Walt Patterson

Associate Fellow, Environment and Society Centre


Walt Patterson joined Chatham House as an associate fellow in 1991. He was senior research fellow 1993-2000 until retirement, since when he has again been associate fellow. He is also a visiting fellow in the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, and a founder-member of the International Energy Advisory Council.

A postgraduate in nuclear physics from the University of Manitoba in Canada, he has been actively involved in energy and environment since the late 1960s.

Electricity Vs Fire: The Fight For Our Future is his fourteenth book. He has also published hundreds of papers, articles and reviews, on topics including nuclear power, coal technology, renewable energy, energy systems, energy policy and electricity.

He has been specialist adviser to two select committees of the House of Commons, an expert witness at many official hearings, a frequent broadcaster and adviser to media, and speaker or chair in conferences around the world. He has been awarded the Melchett Medal of the Energy Institute.

The Scientific American 50 named him ‘energy policy leader’ for his advocacy of decentralized electricity.

Walt Patterson On Energy is an online archive of his work since 1970.

The Science Museum has catalogued 602 books in the Patterson Nuclear Collection that Walt donated to the museum - a unique resource for anyone interested in the history of nuclear energy, military and civil.

Past experience

2001 - present Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House
1993-2000 Senior Research Fellow, EEDP, Chatham House
1991-1993 Associate Fellow, Energy and Environment Programme, Chatham House