Professor appointed President of global geoscience organisation



Professor John Ludden

One of the world’s largest scientific organisations has elected a Heriot-Watt University Professor as its new President.

Professor John Ludden is only the UK’s second geoscientist to lead the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), which represents more than one-million geologists worldwide.

Founded in 1961, the IUGS promotes and encourages the study of geological problems, especially those of world-wide significance, and supports international cooperation in the Earth sciences.

Professor Ludden said on his appointment: “I am proud to be elected as President of the IUGS, an organisation that has earned tremendous respect in the international science community.

“In my new role, I intend to focus the IUGS around the need to address the climate crisis and ensure that we are able to provide resources for the planet and for the energy transition.”

Adding his congratulations is Professor Garry Pender, Deputy Principal of Research and Innovation at Heriot-Watt University, who said: “Congratulations to John on his election and for being  elected to this prestigious post.

“This appointment speaks to the depth of talent we have at this University and further promotes our expertise in geoscience on the world stage.”

In 2019, Professor Ludden joined Heriot-Watt University as a Bicentennial Research Professor and is based at the Lyell Centre, a partnership between the University and the British Geological Survey (BGS). Prior to this he held a number of influential roles in geoscience including leading the BGS as its Chief Executive Officer and prior to this as head of the earth sciences directorate of the CNRS France

In 2016, he was presented his CBE for Service to Geoscience and is a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


Craig McManamon

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