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Fred Hoyle Birth Centennial – his remarkable career and the impact of his science
The Royal Astronomical Society
Burlington House
Start Time: 9 Oct 2015 - 10:30
End Time: 9 Oct 2015 - 15:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Simon Mitton*,

Professor John Barrow, Professor Andrew Fabian FRS (Cambridge)

*Contact: Simon Mitton


The birth centenary of Fred Hoyle was on 24th June 2015.  This specialist discussion on the history of astronomy will examine Fred's impact on all aspects of astrophysics and cosmology.  Hoyle is noted primarily for the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis and his controversial stances on other cosmological and scientific matters - in particular his rejection of the "Big Bang" theory.  The emphasis will be a retrospective of Hoyle's professional career in advancing astronomy, and his lasting contributions to astronomy.  Hoyle's many honours include the RAS Gold Medal (1968), the Bruce Medal (1970), the Royal Medal (1974) and the Crafoord Prize (1997).  He served as President of the Society 1971-73.


10.00 Registration

Morning session

Chair: Professor Andrew Fabian

10.30 Professor Lord Rees of Ludlow. Setting the scene

10.40 Professor Andrew Fabian FRS (IOA). Hoyle and Lyttleton: accretion physics

11.00 Professor Donald Lynden-Bell FRS (IOA). Historical overview of origin of the chemical elements and work by Eddington and Hoyle

11.15  Professor Malcolm Longair FRS (Cavendish). Hoyle and nucleosynthesis

11.35 Professor Leon Mestel FRS (DAMTP). Reflections on Fred

12.00 Professor Jayant Narlikar (IUCAA, India). Fred's theories and ideas about gravity

12.30 Professor John D Barrow FRS (DAMTP). Fred Hoyle and Cosmology

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

Afternoon Session

Chair: Professor John D Barrow

14.00 Nicola Hoyle. Personal reflections on my grandfather

14.15 Dr Cormac O'Raifearteigh (Waterford Inst Technology). Steady-state cosmologies in context

14.30 Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe (Univ Buckingham). Fred Hoyle and the foundation of astrobiology as a new discipline

15.00 Professor John Faulkner (UCSC). Fred Hoyle's Contributions to Stellar Structure and Evolution

15.30 Specialist Discussion concludes