Prof. Ian A. Crawford - VP, G
School of Earth Sciences
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.