Archive of Professor James Lovelock

Lovelock, James Ephraim

The archive comprises the output of the working life of one of Britain’s most important living scientists and inventors, Professor James Lovelock (July 1919). Lovelock is most famous for formulating the Gaia hypothesis – the idea that Earth is a self-regulating system. This theory has been both hugely influential and controversial, and has profoundly shaped how contemporary environmental scientists view issues such as climate change and biodiversity. In addition to his work within environmental science, Lovelock made major contributions to numerous other fields, including medicine, atmospheric chemistry, and the exploration of space.

Dating from 1935 until 2011, the archive spans more than 75 years of Lovelock’s extraordinary life, tracing his unconventional career path, and his development of ideas that still resonate with, and are passionately debated by, public and scientific communities alike.

As a result of Lovelock’s meticulous record keeping, the archive presents a comprehensive portrayal of his scientific endeavours, offering a unique insight into his creative mind, personality and ground-breaking ideas. Comprising both professional and personal material, the archive enriches our understanding of Lovelock’s scientific accomplishments by placing them into the context of his personal attributes and his life as an independent scientist of the 20th century.


78 boxes of mixed-media materials
Open Access