Party leader praises 'diverse' university research to tackle global challenges

  • Grantham Centre research will deliver food and energy security and create a more sustainable world
  • UK Green party leader Natalie Bennett praises work in Sheffield to address some of the biggest environmental issues facing the planet

UK Green party leader Natalie Bennett at the Grantham Centre

The leader of the Green party visited the University of Sheffield this week to hear about the pioneering research taking place to tackle some of the world's biggest challenges.

Natalie Bennett met with scholars from the Grantham Centre to discuss its work aimed at helping to deliver food and energy security and creating a more sustainable world.

Ms Bennett, who has a scientific background with a degree in agricultural science from the University of Sydney, her home city, praised the diversity of the research projects taking place within the Grantham Centre.

She said: "It's really good and the discussions I have had with students have been fascinating.

"It was also good to hear how the PhD students have a multi-disciplinary approach to their research bringing together science, economics and the social aspect. It's so important that we do a lot more of that."

Professor Colin Osborne, Associate Director, said: "It was great for the Grantham Centre team to be able to share with Natalie Bennett the work we are doing to address some of the biggest environmental and political issues facing the UK, and the planet as a whole. Her scientific background led to some thought-provoking discussions with our Grantham Scholars and sustainability researchers, who have expertise spanning science, engineering, medicine and the social sciences."

Professor Peter Horton FRS, Associate Director said: "As a centre, we are committed to finding practical solutions to the toughest global challenges, such as how to provide enough sources of energy and nutritious food for a growing worldwide population. We want to engage with political leaders and policy makers at every level, to help bring about the changes necessary for us all to secure a sustainable future."

The Grantham Centre launched last year thanks to a £2.6m donation from alumnus Jeremy Grantham, who wanted to help the University build on its world-leading research into sustainability through Project Sunshine.

During her visit Ms Bennett was also handed a copy of the Sheffield Student Manifesto for May's General Election by Sheffield Students' Union president Yael Shafritz and praised the union's efforts to encourage students to vote.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield
With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK's prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
In 2011 it was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline and Siemens, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures
The Grantham Centre was launched after being awarded a £2.6 million philanthropic donation – the largest individual gift received from an alumnus in the last decade – to further enhance its pioneering research into harnessing the power of the sun to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
The centre will build on the University’s world-leading reputation for research, particularly in areas such as food and energy security, as well as its long commitment to public engagement and its position of trust and credibility, to confront and debate the challenges that we all must face in developing sustainable futures.
As part of this mission, the Centre will develop a cadre of young scientists who are equipped to lead the changes in behaviour and understanding that are required.


For further information please contact:

Clare Parkin
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 2951