Goodwin Gibbins

Research Fellow

I am a climate physicist interested in stepping back and thinking afresh about how we approach climate change. What are the essential elements of the problem? What can we learn by examining it as a potential existential risk? What might reliable long-term solutions look like? Are we on the path towards them in our research and our policy? Why and why not?

I came to be a research fellow at FHI after a PhD in Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College, London where I worked to re-examine the unorthodox theory that the climate might self-organise to maximise its entropy production rate. This gave me an interesting angle on the ways we make sense of the Earth system and also some experience in highly speculative research which diverges from the status-quo. Other key experiences that shaped my approach were the internships I did with the UK Met Office and at the UNFCCC during that time and the sometimes-surprising insights gleaned in outreach conversations.

Outside of the office, I spend a lot of time in the outdoors — hiking, running, climbing, swimming, cycling, skiing, camping and sitting around fires — and I find that there is a groundedness, simplicity and perspective that weaves back from this into my work. Understanding and connecting to the stories, motivations and concerns of the broadest set of people I can also feels essential to make sense of such a pervasive and emotionally complicated topic as climate change and our response to it. After all, to be a scientist or a philosopher spotlighting difficult societal choices, we have to bring much more than just our education or academic experiences to bear.