|sketch of Bill McCrea drawn by Jonathan Hare in 1996|
Bill regularly attended the Astronomy Society lectures at Sussex, but I
also met him with
Harry Kroto and Gill Watson, who in the last few years of his life, used to
take him out
for lunch. I was starting to put together a series of audio archive
scientists being mainly concerned with finding out what started their
interest in science
as children. I asked Bill if I could interview him which he was happy to
do. This was the
start of over 20 hours of recordings with Bill, covering his life, works
These are in the Creative Science Centre archives.
Bill was very supportive of The Creative Science Centre and gave his time, considerable wisdom and help to the relativity project with Neill Jones. Bill was a wonderfully kind man and everyone who knew him will remember his genuine enthusiasm, courtesy and gentleness. Bill was also a link with the scientific giants of our past.
We all miss him very much.
|Bill McCrea, taken at the conference in Brioni Island, Croatia.
(photo: Gill Watson)
CLICK BELOW FOR EXTRACTS OF THE SOUND ARCHIVES:
Bill McCrea talking to Jonathan Hare about scientific research and the workings of the human mind.
(mp3 file appx 4Mb) Click on the Icon to listen.
One of Bill's scientific heros was Eddington. Click the Icon to hear Sir
William's comments about Eddington.
(mp3 file, 980kb)
VARIOUS QUOTES, COMMENTS AND MEMORIES
Harry Kroto told me the following story.
Someone once asked Bill McCrea to help him explain a technicality in a paper Bill had written in the 1950's. Apparently Bill went to his filing system brought out the paper, started to read it and said -
"I must have been good in those days, I don't understand it either !".
Danko Bosanic told me that :
We had lots of discussions, but you really need one brief remark that describes Bill. The first is not scientific and it is -
"THIS PLACE IS NOW ALIVE"
He remarked, when the decision was made to allow women into Athenaeum.
The other one -
"WHAT IS THE BLACK HOLE ?"
when discussing Einstein's approach to general relativity. He made it constantly when discussing the physical meaning of a Black Hole, rather than just the mathematical details.
See also 2002 Fall issue of Beamline (Vol. 32 No. 1):
See also the Astronomy Centre obituary:
List of archive recordings (CSC):
The early years
Light and Mind
Conversation between Danko Bosanac and Bill McCrea
Conversation between Neill Jones and Bill McCrea
+ general thoughts and views
Robert Smith gave the CSC a set of Bill's scientific papers and articles donated by Bills daughter.
THE CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE, JPH, 1999
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