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Piers Sellers – an inspiration for the future

 December 24, 2016 | Simon Jenkins


Staff and students of the University of Leeds are deeply saddened to hear of the death of alumnus and astronaut Piers Sellers following his brave fight with cancer.

Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands said:  “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Piers Sellers at this most difficult of times.

“He cared deeply about our fragile planet and the people who inhabit it – his outstanding work and our fond memories of him will continue to inspire future generations.”

Piers Sellers was an inspirational astronaut and a distinguished climate scientist who gained a doctorate in biometeorology at the University in 1981 and was made an honorary Doctor of Science in 2007.

When the University’s new Priestley International Centre for Climate was launched in June 2016, he said: “I love Leeds University and I am still in awe of the reach and spirit of the place ….” – a comment Sir Alan described as a typically generous reflection on the time he spent at Leeds. [see video here]

Piers will always be remembered by the University through two prizes (inaugurated in 2016 and to be awarded annually) which bear his name, the first for world-leading contributions to solution-focused climate research, the second designed to encourage and reward a Leeds PhD student committed to tackling climate change.

Piers Sellers – an inspiration for the future