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Press release

Professor Alex Halliday FRS becomes a Trustee of the Natural History Museum

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has appointed Professor Alex Halliday FRS of Oxford University as a Trustee to the Board of the Natural History Museum for a period of four years, commencing 1 March 2006.

The appointment was made by DCMS following the nomination by the Royal Society. Professor Halliday is a geochemist who conducted groundbreaking research on mineral deposits, volcanoes and the nature of the Earth's interior. However, over the past 10 years he has changed fields completely. With a keen interest in technology, Halliday has developed new techniques to unravel the early history of the solar system and other methods for quantifying past changes in the Earth's surface environment. Halliday is perhaps most famous for his work on the formation and early development of Earth-like planets. 

'It is an honour and privilege to be working for the Natural History Museum in this way', said Halliday. 'The Museum has long been seen as a lively vehicle for education and public awareness of the fascinations of the natural world. It also plays a special role in research, with collections, facilities and scientists that represent unique assets to the UK's ability to make discoveries. I expect to be using my expertise to help the Museum develop in all these aspects, but most particularly to ensure it has the correct blend of resources and support to facilitate a strong science strategy.'

Professor Halliday was a researcher, then faculty member at Glasgow University (1976-1986) before becoming a professor at the University of Michigan (1986-1998). He was appointed as Professor and then Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the prestigious ETH in Zurich (1998-2004). He is the recipient of various awards including the Bowen Award of the American Geophysical Union (1998), Fellowship of the Royal Society (2001) and the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society (2003). Over the past few years he has served a number of research organisations and advisory boards including the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the Max-Planck Society and the UK's Natural Environment Research Council.

In August 2004 Professor Halliday was appointed to the Chair of Geochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University, where he is a Fellow of St Hugh's College.


Notes for editors

  • Winner of the 2004 Large Visitor Attraction of the Year award, the Natural History Museum is also a world-leading science research centre. Through its collections and scientific expertise, the Museum is helping to conserve the extraordinary richness and diversity of the natural world with groundbreaking projects in 68 countries. The Museum is committed to encouraging public engagement with science. This has been greatly enhanced by the Darwin Centre, a major new initiative, which offers visitors unique access behind the scenes of the Museum. Phase One of the project opened to the public in 2002 and Phase Two is scheduled to open in 2008.
  • Current Trustees of the Natural History Museum include: Mr Oliver Stocken (Chairman), Sir William Castell LVO, Professor Dianne Edwards CBE FRS, Professor Michael Hassell CBE FRS, Mr Ian J Henderson CBE, Professor Christopher Leaver CBE FRS, Professor Jacquie McGlade, Professor Georgina Mace OBE FRS, Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas DBE, Sir David Omand GCB, Professor Linda Partridge CBE FRS FRSE.
  • The posts are not remunerated. Reasonable expenses can be claimed. The appointments have been made in accordance with the OCPA Code of Practice. Appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.
  • Professor Halliday holds no other public appointments and has not carried out any political activity in the past five years.

For further information, please contact:
Tel: 020 7942 5654