Professor Neville Brown, who has died aged 86, combined an exceptionally long academic career with exceptionally wide academic reach, achieving distinction in subjects ranging from history and strategic studies to climate change and astronomy. From the outset he was pulled in two distinct directions: physics, with special reference to meteorology; and history, with special reference to social evolution and climatic change.
Typically, he resolved his scholarly ‘split personality’ by taking two distinct degrees – economics with geography at University College London, in 1954, and modern history at New College, Oxford, three years later. In successfully seeking to combine these disciplines he became equally a scholar of science and society, at one stage deferring early exploration of the dangers of climate change for a stint in the Pentagon, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, assessing
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