Alexander King (scientist)

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." [http://www.mega.nu/ampp/cor.html#1 The Club of Rome — Beginings] ]

Education and early work

King attended Highgate School,Failed verification|date=July 2008 studied chemistry at the universities of London and Munich, then taught and carried out some important research at Imperial College, London, where he won the Harrison Memorial Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry.Failed verification|date=July 2008 The war took him to the United States, where he was science attaché at the British Embassy in Washington until 1947, concerned with "everything from penicillin to the bomb".

Other employment

* the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in London
* the European Productivity Agency in Paris
* the OECD.

Alexander King (CMG, CBE, US Medal of Freedom, Erasmus Laureate) was born in 1909 in Glasgow, Scotland. He graduated at the Royal College of Science, London. After a year of postgraduate chemical research at the University of Munich, he was appointed lecturer in physical chemistry at Imperial College, London, teaching and eventually forming a small research team on surface chemistry. In the 1930s he led a scientific expedition to Jan Mayen in the Arctic, members of his group making the first ascent of the second peak of its striking volcano, the Beerenberg.

At the outbreak of World War II, Sir Henry Tizard, Rector of Imperial College invited him to forsake the laboratory to assist in scientific aspects of the war planning. King became a deputy to the Minister of Production. In this capacity he was responsible for the development of DDT and was sent to Washington to discuss it with the Americans. While there King was instructed to act as the head of the British Mission for exchanging information with the US and he found himself Director of the British Central Scientific Office in Washington which he operated successfully for several years.

When the war ended, King accepted Tizard’s invitation to work as Director of a Central Scientific Secretariat in the office of the UK Cabinet and he also became the scientific adviser to the Lord President of the Council, Herbert Morrison. There he was involved essentially in civilian aspects of national science policy, and for the next five years operated in the centre of government with special emphasis on the problems of post-war reconstruction.

After Attlee’s administration ended, King became a Chief Scientist in the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research before moving to Paris as Director of the European Productivity Agency. In 1960 he became Director General at the OECD, a position he held for several years until his retirement on age limit in 1974. During his tenure at the OECD he founded, with Aurelio Peccei, the Club of Rome, an organisation of independent personalities outside government and industry with concern for the long term problems of world society and the environment. On the death of Peccei he became President of the Club, finally retiring at the age of ninety. Alexander King died on 28 February 2007.

References

External links

* [http://www.mega.nu/ampp/cor.html#1 The Club of Rome: Beginnings]
* [http://www3.sympatico.ca/drrennie/chap13.html Memoirs of a Boffin] contains some biographical material on King
* [http://alexanderking.eu Alexander King] contains information about Alexander King's autobiography 'Let the cat turn round: one man's traverse of the Twentieth century' published by [http://www.cptm.org CPTM] , November 2006


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