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RAS President awarded new medal

Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2007 11:14
Published on Wednesday, 10 October 2007 00:00
Professor Michael Rowan-Robinson has been awarded the Hoyle Medal and Prize, which is presented for distinguished research in astrophysics, gravitational physics or cosmology.Congratulations!
This award follows the President's 65th birthday which was celebrated by a conference - and by the following stanzas penned by Professor Bernard Carr.

Professor Carr explains that ...' the first letters of the lines spell out the first line. However, it seemed odd to start the poem with “Greeting” (singular), so the S should be regarded as silent!  (The verses) also contains reference numbers to his books.'

Greetings to Michael – who’s now sixty five –
Retirement may loom but continue to thrive.
Entropically vibrant and mentally strong,    
Everyone knows that you’ll go on and on.    
Too bad I’m away for this special event.    
In Sydney a paper I have to present.
No need to panic – the difference in time
Gives me the chance to deliver a rhyme. 
This message reveals how your interests and fame
Ostensibly lie within your first name:
M is for magnitude, you’ve gone really deep;
I is for IRAS, through space it still sweeps; 1
C is for COBE and all it’s revealed; 2
H is for Hubble, the constant now sealed; 3
A is for asteroid 4599;
E’s for extinction….of dust a sure sign;  
L is for lambda, assuming it’s there
– you’ve raised some objections, it’s not very clear.
While your work up to now is already top rank,
Here’s to the future with projects like Planck
Or Scuba or Herschel or Spitzer or Swire.
Involved in these surveys, you cannot retire.
Sitting on laurels is no place for you.
New data abound and there’s still much to do.
Only nine numbers – too hard to assess 4
Without the President of the RAS.
Science, for sure, is so much in your debt.
In your papers are insights we cannot forget. 5
X-ray to radio all give a clue
The great cosmic landscape allow us to view. 6
Yet life is not founded on science alone.
Fulfilment can also be found in your home:
In poetry, politics, Mary and  Nicola,
Vast are your interests extracurricular. 7
Echoing Blair, you can never pretend
– on leaving high office – “that’s that, the end!”
1 Far Infrared Astronomy
2 Ripples in the Cosmos
3 The Cosmic Distance Scale
4 The Nine Numbers of the Cosmos
5 Cosmology
6 Cosmic Landscape 
7 Fire and Ice – The Nuclear Winter