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#119: Prof Robin Batterham AO on Science & Truth

By Jordan Michaelides

Professor Robin Batterham AO is a Chemical Engineer, Former Chief Scientist of Australia (1999-2006), Former Chief Technologist at Rio Tinto, Kernot Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Melbourne University, and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) amongst many other titles.

Robin is one of the clearest thinkers I’ve ever met on the podcast. He embodies the mindset of brilliant scientists before him, and particularly my favourite in Richard Feynman – where he shows not only technical nous but a clear ability to explain some of the most complex topics in the easiest ways.  

In this episode we covered:

  • Soil carbon and climate change
  • Regenerative farming
  • The politicisation of climate policy
  • Energy policy & Nuclear energy
  • Getting excited about engineering
  • Teamwork for innovation
  • Ideas vs Execution

Listen to the episode

Watch the episode: 


00:53 – Introduction
02:30 – Wood, trees and soil
09:50 – Soil carbon and climate change
13:33 – Regenerative farming
17:00 – Politicisation of climate policy
27:35 – Energy policy, Nuclear
37:05 – Fusion energy
43:40 – Getting excited about engineering
50:00 – Fond memories of Brighton Grammar
54:40 – Teamwork for innovation
01:04:13 – Ideas vs Execution
01:13:20 – Daily routine
01:19:15 – Best purchase under $200
01:20:50 – If he could have a billboard anywhere