Michael Kelly

Michael Joseph Kelly


  • Ph.D., solid state physics, Cambridge (1974).
  • M.Sc., Mathematics and Physics, University of Wellington, New Zealand.
  • M.A.
  • SC.D.
  • FR.Eng.
  • FRS.

Source: [1], [2]


Michael Kelly has been the Prince Philip Professor of Technology in the University of Cambridge since 2002. [1]

From 2003 to 2005 he was also executive director of the Cambridge-MIT Institute. He was a member of the research staff of GEC during 1981-1992, and professor of physics and electronics at the University of Surrey from 1992 to 2002 and the head of its School of Electronics and Physical Sciences from 1996 to 2001.

He is a non-executive director of the Laird Group plc. He was chief scientific adviser to the Department of Communities and Local Government from 2006 to 2009. [3]

Stance on Climate Change

“It is perfectly possible to adopt a position, as I have, of 'a principled climate science scepticism.' It is based on the fact that every time an engineering-standard analysis is done of the climate data, one ends up contradicting the results of the climate change modellers. I am heavily involved in the debate in the UK.” [4]

Key Quotes

“Up to and throughout this exercise, I have remained puzzled how the real humility of the scientists in this area, as evident in their papers, including all these here, and the talks I have heard them give, is morphed into statements of confidence at the 95% level for public consumption through the IPCC process. This does not happen in other subjects of equal importance to humanity, e.g. energy futures or environmental degradation or resource depletion. I can only think it is the 'authority' appropriated by the IPCC itself that is the root cause.” [5], [6]

Key Deeds

January 27, 2012

Kelly is one of 16 scientists who appended their signatures to a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed opinion piece titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” [7]

The article argues that elected officials should avoid implementing climate change policy because it would “divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of 'incontrovertible' evidence.”

Media Matters reported on the 16 scientists who signed the Op-Ed, and found that most of them have not published any research in the area of climate science. Many, including Burt Rutan, have experience in fields entirely unrelated to climate science. Numerous other signatories also have connections to the oil and gas industry, or to industry think tanks.

When they contacted the Yale economist cited in the Op-Ed, he replied that it had been a “Complete Mischaracterization Of My Work.” [8]

Other “scientists” whose signatures appear include Claude Allègre, J. Scott Armstrong, Jan Breslow, Roger Cohen, William Happer, William Kininmonth, Richard Lindzen, James McGrath, Rodney Nichols, Burt Rutan, Harrison H. Schmitt, Nir Shaviv, Edward David, Henk Tennekes, and Antonino Zichichi..

June 4, 2011

Sent a letter to the editor of the Taranaki Daily News to complain that their columnist Rachel Stewart was “doing journalism a disservice,” presumably for her belief in mainstream climate science. [9]

Kelly goes on to cite a common climate change skeptic argument, saying “She might like to look at the recent analysis by Pat Franks which tightens the conclusion that the anthropogenic contribution is at most 0.3°C per century. This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round.”

He also cites a chart made by climate skeptic Syun-Ichi Akasofu, which Kelly claims is proof of a “systematic divergence, now 16 years old, between the modelling results and the actual data on climate temperatures.”

March, 2010

Kelly was part of an independent scientific assessment panel (his chaired by Lord Oxburgh) to investigate the Climatic Research Unit email controversy. [10]

The panel as a whole concluded that “We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit…” [11]

Kelly himself concludes that there is “no evidence of blatant mal-practice,” but also mentions his distrust of climate models. In his comments, Kelly also points to a paper (PDF) by the skeptical Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), hosted on the ICECAP website, that suggests censorship by the Journal of Geophysical Research, which SPPI suggest may be “coerced into defending the climate alarmist faith.” [12]

Steve McIntyre picked up Kelly's comments on the CRU and posted them at ClimateAudit, suggesting that they had been “suppressed by Oxburgh.”  [6]



Kelly has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals on physics and electronics. He does not appeared to have published any research articles on the subject of climate change.


  1. Professor Michael Kelly,” Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge. Accessed January 30, 2012.

  2. PROFESSOR MICHAEL J KELLY,” Trinity Hall College. Accessed January, 2012.

  3. “The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia” (PDF), House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Printed March 24, 2010. Part of a series of attachments making up the “Oxburgh Inquiry.”

  4. Richard Treadgold. “Prof Kelly shows the middle way,” Climate Conversation, June 5, 2011.

  5. “The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia” (PDF), House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Printed March 24, 2010. Part of a series of attachments making up the “Oxburgh Inquiry.”

  6. Steve McIntyre. “Kelly's Comments,” Climate Audit, June 22, 2010.

  7. No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2012.

  8. The Journal Hires Dentists To Do Heart Surgery,” Media Transparency, January 30, 2012.

  9. Richard Treadgold. “Prof Kelly shows the middle way,” Climate Conversation, June 5, 2011.

  10. CRU Scientific Assessment Panel announced,” University of East Anglia, March 22, 2010.

  11. “Report of the International Panel set up by the University of East Anglia to examine the research of the Climatic Research Unit” (PDF), Retrieved January 30, 2012, from The University of East Anglia.

  12. “Censorship at AGU: scientists denied the right of reply” (PDF), March, 2010 SPPI Paper – in press at http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/.

  13. About Laird: The Board,” Laird. Accessed January, 2012.

  14. Michael Kelly (physicist),” Wikipedia Entry.