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Bulletin - 27 July 2007

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One of astronomy's leading figures: Bernard Pagel.

Bernard Pagel, Visiting Professor in the Astronomy Centre for more than 30 years, has died at the age of 77.

Bernard came to work at the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO), then at Herstmonceux Castle, in 1956. Together with other RGO staff members and University faculty, he helped in the establishment and running of the Sussex MSc in Astronomy, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Over the years, he supervised a series of Sussex graduate students in observational astronomy.

Bernard was a world leader in cosmical chemistry, especially in studies of the chemical evolution of galaxies. Just before his death, he completed the text of the second edition of his monograph Nucleosynthesis and Chemical Evolution of Galaxies. In 1990 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and in 1992 he was elected to the Royal Society.

After compulsory retirement from the RGO, he spent a decade at Nordita in Copenhagen, before returning to the Astronomy Centre in 1999, continuing to make observing trips abroad and to attend international conferences, where he was in great demand.

His death from cancer on 13 July deprives UK astronomy of one of its leading figures.

Professor Timothy Sprigge, who died on 11 July at the age of 75, was best known for his defence of idealism. Professor Sprigge taught at Sussex from 1964 to 1979 before becoming Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh. After his retirement he moved back to Sussex and was a regular participant at the weekly meetings of the Sussex Philosophy Society in his last years.

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