Last week, in the wake of the BP fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico, I wondered whether David Eyton, BP Group Vice President, Research and Technology, and former Vice President of BP’s Gulf of Mexico Deepwater, didn’t or shouldn’t have something more important to do than wade through CRU emails – like, say, R&D into blow out preventers. (And why climate scientists had been silent on the BP presence in this inquiry.)
There was another small puzzle in the Eyton appointment. Unlike most of the other appointees, he didn’t seem to be connected to Geoffrey Boulton’s Royal Society of Edinburgh or University of Edinburgh.
CNN has been carrying wall-to-wall coverage of the oil spill, with James Carville calling every day for criminal proceedings to be instituted against BP executives, saying that the notorious Louisiana prisons (seen in many American movies) would have a special place for BP CEO Anthony Hayward – who otherwise looks like Mr Bean Visits the Beach. (The situation is very difficult, but Hayward has sure done about as bad a job of dealing with the public as it seems possible to do.)
The answer to the David Eyton mystery lay not in his CV, but in Hayward’s CV.
BP appears to be a generous contributor to the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh (and Hayward himself personally.) Hayward has a PhD in geology from U of Edinburgh.
On March 2, 2009, Hayward was appointed a Fellow of Boulton’s Royal Society of Edinburgh.
On June 29, 2009, Hayward was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from Boulton’s University of Edinburgh.
I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that Boulton talked to Hayward and that Hayward then asked Eyton to go on Boulton’s “inquiry”.