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Vaclav  Smil

Vaclav Smil

Renowned Expert on Energy, Environment, Food & Technical Advances


Professor Vaclav Smil is regarded as being among the most important thought leaders of our time. One of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2010, Smil has spent his career exploring new ground in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment and public policy.   Read More >

Publishing 45 books and nearly 500 papers, many of which Bill Gates mentions in his blog and has recommended to audiences for many years, Smil has revolutionized the way the world thinks about its future energy and food needs. In addition to his published research, he has also worked as a consultant for many US, EU and international institutions. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Meet Vaclav Smil

The Limits of Growth

Making the Modern World

Should We Eat Meat?

The Future of Energy | Harvard Center for the Environment

Speech Topics

Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities

Growth has been both an unspoken and an explicit aim of our individual and collective striving. It governs the lives of microorganisms and galaxies; it shapes the capabilities of our extraordinarily large brains and the fortunes of our economies. Read More >

Smil examines the growth of energy conversions and man-made objects that enable economic activities―developments that have been essential to civilization and looks at growth in complex systems, beginning with the growth of human populations and proceeding to the growth of cities. He considers the challenges of tracing the growth of empires and civilizations, explaining that we can chart the growth of organisms across individual and evolutionary time, but that the progress of societies and economies, not so linear, encompasses both decline and renewal. Read Less ^

Numbers Don't Lie: 71 Things You Need to Know About the World

Energy Transitions; Global Energy Outlook; Energy Demand & Technical Advances

Global Environmental Change; Environmental Risks; Harvesting the Biosphere