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01 October 2015

Penny Whetton (1958 - 2019) climate scientist

Peter Whetton was born in Melbourne, and did a BA in physics and a PhD, 1986, in climate variability at Melbourne University, where he met Janet Rice and they married. They had two sons.

After a few years in the Geography Department at Monash University, Whetton became a climate scientist at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and was the main contributor to, and editor of, CSIRO's Australian climate change projections released in 1992, 1996, 2001 and 2007.

In 1998, Whetton came out to Janet first as a cross-dresser and then as transgender, and four years after that in 2003 changed her name to Penny and had transgender surgery.

This was the same time as Rice, a Greens politician was elected to Maribyrnong council; she was elected Mayor in 2006.

Whetton was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Third Assessment Report, and of the Fourth Assessment Report which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (jointly with Al Gore). She is contributing to the Fifth.

Rice was elected to the Federal Senate as a Greens member in 2013.

In an interview in 2014, Janet said:
“Look, I think we’re pretty normal. We’ve been married 28 years. Penny transitioned from Peter to Penny – we stayed married, we still love each other.”
In her maiden speech in the Senate, Rice said:
“The time for marriage equality in Australia has come. I'm here for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and their families. We deserve recognition and respect in all aspects of our lives.”
++Penny died peaceably age 61
EN.Wikipedia(Penny)    EN.Wikipedia(Janet)    GoogleScholar     TheConversation

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