Professor Robert (Bob) Merlin Carter 1942-2016
Bob Carter was born in Reading, England on 9 March 1942. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1956, where he attended Lindisfarne College in Hastings. In 1963 he graduated form the University of Otago with a B Sc (Hons) in geology. Five years later the University of Cambridge awarded him a Ph.D. in paleontology; his doctoral thesis was The Functional Morphology of Bivalved Mollusca.
After lecturing at the University of Otago, James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville made him a Professor and the Head of its School of Earth Sciences, a post he held for 17 years. From 1998 to 2005 he was an adjunct research professor at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at JCU and from 2001 to 2005 a visiting research professor in geology and geophysics at the University of Adelaide.
Bob's published research is diverse. It encompasses palaeontology, palaeoecology and paleoclimatology, as well as the Great Barrier Reef and sea-level and climate change, and New Zealand's climate over the last 3.9 million years.
Bob was one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of climate change and a staunch critic of poor science and of public policy based on poor science. He was a founding member of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, an emeritus fellow and science policy advisor at the Institute of Public Affairs in Australia and the Heartland Institute in the US, a science advisor at the Science and Public Policy Institute in the US, and the Chief Science Advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition. Last but by no means least, Bob served as a Director of the Australian Environmental Foundation up to the time of his death.
Bob passed away in Townsville on 19 January 2016. He is survived by his wife Anne, and son Jeremy.
The Bob Carter Memorial Fund
In memory of Bob’s work, a group of Bob’s friends and associates have got together to start a lasting tribute to Bob’s work – The Bob Carter Memorial Conference and Lecture Series – , and are asking for donations to this fund.
The Bob Carter Memorial Conference and Lecture Series will encourage scientists and others to meet and discuss scientific topics where it is possible that ideology has come to dominate rationality and scientific integrity. As the name suggests, the fund will support conferences or lecture tours by eminent speakers on topics which are difficult or impossible to discuss in the mainstream scientific forums. The fund will be overseen by the directors of the Australian Environment Foundation (AEF), of which Bob was a founding member and director, in addition to Bob’s wife Anne who was always a stalwart support to Bob. AEF is handling your donations and will be the trustee for the account.
If a sufficiently large fund can be generated it would be envisaged that there would be one conference/lecture tour each year and it would be hoped that these events would recoup a significant fraction or all of their running costs, so that the fund expenditure would be no more than the interest earned on the principal.
Topics for discussion might initially focus on climate change but would extend to other topics which were close to Bob’s heart, and eventually to new issues that suffer the same pitfalls. Activities could be in any country but would likely be in Australia for the first events.
To donate to the Bob Carter Memorial Fund, please click on the link to the Donate webpage.