Nature announced today the death of John Maddox at the weekend. John was the editor of Nature for two long stints and was largely responsible for making it one of the prime scientific journals in the world today. I well remember his editorials when i was a graduate student.
I remember more, though, his time on the BBC Radio 3 programme ;Scientifically Speaking. I don’t know if Radio 3 still has a scientific spot, but in my school days SS was a highlight for me. Unlike Radio 4′s Science Now it covered one subject per programme and it covered it in depth. I still remember Maddox speaking at length about QED as I lay listening to it on my parents’ bed.
John Maddox had a very distinctive voice, one that worked well on radio. I wish he had done more on radio, and maybe television as well, but then we would have lost his role in making Nature what it is today. I suspect I’ll be looking at his book What Remains to be Discoevered at the weekend.