An icon of the modern oil and gas industry, geologist Dr. Scott Tinker is—perhaps unintentionally—rising up to be the global voice of reason in a world that is increasingly divided over the path of longer-term energy solutions. Through his nonprofit venture Switch Energy Alliance (SEA), Tinker is disseminating educational videos that explore the benefits and challenges of all forms of energy without political slant. Always the narrator, his calm voice and measured delivery make you want to trust him.
His first documentary, “Switch,” has been viewed by 15 million people worldwide including in colleges, high schools and middle schools in 50 countries. In this film Tinker travels the world exploring the energy resources that sustain economies today, from coal, solar, hydro, biofuels, oil, gas, nuclear and more. In “Switch On,” his second documentary, he again travels the world to countries with little to no access to energy, looking at the impact energy resources make on developing countries, even communities. Soon, a video-based, monthlong energy curriculum developed by SEA will begin being taught in high schools.
Just the latest iteration in the evolution of his career, Tinker is best known today as the director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin, a position he’s been in for the past 20 years and ongoing. He is also the state geologist of Texas.
A long-time voice of expertise to the oil and gas sector, it’s his nonpartisan, objective video resources featuring the role of energy in global societies that are now reaching the masses, particularly in schools. Tinker spoke to Investor on why he is on a mission to spread a reasoned conversation about energy to the broader public.