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In Memoriam: Rad (1929-2011)

Submitter: Richard Strom
Description: His name was Venkatraman Radhakrishnan, but to everyone who knew him he was simply Rad. With his rich curly locks and thick moustache he might have just stepped out of the Mahabharata. For over fifteen years he traveled the world (almost literally sailing the Seven Seas in his ship, the suitably dubbed Cygnus A), and spent quality time at leading radio observatories before returning home to direct the institute founded by (and named after) his father.

We took pleasure in his Dutch connections as advisor to the NFRA, and a frequent guest (including visiting professor) of the Pannekoek Institute in Amsterdam. In his inaugural lecture as professor there, he spoke about not astronomy but his other love: sailing ships. Like Martin Ryle (also an avid sailor) he had no Ph.D.; neither of them needed one in those days. Still, we can be proud that Amsterdam rectified this, honoris causa. Accepting the distinction (having recently retired), Rad quipped that he might reply to one of the postdoc advertisements which stipulated that only recent Ph.D. recipients need apply.

Rad, we will miss you.

(Within nine months astronomy has lost two eminent researchers, both of whom had a Nobel Prize-winning father and uncle.)
Copyright: Wikipaedia
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