Philip Lowe was the founding Director of Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy (CRE), when it opened in 1992. He authored and co-authored more than 140 papers on topics as varied as renewable energy, agricultural pollution and aging populations, across his more than 40- year career.
Philip Lowe’s contributions to understanding of the rural economy were highly valued, both inside and beyond academia. Under his leadership the CRE became, according to the Times, the Government’s “favourite rural think-tank”. His achievements were celebrated in 2003, when he received an OBE for services to the rural economy.
Lowe was an early contributor to academic literature on environmentalism.
Climate change and ecological crisis are terms that have now fallen into common usage, however Lowe was an early contributor to academic literature on environmentalism. As early as the 1970s, he recognised that ecology was no longer only a branch of science, but a “social movement”. Having studied Natural Sciences at Oxford University, before later deciding to work in the field of social science, Lowe championed collaboration between experts from these separate disciplines.
Lowe was appointed in 2003 as the lead of a £25 million research program – The Rural Economy and Land Use Program (Relu). Relu successfully funded more than 100 research projects over 10 years.
Philip Lowe’s contributions to his field were recognised in 2013, when he was selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry for the Bertebos Prize.