Science Direct: Dr Buz (George) Wilson
Dr Buz Wilson is a Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum. He is one of our featured experts on Climate Change.
- What did you want to be when you grew up? Since early secondary school, I knew that I wanted to be a marine biologist.
- The idea/s that changed my life was...that computers could be used to understand the evolution, and that phylogenies can be more than just simple tree diagrams.
- I'm always being asked about...dolphins and whales because of my marine biology background. I don't know much about those. Ask me about Crustaceans instead!
- My worst job has been...selling sandwiches off of a lunch truck. I'm terrible at changing money under pressure.
- I often wonder...what the sky looks like from a planet circling a star in the centre of a globular cluster.
- I hope that...the species Homo sapiens doesn't cause its own extinction or the extinction of its technologically-based culture, and that eventually the species will leave this planet to explore the nearby stars, the galaxy and the universe.
- The best thing about my job is...working with other scientists and students who are as excited about zoology as I am.
- The hardest thing about my job is...refereeing the scientific manuscripts of other scientists because I know how much work these are to write. I spend a lot of time doing this for other scientists.
Climate change specific questions:
- What climate change means for me personally is...time is running out for my children. If governments don't wake up and change the way we do things, they will suffer. Things are moving too slowly - we need to make drastic changes now, not in a decade or longer.
- Climate change affects my work by...my need to spend time telling people that understanding climate change is important.
- My work may affect how we respond to climate change by...by providing the natural historical context of past climate change.
- What I would say to climate change skeptics is...being skeptical about climate change is like denying that your hand will hurt if you hit it with a hammer. Climate changes regardless of whether humans are present or not. But human influences are pushing global climate off of the current unstable equilibrium (climate during the Holocene - last 11,000 years) into a climate pattern that has not been seen for over 65 million years: hot, humid and no ice anywhere. Humans might survive but technological culture may not.
- What I would say to you about what you can do about climate change is...learn more about the facts behind climate change and pass this knowledge on to your friends, neighbors and especially to people in political positions.
- What I think Australia can do is...convert entirely to solar and wind power - we have lots of sun and wind, so let's use it!
Dr George D. F. (Buz) Wilson , Senior Fellow