Cambridge University Reporter


Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Moran Professorship of Conservation and Development

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The loss of biological diversity is a critical global challenge. Responding to this challenge requires heightened levels of co-ordination at both the global and local levels, across the natural and social sciences, and between the worlds of academia and public policy. The creation of effective frameworks to bring the natural and social sciences together in conservation is still underdeveloped. The training of practitioners and policy-makers is commonly rooted in either the social sciences or the natural sciences and rarely spans both. Yet, to be effective, policy and practice must recognize the differing values, economic realities, and political systems operating in different societies.

2. A successful dialogue on conservation between the social and natural sciences, and within the social sciences themselves, is emerging. There is enormous potential in the University, where there is already a critical mass of expertise across disciplines, for researchers to work in new ways with each other and with conservation practitioners, to make important contributions to global understanding of the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of biodiversity loss and conservation, and to have a significant impact on policy and action. Establishing senior academic leadership that will pull these strands together is a pivotal step toward the overall goal. The Department of Geography is well placed within the University to contribute to this work, as research and teaching in the Department embraces both the natural and social sciences, and there is existing research strength in the political ecology and institutional dimensions of living resource management.

3. An opportunity to further develop work in this area has now arisen as James Wilson (Trinity College, 1971, Archaeology and Anthropology, History) and Jane Wilson (née Hepburne Scott: New Hall, 1973, History of Art) have made a generous donation totalling £2.48m to Cambridge in America expressing their hope that the majority of it will endow a Professorship to be called the Moran Professorship of Conservation and Development, in honour of Lord Moran (King's College, 1943, History) and his passionate interest in, and contribution to, conservation in action. The Board of Cambridge in America have agreed to donate the sum of £2m to the University towards the costs of endowing this Professorship, and the remainder to fund a Lectureship. It is proposed that the first holder of the Professorship should be Professor William Mark Adams who currently holds the Professorship of Conservation and Development established for his tenure by Grace 1 of 26 January 2005. Professor Adams's research interests include relations between society and nature, particularly issues of rural development and conservation; he welcomes the change in title. For subsequent appointments the General Board have agreed that the election should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors. Subject to the approval of this Report, the University Lectureship, held in abeyance during Professor Adams's tenure of the personal Professorship, will be suppressed.

4. The Moran Professor of Conservation and Development will be a key member of the leadership group that will develop the long-term direction of the University's contribution to conservation, partnership with Non-Governmental Organizations, and relationships with relevant corporate and government sectors. While the recently established Miriam Rothschild Professorship of Conservation Biology will provide scientific leadership in this area and forge closer partnerships between the laboratory and field, the Moran Professor of Conservation and Development will provide senior academic direction in the areas investigating social factors that create threats to environmental health, and which influence conservation practice and policy.

5. The new Lectureship in Climate Studies in the Department of Geography will be for five years and will complement work in this area. Climate change is another significant environmental global challenge, although one for which an effective framework, that brings together the natural and social sciences, has already been created. The Lecturer will co-ordinate the University's teaching in this area and design and teach new modules (initially to fourth-year undergraduates via Part III of the Natural Sciences Tripos and to M.Phil. students).

6. The Council of the School of Physical Sciences, and the Faculty Board of Earth Sciences and Geography have formally recommended the establishment of this Professorship. The benefaction will also enable the School of Physical Sciences to release some additional funding to the Department of Geography to further strengthen the academic work of the Department and this will offer an outstanding opportunity to develop further its collaborative activities in the field with other disciplines and research groups across the University.

7. The General Board recommend:

I. That a Moran Professorship of Conservation and Development be established in the University, for Professor William Mark Adams in the first instance, from 1 October 2006, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Geography.

II. That the regulations for the Moran Conservation and Development Fund, as set out in the Schedule to this Report, be approved.



Moran Professor of Conservation and Development.   2006.   Geography

1. The sums received from the Board of Cambridge in America representing a donation from James and Jane Wilson for the support of the Moran Professorship of Conservation and Development shall form a fund called the Moran Conservation and Development Fund.

2. If and whenever the income of the Fund exceeds the amount required for the payment of the stipend, national insurance, pension contributions, and associated indirect costs of the Professor payable by the University, the excess of the income over that amount shall be applied to support the work of the Professor in such a manner as may be approved by the General Board on the recommendation of the Head of the Department of Geography or that of any other Department or Faculty in which the Professorship is then held.

3. Any unexpended income in a financial year shall, in any subsequent year, be expended in accordance with Regulation 2.

4. On the occasion of a vacancy in the Professorship, the General Board, in accordance with Statute D, XV, 17, shall decide whether the assignment to a Faculty, Department or other institution, or its field, should be reviewed for the next tenure.