Last week here in the States, Google had a nice doodle honoring astronomer Maria Mitchell. Today, Google Australia salutes the 100th birthday of astronomer Wilbur Norman Christiansen, a pioneer in radio astronomy from Down Under.
As I wrote before, I love it when Google honors amazing people you never heard of, and gives us a change to learn a little bit more about them. W.N. “Chris” Christiansen had quite a career, check it out:
W. N. (‘Chris’) Christiansen was an innovative and influential radio astronomy pioneer. The hallmarks of his long and distinguished career in science and engineering, spanning almost five decades, were his inventiveness and his commitment to, and success with, large-scale projects. These projects were the outcome of his innovative skill as physicist and engineer. Paralleling this was his equal commitment to forging strong international links and friendships, leading to his election as Vice-President of the International Astronomical Union for the years 1964 to 1970, as President of the International Union of Radio Science, URSI, from 1978 to 1981, and subsequently as Honorary Life President in 1984, and as Foreign Secretary of the Australian Academy of Science from 1981 to 1985. Major subsequent developments in radio astronomy and wireless communications on the global scene stand as a legacy to Chris’s approach to his work and to the development of those who worked with him.
Tip of the radio dish to my Aussie-American friend Liz Argall for the link.