Astrophysicist Muller to speak on global warming for the Assembly Series


Astrophysicist Richard A. Muller, PhD, will present “Global Warming — New Results From an Independent Assessment” for the Assembly Series at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Graham Chapel. His talk is the annual Arthur Holly Compton Lecture.

Muller is professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is author of Physics and Technology for Future Presidents, based on his popular course. The course teaches the essential physics that students, among whom are potential world leaders, need in order to understand today’s core science and technology issues.

Muller also has been a consultant to various administrations on important policy decisions and a committed advocate for immediate action to address the growing problem of man-made climate change.

Given that last characterization, many find it surprising that Muller is leading a group of scientists and statisticians to conduct an independent study to determine if the accepted wisdom of the scientific establishment is, in fact, the truth. The group launched the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project in 2009, using innovative techniques for measuring the Earth’s warmth and has released preliminary results that have revived the debate over this controversial subject.

Before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in March of this year, Muller testified that his team has detected a global warming trend very similar to that reported previously by other groups. Data shows that the Earth has warmed 0.7 degrees Celsius since 1957, with man-made warming contributing to 0.6 degrees Celsius.

Muller earned a doctoral degree in physics from UC-Berkeley in 1969 and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 1964. Among his awards and honors, he received the MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship in 1982.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the California Academy of Arts & Sciences. Science Digest also listed him in 1984 as one of “100 Outstanding Scientists Under Age 40” and he has recently made The Atlantic’s 2011 Brave Thinkers list — an annual guide to people risking their reputations, fortunes and lives in pursuit of big ideas.

Assembly Series lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call (314) 935-4620.