reply to post by Phage
You can leave the 'character assassination' to me, Phage.
Chandra Wickramasinghe is a senile old man, the failure of whose life's work has turned his mind.
He used to be the protégé of Sir Fred Hoyle, once Britain's Astronomer Royal. Not many ATS members know that he Hoyle and he were the originators of
the Panspermia hypothesis, somewhere back in, I think, the 1970s. Hoyle, who moonlighted as a science-fiction writer, was into Life Among The Stars.
He was also a notorious backer of wrong horses; for example, he clung to the steady-state model of cosmology long after it had been proved wrong by
observation and thrown out of the academy, and made himself so obnoxious on the subject that colleagues would refuse to speak to him.
Wickramasinghe and his mentor made even bigger laughing-stocks of themselves in the Eighties, trying to convince the scientific world that the fossils
were a hoax. Two astronomers trying to teach palaentologists to suck eggs; it must have been fun to watch...
The pair of them lurched ever nearer the fringe, till finally Hoyle died and Wickramasinghe went right over the edge. Thanks to his association with
Hoyle and the quality of his early work, he still gets respect among a certain segment of British academia – which is why
an entire new 'department'
– in reality a one-man show with an impressive list of 'honorary'
and 'visiting' colleagues – was created for him at the University of Buckingham after Cardiff University finally sacked him a few years ago.
In his native Sri Lanka, where genuinely renowned scientists are rarer than hens' teeth, Wickramasinghe can do no wrong. There was a spate of UFO
hysteria there just before Christmas, and the local media wheeled him out again to pontificate on lights in the sky, UFOs and the rest. So now the old
coot's found a meteorite fallen on his home country that just happens to 'prove' his pet hypothesis. What a crock!
edit on 13/1/13 by Astyanax because: of indefinition.