Prof. Ian A. Crawford - VP, G


School of Earth Sciences
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Years to serve
020 3073 8026

BSc (UCL), MSc (Newcastle), PhD (UCL), FRAS. Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology, Birkbeck College, London. RAS Council (2007-2017): G Secretary (2007-2011), Senior Secretary (2011-2017). President of the Society for Popular Astronomy (2006-2008). Member, European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC; 2008-2014) and ESA’s Human Exploration Science Advisory Committee (HESAC, 2014-).

Special interests: Planetary science (especially lunar geology); astrobiology; space exploration; astrophysics (especially the interstellar medium); public understanding of science.
My research is mainly focussed on lunar science and exploration, including both remote-sensing observations and laboratory studies of lunar samples. Currently I am investigating what the lunar geological record can tell us about the galactic environment of the Solar System, thereby directly linking astronomy with lunar geology! In addition, I have long-standing interests in astrobiology, especially 'extreme' environments on Earth that may be analogous to past or present habitable environments on Mars. I came to planetary science from an earlier (roughly 1988-2003) career in observational astronomy, and am therefore well-connected with both the planetary science and astronomical communities represented by the RAS.

I have served as an RAS Secretary for the last ten years where I have been responsible for organising the meeting programme, assessing RAS grant applications, and assisting in policy development. I now wish to build on this experience to help the Society contribute to meeting a number of future scientific and societal challenges. These include the need to ensure that public policy remains grounded in rational, evidence- based, decision making; doing what we can to mitigate the negative effects of Brexit, and other government policies, on the communities that we represent; strengthening diversity and inter-disciplinarity within our communities; and ensuring that the wider public is aware of, and excited by, discoveries in planetary science, astronomy, and geophysics. I am passionately committed to all of these goals and will work towards them as an RAS Vice-President.