Chris Llewelyn-Smith

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Sir Professor Christopher Hubert Llewellyn-Smith (born 19 November 1942), is a scientist and researcher in nuclear physics. He was knighted in 2001 for “services to particle physics”. [1] During his tenure as director-general of CERN the Hadron Collider was mandated. He has held various UK and international roles in scientific bodies and remains 'very active' in international scientific collaboration.

He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1984.[1] In 2004 Llewellyn Smith’s fusion project at UKAEA was awarded a £48 million grant by EPSRC. [2]

Science Media Centre

Llewellyn Smith was a scientific advisory board member from 2002-2012. Funders of SMC that also have links to Llewellyn Smith are Elsevier BV, EPSRC and UCL.

International collaboration

Llewellyn Smith has written, spoken and plays an active role in both monitoring and developing the growth of science internationally. He has said: “The scientific world is changing and new players are fast appearing. Beyond the emergence of China, we see the rise of South-East Asian, Middle Eastern, North African and other nations. The increase in scientific research and collaboration, which can help us to find solutions to the global challenges we now face, is very welcome. However, no historically dominant nation can afford to rest on its laurels if it wants to retain the competitive economic advantage that being a scientific leader brings.” [3]

Knowledge, networks and nations

Llewellyn-Smith was chair of the Royal Society project Knowledge, Networks and Nations, which surveyed the global scientific landscape in 2011. The report took account of factors like “the rise of new scientific powers such as China, India and Brazil; as well as the emergence of scientific nations in the Middle East, South-East Asia and North Africa” and the increasingly interconnected nature of the science world which has led to a rise in international collaboration. [4] The project was sponsored by the company Elsevier, the ‘world leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.’ [4] [ The report notes that business research and development (R&D) has becoming “increasingly mobile” with “many more large businesses with global research operations, many of whom have located laboratories in different parts of the world for strategic reasons.” It notes however that developed economies remain the most attractive countries for foreign R&D sites. [4]

Isis Innovation and international collaboration

The Oxford University spin-out Isis Innovation, which Mike Brady and Chris Leaver are directors of and Susan Greenfield has received start up assistance from for two companies, is providing consultancy on the establishment of a new university in the state of Gujarat, India. Llewellyn Smith is a member of the project advisory board for Whistling University. [5] A consultancy agreement was signed in June 2013 between the company Whistling Group and Isis. Whistling Group is an industrial group run by a Gujarat entrepreneur Parag Shah, Whistling Education is the subsidiary responsible for the university. The university will be “independent and industry-focused” offering “postgraduate training in alternative energy, conventional energy and management, and will establish its own research programmes, aiming to become a national hub for innovation.” The ambitions of the venture extend beyond education and a policy think tank will also be set up “to influence strategic decisions in the field of energy, environment, and sustainability on a global scale.” [6] The university has a strong R&D focus and states that most of their labs “are being created in collaboration with various industry leaders” [7] Isis Innovation will act as lead consultant on the ‘Innovation Centre’, created to facilitate knowledge transfer from the university. Oxford University Consulting (managed by Isis and linking Oxford academics with consulting opportunities) will provide expertise through “visiting and guest faculty members who will act as consultants working with industry leaders and world experts in designing the university's curriculum, and helping to build international partnerships.” Whistling Group’s website describes the partnership with Isis as “functional at various levels” going on to say “starting from macro policy decision making support in our think tank to creating a globally relevant curriculum” suggesting policy influence from Isis consultants. [8]

EWACC 2012

Llewellyn Smith sat on the advisory board for and gave a talk at EWACC 2012 (Energy, Water and Climate Change – building bridges between Europe and MENA (Middle East and North Africa)), which took place from 10-12 December 2012 in Cyprus. [9] The final day of the conference was “devoted to seeking partnerships and ways to “Build Bridges”, between the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.” It involved the drawing up of a Cyprus Declaration” considering policy and partnership building between the regions for research. [10] EWACC brought together “distinguished scientists from various research fields and communities, the private (energy) sector, primary stakeholders, policy makers and high-level officials- to foster sustainable development by broadening and deepening the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue.” [11] The conference was co-organised by the Cyprus Institute and the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron. The Cyprus Institute was founded in January 2005. It is “a non-profit science and technology research institution, pursuing issues of regional importance and of global significance in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa.” [12] Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron is a world leading accelerator centre and part of the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest scientific organisation, which is funded by public sponsors and contract funding through public and private sector sponsorship. [12]

