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Sir Norman Lockyer, 1836–1920


No centenary can be mentioned more appropriately in NATURE than that of Sir Norman Lockyer, who founded this journal in 1869. Joseph Norman Lockyer was born at Rugby on May 17, 1836, so that the centenary of his birth falls on Sunday next. Throughout his career he worked with unceasing energy for the advancement of natural knowledge, and his spectroscopic researches, as well as his imaginative insight, place him in a high position among pioneers of modern science. The records of his contributions to astrophysics, and the recollection of the stimulating influence he exerted upon the progress of science for so many years, have increased in strength and value since his death on August 16, 1920; and they will command admiration so long as the pursuit of knowledge is regarded as worthy human endeavour. In the issue of NATURE of November 6, 1919, published to celebrate the jubilee of the foundation of this journal, Sir Norman Lockyer was the subject of an article in the series of “Scientific Worthies”, and Dr. Henri Deslandres then referred to him as “one of the great men of science of England and one of the greatest astronomers of all time”. How well he earned this high tribute of praise may be judged from the fine volume recording his “Life and Work” published in 1928.

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Sir Norman Lockyer, 1836–1920. Nature 137, 809 (1936).

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