Sir David MacKay obituary

David with his trusty bicycle. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

David with his trusty bicycle. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

Please note: details of funeral arrangements for David are here.

Sir David MacKay, who has died of cancer aged 48, was a true polymath, a rare breed in today’s world, where the frontiers of scientific knowledge are increasingly remote and complex. It is a testament to David’s intellectual brilliance that he was able to contribute to advancing more than one of these frontiers during his short career.

Full obituary in the Guardian, written by Mark Lynas, published 18 April 2016


  1. Anthony Simpson

    Thank you for this Mark. I learnt a number of new things about DM, a truly remarkable man.

    I studied for a Renewable Energy MSc in 2011-12, and read0 during this time. It has taught me to look at hard numbers, not just to figure out what is important and what is quite frankly trivial – but also to have an open mind. It altered my view, as have some of your books in emotive issues such as nuclear. I would in principle now support this technology at a sensible price.

    So much is still emotionally driven and often not based around facts. David MacKay was a shining light and an example to us all, and I think his 2050 tools, and in a number of other fields, his legacy will be long-lasting.

    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Thanks Anthony. Great to hear.

  2. Eamon

    Sir David will be dearly missed by those looking for rational debate and discussion in the Energy field: he made a deeply technical field accessible to a wide audience.


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