Tom Quirk

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Thomas Quirk is a corporate director of biotech companies and former board member of the Institute of Public Affairs, an Australian conservative think-tank for which he has written numerous articles and papers and provided comments to the media. [1] Quirk joined the board of therapeutics company Sementis in 2011 as a non-executive director. [2] Quirk is an occasional speaker on the topic of innovation in Australia, and has written extensively on subjects of energy policy and climate change. [3] He is a former member of the Australian Climate Science Coalition's Scientific Advisory Panel. [4] Quirk is a critic of Tim Flannery, the Climate Commission and environmentalists generally. [5]



Quirk has worked for resources company, CRA (now known as Rio Tinto). He has also worked in the United States at Fermilab, the universities of Chicago and Harvard and at CERN in Europe. He was an early director of Biota, a company which developed an influenza drug. He has held several positions in utilities, electricity and transport industries including a founding directorship of the Victorian Power Exchange. Quirk was Deputy Chairman of VENCorp, which managed the transmission and wholesale natural gas market and system planning for the electricity market in Victoria, Australia. He is also a former Chairman of VicTrack, the owner of the state's railway assets. [6] Quirk also worked for James D. Wolfensohn in a venture capital fund based in New York City. [7] Quirk was appointed as a Fellow of the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Victoria, of which he is a benefactor. [8]

Political views

Quirk is an advocate for the expansion of Australia's role in the nuclear fuel chain and has expressed support for the development of uranium enrichment capacity, spent fuel reprocessing and future storage of nuclear waste in Australia. [9] [6] One of the potential applications of nuclear energy in Australia is powering seawater desalination plants. [10] He has also challenged the work of anti-nuclear activist, Helen Caldicott. [11] Quirk contributed a chapter entitled Opportunities in the nuclear fuel cycle to the 2011 policy perspective publication Australia's nuclear options for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). [6]

Between 2006 and 2011, Quirk wrote numerous articles for the website Online Opinion, including criticisms of wind power and renewable energy and pieces promoting nuclear power. [12] Quirk is also a regular writer for Quadrant online. [5] [13] Quirk co-signed a letter to the UN Secretary General, rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change. [14] Quirk's opinion editorials and analyses on topics of energy, energy policy and climate change have been frequently referred to and quoted by Andrew Bolt [15] and republished and promoted by bloggers Joanne Nova [16] and Jennifer Marohasy [17] and think tanks including the Institute for Private Enterprise. [18]

In 2014 Quirk described the carbon bubble as a "white elephant" and claims that while CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing, atmospheric temperatures are remaining "dynamically stable." [19] As of 2015, Quirk continues to express his views via opinion editorials, [20] occasional interviews and speaking engagements. In 2015, Quirk spoke to the Australian Institute of International Affairs on the topic of technological innovation in Australia. [21] In a 2015 study about bias in climate science, Quirk and co-authors concluded: "Because of the above bias errors the hypothesis of dangerous global warming caused by human activity has not been substantiated by evidential science." [22]


Quirk trained as a nuclear physicist at the University of Melbourne, has attended the Harvard Business School and has been a Fellow of three Oxford Colleges. [6]


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  1. "People & associated - Tom Quirk". Institute of Public Affairs. Institute of Public Affairs. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  2. "EXECUTIVE TEAM & BOARD". 27 February 2015. Archived from the original on 27 February 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. Quirk, Thomas J. (1 January 1979). Psychological Research: How to Do it. Wiley. ISBN   9780471031185.
  4. "About Us". Archived from the original on 2 April 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Climate Commission in Melbourne". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Australia's nuclear options - CEDA policy perspective (PDF). Melbourne, Australia: CEDA. 2011. pp. 50–61. ISBN   978-0-85801-277-6.
  7. Quirk, Tom (6 April 2011). "What is going on at Fukushima?". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  8. "Foundation". Heide Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  9. Quirk, Tom (14 June 2005). "Let's Capitalise On Our Nuclear Assets". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  10. "The nuclear cycle (transcript available)". Radio National. ABC. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  11. Quirk, Tom (1 April 2015). "Twisting the facts is not the answer". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  12. "Tom Quirk". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  13. "Refuting the myths of climate change". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  14. Special to Financial Post (editorial), Open letter to UN Secretary-General: Current scientific knowledge does not substantiate Ban Ki-Moon assertions on weather and climate, say 125-plus scientists, Financial Post, 29 November 2012.
  15. "A judge shouldn't be so careless with the facts of climate change - Andrew Bolt". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  16. "Australia is either Green genius or Kyoto-criminal depending on fires and forests: Tom Quirk « JoNova". Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  17. "Tom Quirk, Author at Jennifer Marohasy". Jennifer Marohasy. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  18. "The Institute for Private Enterprise is a think-tank promoting increased private enterprise and smaller governments except for defence to protect society". Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  19. "Carbon Bubbleheads". Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  20. "Can the Federal Government learn anything from the Melbourne Cup? - On Line Opinion - 4/11/2015". On Line Opinion. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  21. "Welcome to the Yellow Brick Maze - Innovation for Australia - Australian Institute of International Affairs". Australian Institute of International Affairs. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  22. Chambers, J., Miller, A., Morgan, R., Officer, B., Rayner, M., Sellars-Jones, G., & Quirk, T. (2015), "Psychology Behavioural Economics and Climate Change", Energy & Environment, 26(8), pages 1353-1358.