Freeman Dyson

freeman-dyson

Freeman Dyson

 Credentials

  • B.A. in Mathematics, University of Cambridge (1945).
  • Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, (1946–47).
  • Attended Cornell University in 1947 with a Commonwealth Fellowship.
  • Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, 1949–51
  • Professor of physics at Cornell University, 1951.

Source: [1]

 Background

Freeman Dyson is a retired physics professor who is well known for his work in the area of electrodynamics.

According to one profile, “His most useful contribution to science was the unification of the three versions of quantum electrodynamics invented by Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga. Cornell University made him a professor without bothering about his lack of Ph.D.” [1]

Stance on Climate Change

“As a result of the burning of coal and oil, the driving of cars, and other human activities, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing at a rate of about half a percent per year … the physical effects of carbon dioxide are seen in changes of rainfall, cloudiness, wind strength, and temperature, which are customarily lumped together in the misleading phrase 'global warming.'” [2]

Key Quotes

“'The costs of what Gore tells us to do would be extremely large,' Dyson said. 'By restricting CO2 you make life more expensive and hurt the poor. I’m concerned about the Chinese'.” [3]

Key Deeds

March 25, 2009

Dyson is the feature of an 8000 word article in The New York Times titled “The Civil Heretic.” The Times quotes Dyson as saying global warming may indicate that “the climate is actually improving rather than getting worse” because increased carbon would promote forest growth and crop yields. However, the internationally-regarded IPCC concludes that “climate change is expected to lead to salinisation and desertification of agricultural land.”

Although Dyson is a brilliant mind, and is revered as a physicist, he does not have a background in climate science. DeSmogBlog speculated how it seems strange that the Times would choose Nicholas Dawidoff, a sports writer (albeit an accomplished sports writer), to research and write an article on climate change.

 Affiliations

  • The Institute for Advanced Study [3]

 Publications

According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Dyson has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles mainly in the area of quantum mechanics.

Dyson has articulated his “heretical” views on climate in an extensive article of his own [4] – which has been debunked on a point-by-point basis. [5]

 Resources

  1. The Civil Heretic,” The New York Times, March 25, 2009.

  2. Freeman Dyson. “What a World!”, The New York Review of Books, May 15, 2003.

  3. freemon dyson: professor emeritus, sns,” sns.ias.edu. Accessed December 6, 2011.

  4. Freeman Dyson. “HERETICAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SCIENCE AND SOCIETY,” Edge, April 8, 2007.

  5. Michael Tobis. “Dyson Exegesis,” Only In It For The Gold, August 12, 2007.

[x]

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