Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by MysterX
Chandra Wickramasinghe was a professor at the University of Cardiff until he was sacked a couple of years ago. He now runs his own 'department'
(essentially a pasture for him to grow old in) at Buckingham University.
Chandra Wickramasinghe is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmology, a more-or-less crank publication dedicated to fringe
subjects like panspermia.
I trust this makes the situation a little clearer.
This is an article on Wickramsinghe's sacking, he was not the only one given the boot, all the volunteers were also sacked. The whole department cost
only £15000 per year. Who'd have thought! An Astrobiology unit on the cheap,
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, the chief exponent of the theory that planets like earth have been seeded for life by comets has been dismissed from
his post at the Cardiff University in Wales, United Kingdom.
The university informed the Sri Lanka born British scientist that they are withdrawing funding for his department, the astrobiology center.
The UK parliament magazine reported the removal of Wickramasinghe in a story headlined as "Killing the Goose that lays the golden eggs."
Wickramasinghe believes that life was seeded by comets and asteroids and pathogens like virus for influenza also arrived here from deep space taking
hitch hikes on such astral bodies.
Professor Wickramasinghe, a long time collaborator with renowned astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle was recently drawn into controversy when he supported,
NASA scientist Richard Hoover who claimed he found fossilized evidence of life in three meteorites.
Wickramasinghe was the only paid worker of the Astro biological Center of the University. The other research fellows and associates worked in an
honorary capacity and it cost the university only about 24,000 US dollars an year.
Wickramasinghe told this correspondent: "It is beyond belief that an area of work that attracts worldwide attention on a regular basis should be
targeted by any "marketing oriented" University. I am convinced that it is not a case of funding, but prejudice arising from numerous petty
The United Kingdom Parliament magazine said few problems in science attract more public attention than the search for alien life. "The quest for how
life began, not just on earth but anywhere in the universe must rank among the most fundamental problems of science." The magazine said the
astrobiology center is one of the first ever for research in the subject and by the closure the university saved only less than 15k British pounds per
year. The magazine called it "Killing the goose that laid golden eggs". Wickramasinghe gave the following interview to Skymania, the British
"The authorities intimated to me that in view of financial stringencies they were looking at areas outside the core curriculum to cut and this was one
of the targets they had.
"It was only costing them between £14,000 and £15,000 (about $24,000) a year to retain me as a part time director of the centre.
"All the other staff, totaling about 12, is honorary research fellows and associates who were not costing the university anything at all. They have
brought a huge amount of credit to Cardiff University and so it amazed me that the university would discontinue their support for astrobiology. "What
they did to me is a travesty of normal university practice and I still don't understand the motive. I can't believe for a moment that they are
strapped for £15,000 a year to maintain a centre that has, for good or bad, a very high profile internationally. "We continue to make headlines in
various things that we do. Some of our work remains controversial but it is in the nature of science to promote controversy as long as it is
intelligent controversy. That's within the rules of the game. If people agree 100 per cent what they're doing then science becomes a bit
insubstantial. "I just fail to understand why they do this. It could be ageism because, at 71, I'm over the retirement age by a couple of years, but
I've been around for years and have published many papers. I was Sir Fred Hoyle's longest-running collaborator from the time I was a student at
He added: "I am the astrobiology editor of the Journal of Cosmology. The Journal has published work such as on the Hoover meteorites that was
decidedly controversial but that didn't mean that the papers were not worth publishing. "I personally invited Hoover to submit his paper because I've
known him for a long time. If that Hoover stuff had come out the blue I would have been suspicious because it would have seemed almost too good to be
true." "He came to Cardiff about a year and a half ago on my invitation and brought a sample of the Murchison meteorite with him.
12-3-2013 by smurfy because: Text.