Friends of the Earth Scotland campaigner honoured

Dr Richard Dixon is made a Doctor of Science

Date posted

4 July 2019


Leading environmental campaigner Dr Richard Dixon has received an honorary degree from Edinburgh Napier University.

The Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland was praised for combining scientific knowledge with passionate campaigning as he was made a Doctor of Science in recognition of his contribution to sustainability.Honorary graduate Richard Dixon

Dublin-born Dr Dixon, who studied astronomy, astrophysics and energy systems and environmental management at university, joined the organisation as head of research in 1994, working on issues as diverse as fish farming, climate change and bathing beaches.

He joined WWF Scotland in 2002, holding the positions of head of policy and Director before returning to Friends of the Earth Scotland as Director in 2013, where he continues to champion energy, air quality and climate issues.

While building his reputation as a respected and committed advocate of sustainable development, he helped set up both Transform Scotland and the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition.

He has also represented FoE and WWF at nine United Nations climate conferences, as well as the G8 in 2005 and G8 Finance Ministers meeting in 2009.

Students attending today’s graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall were told that Dr Dixon provided practical inspiration to those “wanting to make fundamental positive change to the world”.

In the laureation address, Professor Mark Huxham, from the University’s School of Applied Sciences, cited his respect for scientific facts, his willingness to work collaboratively, whether at local, national or international level, and his enthusiasm for social justice.

Dr Dixon said: “I am really delighted to receive this very special honour.  As the young people striking for the climate have clearly demonstrated, protecting the environment is particularly vital for young people.  

“The decisions we make today will fundamentally shape the future world they live in and Edinburgh Napier University is helping with the vital task of creating the next generation of climate-conscious decision makers and innovators.  I am proud to be associated with such an important contribution to society.”

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “We are delighted to recognise and honour Dr Dixon’s work as a champion of sustainable development, an issue the majority of our students care deeply about.

“He joins our celebrations today and serves as an inspiration to our graduates as they set out to make their own mark and impact on the world.”