James Lovelock (born 26 July 1919) is an independent scientist, environmentalist and futurologist who lives in Devon, England. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling the chemical and physical environment. James Ephraim Lovelock was born in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, England. He studied chemistry at the University of Manchester, before taking up a Medical Research Council post at the Institute for Medical Research in London. In 1948 Lovelock received a Ph.D. degree in medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Within the United States he has conducted research at Yale, Baylor College of Medicine, and Harvard University. A lifelong inventor, Lovelock has created and developed many scientific instruments, some of which were designed for NASA in its program of planetary exploration. It was while working as a consultant for NASA that Lovelock developed the Gaia Hypothesis, for which he is most widely known. The Gaia hypothesis proposes that living and non-living parts of the earth form a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism. Named after the Greek goddess Gaia at the suggestion of novelist William Golding, the hypothesis postulates that the biosphere has a regulatory effect on the Earth’s environment that acts to sustain life.