An interview with James Lovelock

An interview with James Lovelock

Posted on behalf of University of Exeter

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An interview with James Lovelock

Date: Tuesday 30 July 2019

Time: 11.30 - 13.00

Venue: Alumni Auditorium, The Forum, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4SZ

Live stream: This event will be live streamed via Facebook and YouTube. Please visit the event page for details and to register your interest.

Event Information

Join us for an interview with James Lovelock, one of the most influential environmental thinkers of our time. James is celebrating his 100th birthday and the launch of his new book Novacene. The Coming of Age of Hyperintelligence.

This free public event includes an interview and audience Q&A with James Lovelock. The interview will be conducted by Professor Tim Lenton, a world-leading earth system science and climate researcher at the University of Exeter. 

The interview will focus on James' life work and its relevance for today and the future of our planet. 

The event is hosted by the University of Exeter's Global Systems Institute as part of the Lovelock Centenary: The Future of Global Systems Thinking conference.

We anticipate high demand for this event, please book early to avoid disappointment. If you are unable to attend please release your ticket through Eventbrite or contact us.

Attendees of the conference are automatically registered to attend the interview.


James Lovelock started out his career as a chemist, graduating with a BSc in chemistry in 1941, and receiving his PhD in medicine in 1948. In the early 1960’s alongside serving as Professor at Baylor University College of Medicine, Lovelock also worked with colleagues at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), developing instruments for space probes aimed at determining whether there was life on Mars. It was here, while considering the stark difference between the atmospheres of Mars and Earth, that the beginnings of the Gaia hypothesis originated. From space, the Earth appeared as one self-contained entity containing all known life, our oceans, atmosphere and rocks.

“…it dawned on me that life was regulating climate as well as chemistry. Suddenly the image of the Earth as a living organism able to regulate its temperature and chemistry at a comfortable steady state emerged in my mind” (James Lovelock – Homage to Gaia: The life of an independent scientist, 2001).

Gaia theory, the idea that the Earth is a single, self-regulating entity, capable of regulating its climate and other conditions within the limits that allow the survival of life, now forms a founding principle in Earth system science and climate research. 

Since the creation of the Gaia hypothesis (now Gaia Theory), Lovelock has published many books on the subject including Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (1979), The Revenge of Gaia (2006), The Vanishing Face of Gaia (2009) and A Rough Ride to the Future (2014).

Lovelock’s new book Novacene. The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence produces a novel theory about the future of life on Earth, within which he argues that after 300 years, the Anthropocene is coming to an end, and a new age – the Novacene, has already begun.

Lovelock was made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty the Queen in 2003 and awarded the Wollaston Medal in 2006, the highest Award of the UK Geological Society.

James Lovelock

Image Credit: Science Museum


Alumni Auditorium, The Forum, Streatham Campus, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4SZ. Building number 3 on the Streatham Campus map. 

For maps and directions, please visit this page.


To register for the event please click the 'register' link at the top of this page.

If you have any enquiries regarding the event, please email

Please note filming, recording and photography may take place at this event.

Data Protection and Privacy

  • To aid organisation of this event, attendee information may be shared with relevant staff in the University e.g. a list of attendees could be provided to the University host, guest speaker.

  • We will store your information securely, so that we can communicate to you about the event (e.g. cancellation of event, changes to the itinerary, a satisfaction survey).

  • We delete our access to personal information on Eventbrite after 6 years.

  • More information on the University’s privacy policies can be found here.

  • For more information on Eventbrite’s own privacy policy, please visit this page.

30 Jul 2019 at 11:30am
until 30 Jul 2019 at 1:00pm
Alumni Auditorium
The Forum, University of Exeter

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