Professor Geoffrey Boulton is Regius Professor of Geology Emeritus in the University of Edinburgh.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Birmingham in 1962. After graduation he worked as salesman in Beirut, a scientific civil servant in Leeds, a hydrogeologist in Kenya, and a geologist in the British Army.
Returning to universities, Geoffrey Boulton became a demonstrator at the University of Keele, followed by a fellowship at Birmingham, before, as an avid mountaineer, joining a series of Cambridge University expeditions to Spitsbergen, where the basis of his scientific reputation was built, in glaciology.
In 1968 Geoffrey Boulton acquired a PhD, and was appointed to the newly created School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. He took up a chair the University of Amsterdam in 1980, and in Edinburgh in 1986, where he successively unified Geology with Geophysics, then with Geography and Ecology to create the modern School of Earth Science. As Provost of Science and Engineering, then Vice-Principal, he played a key role in re-organising myriad small University departments into 21 Schools grouped into 3 Colleges.
Geoffrey Boulton has served as a member of a standing Royal Commission, on Environmental Pollution, as a member of the UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, as General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s national academy, as a member of the Council of the Royal Society and chair of its Science Policy Centre, and now as a member of the Governing Board of the International Science Council.
Geoffrey Boulton has received numerous honours for his scientific work, and several honorary degrees, including one from Heidelberg, of which he is very proud.
He has been a member of Heidelberg University’s Academic Advisory Council since 2006.