook
Nationality  Australia
Fields Environment, Energy
Institutions University of Tasmania

Barry William Brook (born 28 February 1974 in Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian scientist. He is a professor and former ARC Future Fellow in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia, where he held the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change from 2007 to 2014. He was also Director of Climate Science at the Environment Institute and co-ran the Global Ecology Lab. Since late 2014 has has been Professor of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania in the Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology.

Early life and education[edit]

Brook attended high school in Coonabarabran, before studying at Macquarie University, Sydney, where he earned a B.Sc.(First Class Honours) and a Ph.D. in population viability analysis.


He is a former member of the South Australian Premier's Climate Change Council and Premier's Science and Research Council, and advocates for the not-for-profit Science Council for Global Initiatives.

He has published three books and over 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers, is an ISI highly cited researcher, and regularly writes opinion pieces and popular articles for the media. He is known for his work in ecological systems models, conservation biology, paleoecology, sustainable energy and climate change impacts.

He is a strong proponent for nuclear power as a viable energy source for wholesale replacement of fossil fuels, especially using generation IV technology like the Integral Fast Reactor.[1] His most recent book is Why vs Why: Nuclear Power.

In an open letter of December 2014, 75 leading scientists urged environmentalists to set aside their preconceptions about nuclear power[2]. They express their support for an article titled Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation.[3], stating that it provided "strong evidence for the need to accept a substantial role for advance nuclear power systems" as part of a range of sustainable energy technologies. "Much as leading climate scientists have recently advocated the development of safe, next-generation nuclear energy systems to combat global climate change ... we entreat the conservation and environmental community to weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources using objective evidence and pragmatic trade-offs, rather than simply relying on idealistic perceptions of what is 'green'."[4]


Brook has lived in Melbourne, Bristol (UK), Sydney, Darwin, Adelaide, Kyoto (Japan) and currently resides near Hobart, Tasmania.

Awards and prizes[edit]

  • 2014: Thompson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher, Environment/Ecology[5]
  • 2013: Scopus Researcher of the Year, Life Sciences and Biological Sciences[6]
  • 2010: Community Science Educator of the Year, Science Excellence awards[7]
  • 2007: Cosmos Bright Sparks Award: One of the top 10 young scientists in Australia[8]
  • 2007: H.G. Andrewartha Medal: Royal Society of SA. Awarded for outstanding research by a scientist under 40 years (any discipline)[9]
  • 2006: Fenner Medal: Australian Academy of Science. Awarded for distinguished research in biology by a scientist under 40 years[10]
  • 2006: Edgeworth David Medal: Royal Society of NSW. Awarded for outstanding research by a scientist under 35 years (any discipline)[11]
  • 1999: Australian Flora Foundation Prize, Australian Flora Foundation[12]

Nuclear Power book[edit]

In the 2010 book Why vs. Why: Nuclear Power[13] Barry Brook and Ian Lowe discuss and articulate the debate about nuclear power. Brook argues that there are seven reasons why people should say "yes" to nuclear power:[13]

  • "Because renewable energy and energy efficiency won’t solve the energy and climate crises
  • Because nuclear fuel is virtually unlimited and packs a huge energy punch
  • Because new technology solves the "nuclear waste" problem
  • Because nuclear power is the safest energy option
  • Because advanced nuclear power will strengthen global security
  • Because nuclear power's true costs are lower than either fossil fuels or renewables
  • Because nuclear power can lead the "clean energy" revolution"

Lowe argues that there are seven reasons why people should say "no" to nuclear power:[13]

  • "Because it is not a fast enough response to climate change
  • Because it is too expensive
  • Because the need for baseload electricity is exaggerated
  • Because the problem of waste remains unresolved
  • Because it will increase the risk of nuclear war
  • Because there are safety concerns
  • Because there are better alternatives"

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Why vs Why: Nuclear Power. Brook, B.W. & Lowe, I. (2010) Pantera Press, ISBN 978-0-9807418-5-8
  • Does the terrestrial biosphere have planetary tipping points? Brook, B.W. et al. Trends Ecol Evol (2013) 28: 396-401
  • Synergies among extinction drivers under global change. Brook, B.W., Sodhi, N.S. & Bradshaw, C.J.A. Trends Ecol Evol (2008) 23: 453-460
  • Catastrophic extinctions follow deforestation in Singapore. Brook, B.W., Sodhi, N.S., & Ng, P.K.L. Nature (2003) 424: 420-423.
  • Predictive accuracy of population viability analysis in conservation biology. Brook, B.W., O'Grady, J.J., Chapman, A.P., Burgman, M.A., Akçakaya, H.R., & Frankham, R. Nature (2000) 404: 385-387
  • Southeast Asian Biodiversity in Crisis, Sodhi, N.S., Brook, B.W. (2006) Cambridge University Press, London, UK. ISBN 978-0-521-83930-3, 212 p.
  • Tropical Conservation Biology, Sodhi, Navjot S., Barry W. Brook and Corey J. A. Bradshaw (2007) Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 978-1-4051-5073-6


External links[edit]