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Vaclav Smil


Vaclav Smil received a doctorate in natural sciences from Carolinum University in Prague in 1965. In 1969, shortly after the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, he came to the United States, earning a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in 1972. Since that time, Smil has been on the faculty of the University of Manitoba, where he is now a Distinguished Professor. His interdisciplinary research deals with interactions of energy, environment, food, economy, population and technical advances. He is the author of 30 books on these topics; the latest ones (in 2010) include Energy Myths and Realities, Energy Transitions and Two Prime Movers of Globalization. He is also the author of Energy in Nature and Society; Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next 50 Years; Creating the 20th Century: Technical Revolutions of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact (Oxford University Press, 2005); China's Past, China's Future: Energy, Food, Environment (RoutledgeCurzon, 2004); Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties (The MIT Press, 2003); and Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production (The MIT Press, 2001). Address: N306 Duff Roblin Building, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2. E-mail: vsmil at cc dot umanitoba dot ca. Website:

By this author :

Book Review

Life-and-Death Chemistry

Three Thousand Years of Exploitation

Feature Article

Global Energy: The Latest Infatuations

Water News: Bad, Good and Virtual


Garrett James Hardin (Dallas 1915—Santa Barbara 2003)