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David King, Knight and Chevalier

Sir David King was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur on 29 October. (Click to view larger version...)
Sir David King was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur on 29 October.
Sir David King, former Chief Science Advisor to the UK government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and Head of the Office of Science and Technology from 2000-2007, has been made Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, receiving one of France's highest honours.

Sir David has been an outspoken and often controversial expert on climate change, describing global warming as "...probably the most serious [problem] that the human race has, collectively, ever faced." In 2008, he co-authored The Hot Topic to bring the issue to the political and public forefront. He is a strong supporter of fusion development as a clean solution for future energy needs. As Science Advisor, he chaired a committee on the future of fusion that issued the King Fast Track Report to Fusion Power.

"I was one of those who were somewhat sceptical about fusion," says Sir David in a recent interview at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (formerly UKAEA Culham) that is this week's featured Newsline video. "It was that work with a group of experts that led me to believe that fusion power stations are a possibility in the future ... not a reality, not 100 percent certainty, but a real possibility. And if there is a real possibility, it is such an enormously important large-scale energy source for future populations, that it seemed really worthwhile investing in ..."

Sir David has published over 500 papers relating to research in chemical physics and on science and policy. Currently, he is the Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University, and Director of Research in Physical Chemistry at Cambridge University.

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