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Lecture series to tackle controversial energy issues

A controversial new lecture series tackling the current challenges and debates within the energy sector has been announced by the University of Aberdeen.

Taking place early next year, Energy Controversies will bring together leading figures from the oil and gas industry alongside academics and experts from all areas of the energy sector.

Aimed at influencing energy and social policy at a local and national level, the series will feature six public lectures and a discussion panel event.

Highly topical issues to be covered include the exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves and their decline as an energy source, the impact of the changing political climate on the energy industry, and the concern surrounding the environmental impact of our continued use of fossil fuels.

Dr Jim Buckee, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Talisman and Dr Peter Jackson Senior Director for Oil Industry Activity at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, will be amongst the lecture speakers, alongside leading academics from the University of Aberdeen, providing their unique insights into critical issues high on the energy agenda.

The alternative energy panel discussion session will invite members of the public to air their views and pose questions to experts representing the key areas of the alternative energy sector. Chaired by BBC Scotland Environment Correspondent Louise Batchelor, the session will feature speakers including Professor Ian Fells Emeritus Professor of Energy Conversion at the University of Newcastle; Professor Ian Bryden from University of Edinburgh Institute for Energy Systems, and leading biofuels expert Almuth Ernsting.

Professor Ben Kneller from the University of Aberdeen's Department of Geology has spearheaded the series with Aberdeen alumnus and energy commentator Dr Euan Mearns.

Professor Kneller said: “The Energy Controversies lecture series has been created with the aim of raising and addressing the critical issues facing the energy sector now and in the near future.

“Given the University of Aberdeen's status as an institution with an internationally leading focus on energy, and its location as the energy capital of Europe, the hope and expectation is that this lecture series will succeed in influencing energy and social policy at a local and national level.”

The Energy Controversies will begin on Thursday 5 February with a lecture by Peter Smith, Professor of Soils & Global Change at the University of Aberdeen and author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, entitled Global warming: The View of the IPCC.

Full details of the lecture series programme and booking information will be announced in January.

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