James Lovelock: British environmental scientist and creator of Gaia theory dies aged 103

Lovelock died on Tuesday « surrounded by his family on his 103rd birthday », according to a statement from his family published in the Guardian and shared on social media.

« Around the world, he was best known as a scientific pioneer, climate prophet and originator of the Gaia theory, » the statement said. « To us he was a loving husband and wonderful father with a boundless sense of curiosity, a playful sense of humor and a passion for nature. »

Lovelock’s family said that until six months ago ‘he could still walk along the coast near his home in Dorset and take part in interviews’, but his health had recently deteriorated due to a bad fall.

« He died at 9:55 p.m. due to complications from the fall, » the family said.

Lovelock, who was born in Letchworth Garden City in England, has made many contributions to the scientific community, including the highly influential Gaia theory, which views the Earth as a model in which its living and non-living parts interact as a complex system which is essentially a single organism.

He was an early advocate for climate action, and some of his ideas have shaped the way climatologists and biologists think about the world’s ecosystems today.

« James Lovelock has made a wide range of contributions to scientific research, from developing instruments to searching for life on Mars and creating the electron capture detector, » the Science Museum Group said Wednesday. acquired the rights to the Lovelock Archive in 2012. .

“On behalf of the colleagues at the Science Museum Group, we wish to extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Sandy, and his family,” the group said.

The Guardian’s global environment editor Jonathan Watts, who knew Lovelock and issued the statement on behalf of the family, said he was deeply saddened by the loss of a « brilliant, funny and caring friend « .

« He will be greatly missed, although his legacy is all around us, » he said.

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