Oral history of British science
Gilchrist, Andrew (Part 7 of 7). An Oral History of British Science
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The British Library, London
Gilchrist, Andrew, 1929- (speaker, male)
Merchant, Paul (speaker, male)
Part 7: Comments on development during 1980s of UK Conservative government’s commitment to climate change research, including influence of JM and Crispin Tickell on MT. Mentions CT’s visit to MO, 1970s; CT’s involvement in EEC funding/organisation of climate change research. Brief comments on character of CT. [4:36] Mentions service on Council of RMS. Comments on role as Editor of QJRMS, early 1980s. [10:05] Comments on view of own compulsory retirement from MO at age 60; role as Director of Research immediately before retirement; development of MO climate models. [15:17] Comments on modelling of ocean in MO climate models, 1980s, including roles of Adrian Gill, Howard Cattle. [16:52] Comments on development of modelling of land surface in MO climate models. [17:56] Story of role as advisor on climate change to House of Lords Science and Technology Committee [HLSTC], following retirement in 1989. Comments on own perception of difference between House of Lords and House of Commons in terms of scientific expertise/regard for scientific knowledge; content of advice given by self to HLSTC. [22:56] Story of work in retirement on storm event, involving interviewing. Mentions related paper published in ‘Weather’. [25:37] Description of involvement in activities of natural history societies in Edinburgh and Hertfordshire, following retirement, including influence of wife, focus on fungi. [27:26] Story of wife hosting dinner at own home for Chinese delegation, visiting the MO. Mentions children’s lack of interest in own work. [29:04] Comments on interest in phenology; nature/extent of interest in meteorology/climate in retirement; reasons for not reading/understanding meteorological/climate journals; continued attendance at meetings of RMS. [32:21] Comments on reasons for not telling people fact of own employment/former employment at MO. [33:34] Comments on relations with own children. Story of children’s education/careers. Comments on own impression of difficulties of academic careers.
Interview with climate modeller and research meteorologist Andrew Gilchrist