The Lavoisier Group 2007 Workshop

Rehabilitating Carbon Dioxide

Victoria Hotel
Little Collins Street
Melbourne, Vic.
29 - 30 June, 2007

(Please click here for the Workshop Registration Form [MS-Word document]
Please click here for biographies of the speakers)


Friday, 29 June

1900 hours for 1930 hours


Speaker: Professor Bob Carter, James Cook University

'Frisbee Science and Voodoo Economics make Bad Climate Policy'

Saturday, 30 June

Session A: Two views from Western Australia

Chairman: Harold Clough AO

0900 hours-1030 hours

I. David Archibald
'The Past and Future of Climate'

II. David Evans
'My life with the AGO and other reflections'

1030 hours-1050 hours Morning Tea

Session B

Chairman: Bruce Kean

1050 hours-1230 hours

I. Special Guest, Professor Will Alexander, Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, University of Pretoria
'On River Flows and Sunspots'

II. Professor Stewart Franks
'Hydro-climatic variability in Eastern Australia'

Discussant: Professor Garth Paltridge, University of Tasmania

1230 hours-1345 hours Lunch

Session C: Carbon and its significance

Chairman: George Fox

1345 hours-1515 hours

I. Dr Tom Quirk
' Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts'

II. Bill Kininmonth
'Carbon dioxide as a forcing agent for climate change'

1515 hours-1545 hours Afternoon Tea

Session D: Some additional questions

Chairman: Ian Webber

1545 hours-1630 hours

I. Michael Hammer
'A Theoretical Analysis of the Effect of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere'

Session E: Some economic issues

Chairman: Tom Bostock

1630 hours-1745 hours

I. Alex Robson

Tim Curtin

1745 hours

Lavoisier Workshop Closes
Drinks until 1930 hours

About the Speakers

Will Alexander is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering of the University of Pretoria, and Honorary Fellow of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering. He spent the last 35 years of his career actively involved in the development of water resource and flood analysis methods as well as in natural disaster mitigation and climate change studies. He has written more than 200 papers, presentations and books on these subjects.

David Archibald is a Perth-based scientist operating in the fields of cancer research, climate science and oil exploration. In the cancer field, trials on a formulation he invented with professors from Purdue University are currently underway at Queensland University. In oil exploration, his company, Backreef Resources, is proceeding to a seven well programme in the Canning Basin, Western Australia. Mr Archibald has been an expert witness in the Supreme Court of NSW in the fields of petroleum geology and rolling mills in steelworks.

Bob Carter is a Research Professor at James Cook University (Queensland). He is a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist with more than thirty years professional experience, and holds degrees from the University of Otago (New Zealand) and the University of Cambridge (England). He has held tenured academic staff positions at the University of Otago (Dunedin) and James Cook University (Townsville), where he was Professor and Head of School of Earth Sciences between 1981 and 1999

Tim Curtin is a member of the Emeritus Faculty of the Australian National University. Born in India, brought up in South Africa, university in Rhodesia and LSE, lectured economics at Universities of Zimbabwe and York 1964-1970, economic adviser with EU, World Bank, etc in Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea 1970-2002. His current interests include forthcoming book on land tenure in PNG, economics of sustainable forestry in PNG, and economics of Nicholas Stern. His latest publications are at

David Evans was born in Sydney in 1961 and his family then moved to upstate New York, then Cambridge, England, then Griffith in NSW. When he was 11, in 1972, his parents became political staffers, so he moved to Canberra.
He attended the University of Sydney for five years from 1979 where he did science and engineering, and then spent a further five years at Stanford University at Palo Alto in California, doing a PhD in electrical engineering. Of that period as a post-graduate student in one of the most prestigious universities in the world he remarks:

I did a controversial thesis, which altered and extended some basic bits of the maths used in electrical engineering. The older professors strongly encouraged me, but many of the younger ones reacted very strongly and negatively against it, perhaps because it undermined their knowledge and thus their status. So much for science gracefully accepting and using better ideas as they arise"

After taking out his doctorate he worked for a year in Silicon Valley and then returned to Australia to write a book on the research he had done for his PhD. He had planned to spend a year or two writing, but during his writing he discovered "lots more interesting stuff and mainly did my own research until 1999". In the meantime, to support himself, he traded on the stock market and did some programming odd jobs.

Stewart Franks is a Hydro-climatologist and Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Newcastle. His research has focused on improved characterization of flood and drought risk across Australia, as well as developing methods for seasonal climate prediction.

Michael Hammer holds B Eng Sci and M Eng Sci degrees from the University of Melbourne and for the last 30 years has worked as a research scientist/engineer for a high technology manufacturer and major worldwide exporter based in Melbourne. His output is measured not in papers or theories but in commercial patents and new products brought to market. So far his work has directly generated over 20 patents and more than $500 million in high tech exports for Australia. To do this he has had to work across a broad range of fields and often challenge entrenched wisdoms.

William Kininmonth is a consulting climatologist who:

Tom Quirk MSc, DPhil, MA (Oxon), SMP (Harv). is Chairman of Virax Holdings Limited, a biotechnology company. He is on the Board of the Institute of Public Affairs. He has been Chairman of the Victorian Rail Track Corporation, Deputy Chairman of Victorian Energy Networks and Peptech Limited as well as a director of Biota Holdings Limited He worked in CRA Ltd setting up new businesses and also for James D. Wolfensohn in a New York based venture capital fund. He spent 15 years as an experimental research physicist, university lecturer and Oxford don.

Dr Alex Robson is a lecturer in the School of Economics in College of Business and Economics at the Australian National University, Canberra. He holds a MA and PhD from the University of California at Irvine, in the United States, and previously worked as an Economist at the Federal Treasury in Canberra. At ANU, he teaches courses in law and economics and microeconomic theory. His research focuses primarily on issues that lie at the intersection between economics, law and politics.

Please click here for the Registration Form