The conference was supported by: German Aerospace Center DLR –, KlimaCampus Hamburg –, GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research kiel –, UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector –, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – It was sponsored by German Academin Exchange Service (DAAD) –, World Climate Research Programme –, World Meteorological Organization –, DFG –, Royal Institute of Technology –, LINKSceem –, Max Planck Gesellschaft –, Cyprus Telecommunications Authority – [13]

Energy Security Symposium

Llewellyn Smith is director of this British Council and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute collaboration which aims to assist UK-Gulf networks for research which can apply for British Council funding and review advances, issues and challenges in the field of renewable energy in the region. Llewellyn Smith said of his role

"The Gulf region plays a key role in the discussion of energy, both as a major producer of oil and gas, and as a profligate consumer of energy. Directing the symposium will allow me to understand better the efforts that are being made to reduce energy use and expand the use of renewable in the region. It will also provide an opportunity to look for collaborators wishing to work with us in Oxford on solar, marine and nuclear energy technologies, future modes of transport, demand reduction and management, energy efficiency and storage, future oil and gas markets, and a range of policy issues". [14]

Lobbying and positions of influence

Campaign for Science and Engineering in the UK (CaSE)

Llewellyn-Smith is a member of the advisory council of this organization which is 'a group of distinguished scientists, engineers, industrialists and parliamentarians who are concerned about the health of British science'.[15] It is a high level lobby collective and organized a lobby of parliament in 2010 regarding the proposed cuts to science and engineering funding in partnership with the Science is Vital Coalition. [16] Llewellyn-Smith’s SMC advisory board colleagues Richard Sykes and George Alberti are also CaSE council members.

Llewellyn Smith meets with high-level global politicians both professionally and at formal social occasions. In 2004 he was seated next to then prime minister, Gordon Brown, at a state banquet hosted by the queen.[17]

Deputy foreign minister of Israel, Ayalon met with him on 4 March 2010 when Llewellyn Smith was in Israel to meet with members of the scientific community. [18]

8 May 2013, Llewellyn Smith met with Assistant Secretary for State of the USA, Brimmer, in his capacity as president of SESAME. [19]

Nuclear energy

Llewellyn Smith is a vocal advocate of nuclear as an alternative energy source. In October 2012 he gave the keynote speech at the All-Energy Australia conference in Melbourne. He also gave several media interviews urging the country to embrace nuclear as a domestic energy source. The conference was organised by Reed Exhibitions, a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier, which also owns Elsevier BV. Supporters of the conference include the Victoria State Government and sponsors include various alternative energy companies. [20] During the speech Llewellyn Smith said he recognised that nuclear was a “difficult sell” following Fukishima and named contributory factors as “fear, pseudoscience, political pragmatism, poor education and the dominant hydrocarbon energy lobby”. In relation to Fukishima he argued that no deaths had been directly attributed to the nuclear fallout, whilst acknowledging that “there may be one or two people who will die of cancer, but we are talking of very small numbers, if any.” He then went on to say, “but I would argue it is actually less dangerous than burning coal, which is killing people with air pollution.” [21] He also endorsed imposing a tax on carbon imports in Australia and proposed that the EU and Australia take a lead on “border adjustment calculations” regarding taxing carbon imports from countries that don’t impose a carbon tax internally and this may lead the rest of the world. [22]



  • 1967–68: Royal Society Exchange Fellow in the Physical Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Moscow, USSR
  • 1968–70: Fellow in the Theoretical Studies Division, European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1970–72: Research Associate, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Stanford, California, USA
  • 1972–74: Staff Member in the Theoretical Studies Division, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1974–98: Fellow of St John’s College Oxford (Tutor for Graduates 1985–86)
  • 1974–98 - University of Oxford:

University Lecturer in Theoretical Physics (1974–80) Reader in Theoretical Physics (1980–87) Professor of Theoretical Physics (1987–98) Chairman of Physics (1987–92) Chairman of the Campaign Task Force for Physical Sciences (1988-91) Member of the General Board of Faculties and its Planning & Development Committee (1988–90)

  • 1978–81: Science Research Council, Senior Fellow
  • 1994–98: Director General of CERN (on secondment from Oxford)
  • 1999–02: Provost and President of UCL (University College London)
  • 2002–03: Senior Research Fellow, Department of Physics, University of Oxford
  • 2003–08: Director UKAEA Culham Division and Head of the Euratom/UKAEA Fusion Association
  • 2008-: Director of Energy Research, University of Oxford

