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University of Bristol's Green Heroes: Rich Pancost

In the run up to the Bristol Post's Green Capital Awards, we thought we'd highlight some of our key Green Heroes and Green Leaders at the University of Bristol.  As part of a four part blog series this week, we will be highlighting some of the key figures behind the scenes and in front of the limelight who are the green movers and shakers of our university.  There are many more Green Heroes across the University that we would like to celebrate. To find out more about who they are and what they are doing to make our university and city a better place, please visit our Sustainability Stories website.
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Rich Pancost

With a background in Geology, Rich has steered his academic progress through a career straddling a range of disciplines from oceanography to isotope geochemistry, but all of which has been focused on understanding environmental change and its impact on life. 



Rich has now been based in Bristol for the last 15 years and became Cabot Institute Director in 2013. The Cabot Institute engages interdisciplinary approaches to address the major environmental challenges of the 21st century. Rich’s work within the Institute has incorporated an assortment of current topics relating to how we live on the planet including natural hazards, climate change and food security. 

One of Rich’s primary goals for the institute is to stimulate a dialogue between contrasting academic communities, particularly between the social and physical sciences, in combination with communication between the university and the city of Bristol. His modern vision of progress comprises a union of thoughts and ideas as he explains: “There are very few Newtons, Keplers and Darwins. I think that relatively few breakthroughs in the next century will be because of some genius sitting in a room by themself. Ultimately, those who come up with exciting new ideas will do so because they have been exposed to a cocktail of different interactions and stimuli, that will challenge us to think in very different ways.”


Under Rich’s direction, the Cabot Institute is trying to link up academics to create new communities within the university that can reach out into the public. It is this process that Rich identifies as a fundamental issue for our community to overcome: “The biggest challenge facing our city is inclusion and this is also true of Bristol 2015. We need to show how this is relevant to everyone’s lives; it is about carrying everyone along for the journey”. Additionally, he believes in maintaining the long term benefits of Bristol 2015:

“Being Green Capital isn’t a one year thing- it’s a long term legacy. We will always be the UK’s first Green Capital and that will always carry obligations and opportunities.”

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This blog is written by Cabot Institute member Keri McNamara, a PhD student in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol.
Keri McNamara


If you would like to nominate your Green Hero or Green Leader in the upcoming Bristol Post Green Capital Awards, please visit the official Green Capital Awards website.  Entries close on 18 September 2015.

To learn more about the University of Bristol's activities  and commitments during the Bristol 2015 European Green Capital year, please visit bristol.ac.uk/green-capital




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Other blogs in the Green Heroes series
Chris Willmore
Katharine Baldock
Martin Wiles

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