Tribute to lost colleagues

Remembering our Colleagues Lost During the Pandemic

During the upcoming Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference from 24-27 May 2021, the IAU community would like to pay a tribute to our friends and colleagues lost to the pandemic.

The pandemic took and is still taking too much from our lives and its consequences will impact our communities for years to come. One of the direct and most tragic consequence is represented by the lives lost too soon and unexpectedly taken from us.

We would like to remember our extended astronomy family of professional and amateur astronomers, science communicators, educators, outreach professionals and the numerous inspiring people who have deeply impacted our communities, shared the joys of astronomy and tragically are no longer with us.

The Scientific Organizing Committee of the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference asks all CAP participants and also IAU members to send us the names of our friends and colleagues lost too soon due to the pandemic. Please fill in the form with the name, country and a few words of tribute to our colleagues and we will publish them. We ask all those who will submit names to take into account any requests from the family for privacy.

A one minute silence will be observed on the final day of the conference May 27.

Tributes received

Corrado Lamberti, Italy
Corrado Lamberti is a school teacher and a real educator. Tools for life: how to learn, to observe, to doubt. He has a humble, sweet smile and he is one of the most appreciate science communicator of the last 50 years. He loves his Como Lake, freedom and justice.
By Stefano Sandrelli

Your passion and love for heavens are still alive
By Fabrizio Migliorini

F. R. Sarker, Bangladesh
Mr. Sarkar was pioneer in making amateur astronomy take foot in Bangladesh since 1984. He was the founding general secretary of Bangladesh Astronomical Society. He had been active in APRSAF and arranged workshops on astronomy education in Bangladesh with the help of UNESCO and JAXA. He remained committed to astronomy till his last days. He passed away due to a cardiac arrest at the age of 84 last February 2021.
By Farseem Mohammedy

Ivan Busso, Italy
Ivan Basso died the 2021 new year’s day due to Covid19 complications, leaving a loved wife and a baby daughter. Few days before he lost, for the the same cause, both his parents. He was well known by two amateurs communities: he was one the the last falconers in Italy and an appassionate astrophotographer
By Mauro Ghiri

Jean-Luc Dighaye, Belgium
Jean-Luc Dighaye was a very active leader in the astronomy community in Europe. He founded EurAstro in 1998 and was President until his death. He was active in many other programs, both regional and international, including the IAU and IOTA. He was lost to COVID on April 18, 2020.
By Mike Simmons

Nchimunya Mwiinga, Zambia
Born 26th December 1974 in Monze town, Southern Province of Zambia, Nchimunya Mwiinga grew up to become one among science heroes in Zambia. Nchimunya Mwiinga answered the call of the Lord on 7th February 2021 when he succumbed to a short illness in Lusaka, Zambia. We take recognition of the many contributions that Mr. Nchimunya Mwiinga made to the development of science, astronomy and space physics in Zambia in particular and the entire Southern African region in general. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
By Prospery C. Simpemba

Rathnasree Nandivada, India
Dr N. Rathnasree (Rathna), former Director of the Nehru Planetarium Delhi, had a tremendous enthusism for astronomy and for life. I had the honour to meet her when I visited Nehru Planetarium a few years ago. She insprired so many young students. Her loss is felt deeply, not just in India, but across the whole world. May she rest in peace, a star shining brightly in the firmament.
By Helen Mason

Rathnasree Nandivada was the Director of the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi. She was an exemplary communicator who came up with myriad creative ways of engaging students in hands-on astronomy experiments. She was a pioneer in using the planetarium dome for research. She was the force behind using the historic stone masonry observatories, Jantar Mantar, for student projects.
By Niruj Ramanujam

We have lost a gem of a persona to Covid-19, The Director Delhi Planetarium, Dr. N. Rathnasree. A tremor has struck the field of amateur astronomy. She made the walls of Jantar Mantar come alive by her efforts. The person searching for stars has become a star herself. We had planned a lot for the coming days but the Creator Lord Almighty wanted you in the gardens of Heaven. Will always miss the association with you Ma’am. A true motherly figure for me at the personal level. A treasure of life, lost forever……
By Amritanshu Vajpayee

Dr. Rathnashree was Director of Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi for many years. She was an indefatigable force in public education in astronomy, especially her favorite area of the history of astronomy in India and its many sites. She was lost to COVID on Sunday, May 9, 2021.
By Mike Simmons

A tribute to the late Dr. Rathnasree nandivada mam. Who was an astrophysicist and also director at Nehru planetarium. She expired in this pandemic due to the Covid-19 virus. let’s celebrate her work and move in her footsteps.
By Begari Teja

Seung Soo Hong, Republic of Korea
Yes, You will be a part of next generation of galaxy, star, or planet. Your spirit will teach the next generation why humanity should work together.
By Seo-Gu Lee