Advisory and other posts

[1] January 1973 – January 1976 SPSC (Super Proton Synchrotron Committee) at CERN, advising on the experimental programme for the SPS

  • April 1976 – February 1981: PPC (PEP Policy Committee), advising the Presidents of Stanford University and U C Berkeley on the progress of the 15-15 GeV2 ee storage ring project PEP
  • June 1976 – February 1981: PRC (PETRA Research Committee), advising on the experimental programme for the 15x15 GeV2storage ring PETRA at DESY, Hamburg
  • July – August 1977: Scientific Director of XXIX Les Houches Summer School in Theoretical Physics
  • September 1982 – August 1985: Particle Physics Grants Sub-Committee of the Nuclear Physics Board
  • September 1982 – September 1987: Theory Sub-Committee of the Nuclear Physics Board; Chairman from September 1985
  • April 1984 – May 1985: Expert Advisor to the ABRC/SERC High Energy Particle Physics Review (Kendrew Committee)
  • March 1985 – March 1988: PRC (Physics Research Committee), advising on the experimental programmes at the e storage rings PETRA and DORIS and the ep storage ring HERA at DESY, Hamburg
  • September 1985 – September 1989: SERC Nuclear Physics Board
  • October – December 1985: Chairman of Nuclear Physics Board Ad Hoc March – May 1990 Reviews of the Future of the RAL Theory Group
  • January 1986 – December 1992: CERN Scientific Policy Committee
  • June 1986 – December 1987: Expert Advisor to the European Review Committee on CERN (Abragam Committee)
  • September 1987 – September 1988: Physics Committee of the Science Board
  • July 1988 – June 1991: Sectional Committee 2 of the Royal Society
  • July 1989 – July 1992: UK Government’s Advisory Council on Science & Technology. Member of ACOST working groups on the UKAEA and The Science Base
  • January 1990 – December 1992: Chairman of the CERN Scientific Policy Committee, and therefore also ex-officio member of/in attendance at:

CERN Finance Committee Committee of the CERN Council CERN Council

  • January 1994 – December 1999: European Committee for Future Accelerators International (i.e. World) Committee for Future Accelerators
  • June 2000 – June 2001: Office of Science and Technology’s Quinquennial Review of the CCLRC
  • March 2002 – December 2004: Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education
  • November 2002 – June 2003: European Working Group on the Organisation of a Global Linear Collider Project
  • December 2002 – July 2003: Advisor on physical sciences to the Chief Executive of CCLRC (Rutherford-Appleton and Daresbury Laboratories)
  • January 2003 – February 2004: Steering Group for the Department for Education and Skills Post-14 Mathematics Inquiry
  • May 2003 – October 2006: Chief Executive of CCLRC’s International Science Advisory Committee
  • May 2003 – December 2003: National Academies (USA) Committee on Setting Priorities for NSF-Sponsored Large Research Facility Projects
  • January 2004- : Member British Pugwash group
  • March 2004 – November 2006: Director and Trustee of INASP (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Information)
  • April 2004– : Chairman Consultative Committee for Euratom on Fusion
  • June 2004 – June 2008: Advisory Council for the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
  • July 2004 – February 2006: Prospective Commission, Institute for Plasma Physics, Garching
  • March 2004: DAPNIA (Departments of Astrophysics, Elementary Particles, Nuclear Physics, Instrumentation and Accelerator Physics of the Comissisariat à l’Energie Atomique, Saclay) Scientific Council

October 2004 – International Fusion Research Council of the International Atomic Energy Authority

  • August 2005 – January 2006: Perspective Commission, Research Center Karlsruhe (FZK)
  • October 2006: KSTAR International Advisory Committee, Daejon, S Korea
  • October 2006: EAST International Advisory Committee, Hefei, China
  • November 2007- : Chair, ITER Council
  • November 2008- : President, SESAME Council
  • December 2008- : Vice President and Member of the Council of the Royal Society
  • 2012-2013: Member World Economic Forum Global agenda councils – Complex Systems

Affiliations, awards and publications



  • 2008- :President SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and its Applications in the Middle East)
  • 2008-2010: Vice President of the Royal Society and Member of its Council
  • 2007-2009: Chair ITER Council
  • 2004-2009: Chair Consultative Committee for Euratom on Fusion
  • 2008: Honorary Fellow, the Institute of Physics
  • 2003: Honorary Fellow, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
  • 2002: Honorary Fellow, New College, Oxford
  • 2001: Knight Bachelor (for “services to particle physics”)
  • 2000: Honorary Fellow, St John’s College, Oxford
  • 1984: Fellow of the Royal Society



  • 1979: Maxwell Prize and Medal (Institute of Physics)
  • 1989: Academia Europaea
  • 1994: Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • 1997: Hon. D.Sc., Bristol, UK
  • 1997: Hon. D.Cien., Granada, Spain
  • 1997: Hon. D.Sc., Shandong, China
  • 1997: Medal of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences
  • 1997: Gold Medal of the Slovak Academy of Science
  • 1998: Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy
  • 1998: Honorary Fellow, University of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  • 1998: US Department of Energy Distinguished Associate Award
  • 1998: US National Science Foundation Distinguished Service Award
  • 1999: Glazebrook Medal (Institute of Physics)


Author of over 170 papers. Including Science Policy and Public Spending, which is credited as helping to increase the UK government’s support for basic science and used by Thatcher for science spending quotes. [23] Llewellyn-Smith has also written several papers on the subject of international scientific collaboration and promoting development through this. Author on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems report Perspectives on a Hyperconnected World. [24]

Speaking engagements

Invited speaker at major world fusion conferences (SOFT 2004, IAEA FEC 2004, ISFNT 2007) Numerous talks on fusion energy for non-specialist audiences (in the UK, Denmark, France, Germany, USA [including at 2008 AAAS meeting], India, S Korea, Australia, Russain Federation, and at the International Nuclear Physics and European Particle Accelerator Conferences) Invited talks related to future energy supplies at various meetings in the UK and elsewhere (e.g. Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2005, Saclay 2006, AAAS meeting Boson 2007, Penner Lecture UCSD 2007, Amori Energy Conference 2008, Gabor Lecture 2008 Imperial College, 2009 Academicians Conference on Energy and the Environment Hong Kong, etc.). [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Chris Llewellyn- Smith CV The Academy of Europe website, August 2010, accessed 4 September 2013
  2. Culham has received a 48 million fusion grant Nuclear News, accessed 5 September 2013
  3. New countries emerge as major players in scientific world Taftie - The European Network of Innovation Agencies, 28 March 2011, accessed 14 September 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global Scientific Collaboration in the 21st Century Royal Society, accessed 4 September 2013
  5. Isis Innovation Project Advisory Board Whistling Education, accessed 4 September 2013
  6. New University in Gujarat to be Created with Advice from Isis Innovation States News Service, 8 July 2013, accessed 4 September 2013
  7. Home page Whistling Education, accessed 4 September 2013
  8. Knowledge partners Whistling Education, accessed 4 September 2013
  9. Energy Scenarios and Challenges for the World and MENA – Chris Llewellyn Smith EWACC 2012, accessed 4 September 2013
  10. Cyprus Declaration EWACC 2012, accessed 14 September 2013
  11. Introduction EWACC 2012, accessed 14 September 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 Organisers EWACC 2012, accessed 14 September 2013
  13. Sponsors EWACC 2012, accessed 14 September 2013
  14. British Council to Bring Together UK and Gulf Professionals to Tackle Energy Crisis Islamic Finance News, 8 November 2011, accessed 3 September 2013
  15. advisory council page Campaign for Science and Engineering in the UK, accessed 3 September 2013
  16. Dr Hilary Leevers Science is a vital lobby Guardian newspaper, 13 October 2010, accessed 13 September 2013
  17. Andrew Pierce Anyone here seen the Prime Minister? The Queen asks banquet guests where absent Brown has got to as mix-up sends him the wrong way The Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2008, accessed 4 September 2013
  18. DFM AYALON MEETS WITH SIR CHRIS LLEWELLYN SMITH, PRESIDENT OF SESAME COUNCIL State News Service, 4 March 2010, accessed 4 September 2013
  19. The U.S. Department of State Issues Public Schedule for May 8 Targeted News Service, accessed 4 September 2013
  20. Event Partners, Sponsors & Supporters All-Energy Australia, accessed 14 September 2013
  21. Chip Le Grand Call to take nuclear to heart, impose carbon tariffs The Australian, 10 October 2012, accessed 4 September 2013
  22. Energy alternatives ABC Transcripts (Australia): The Business, 9 October 2012, accessed 4 September 2013
  23. J.A. Kay & C.H. Llewellyn Smith [fiscal studies] Vol. 6, No. 3, p. 14, 1985
  24. Perspectives on a Hyperconnected World World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council, accessed 4 September 2013