Sad news: Nigel Calder, 1931-2014

Posted: June 27, 2014 by tchannon in Uncategorized

Nigel Calder

Nigel Calder, 1931-2014

Date: 27/06/14
The Global Warming Policy Foundation
The science writer Nigel Calder has died, aged 82, after a short illness.

[update] Jo Calder has left a comment and provides a link to a lovely family post on Nigel’s blog

I’ve gotta be driftin’ along


His blog

Calder’s Updates

Nigel Calder takes the pulse of science, as the author of Magic Universe and Einstein’s Universe. He checks predictions of the past half-century, to see how they worked out. And his hand is on the brow of frenzied climatology, as a co-author of The Chilling Stars: A Cosmic View of Climate Change.

The last post was

A stellar revision of the story of life

Climate Change: News and Comments and The Svensmark Hypothesis

Svensmark’s Cosmic Jackpot

Nigel did get to see.

When you look up some dark night he will twinkle back.

Posted by Tim

  1. tallbloke says:

    Sad news indeed.

    RIP Nigel.

  2. colliemum says:

    That is so very sad.
    I liked reading his stuff.
    Can’t believe he was 82 already.
    What a loss!

  3. Steve C says:

    Very sorry to hear this news. I regarded him as one of my teachers, having read anything with his name on it for forty-odd years. Farewell, Nigel, we shall miss you.

  4. Konrad says:

    This is sad news indeed. I have a copy of “the chilling stars”, the first book on climate I ever bought. Nigel Calder was an excellent science writer, and I followed his updates on the Cloud experiment.

    Nigel Calder was one of the happy few with us on St. Crispins day.

  5. nzrobin says:

    Very sad. What a wonderful contribution to science and humanity. One of the Great Scientists. Rest in Peace Nigel, and may your writings live on …

  6. vukcevic says:

    Great loss, irreplaceable when he was needed the most.

  7. kim2ooo says:

    My prayers for him and his family.

  8. calderup says:

    Thank you all for your kind comments. Nigel isn’t quite done yet. See for more information.
    — Jo Calder

  9. Elftone says:

    Very sad. R.I.P., Mr. Calder.

  10. tchannon says:

    Jo Calder, Nigel was hugely liked.

    I’ve updated the post with your link.
    (Tim, article poster)

  11. Very, very sad news. He will be missed.

    My heart goes out to his family, his closest friends and colleagues.

    Nigel’s wit and wisdom will live on in all of them and all those who appreciated his work.

  12. John Andrews says:

    Sorry to hear this news. We will miss his words.

  13. Bart says:

    Sorry to hear. Einstein’s Universe was my first introduction to the weirdness of Relativity. His contributions to the climate debate are well appreciated.

  14. Sparks says:

    Rest in peace Nigel.. Sad 😦

  15. Andrew McRae says:

    Well he taught me one thing before he departed. When different information sources conflict it is better for Science to refrain from judgement instead of picking a favourite.

    No matter how many times it happens it is difficult to take a death easily in your stride. It’s sad that this has to happen. He is all the greater for putting a brave face on it.

  16. ren says:

    Intuited the role of cosmic rays. He knew that the heliosphere does not fully protect against strong bundles from space.
    Respect for his memory.
    They die real scientists, as Jaworowski.

  17. Stephen Richards says:

    I have a BBC book which I bought in 1974 authored By Nigel and called “The Weather Machine and the Threat of Ice”.

    It was from a BBC program which was promoting the forth coming ice age.

  18. tallbloke says:

    Obituary in the Independent.


    During the 1990s much of his work was for the European Space Agency. It was during this decade that Calder became embroiled in climate debate. In The Manic Sun: Weather Theories Confounded, he reported the controversial work of the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark, who claims that climate responds principally to cloud cover, which he contends is governed by fluctuations in high-energy particles from space known as cosmic rays.

    Calder was predisposed to tell such a story because he had seen how, in the case of Wegener and continental drift, one man, despite being right, had been frozen out by the scientific community. He wrote: “When Nazi scientists showed their solidarity against the Jewish doctrine of relativity, in a book called A Hundred Against Einstein, the hairy fellow growled that one would be enough. He meant that adverse evidence from Nature produced by a solitary researcher could destroy theories that no amount of ranting could touch.”

    Well done Marcus Chown for including that.

  19. Jo Calder (and Nigel): What an excellent way to use a blog on, or close to, departure. Another aspect of the inspiration and originality of your father. You’re in our thoughts.

  20. Tallbloke quoting the Indie:

    became embroiled in climate debate

    I was struck by the verb. Stripped of the niceties it means it cost Nigel Calder to get involved, even if it simply meant speaking the truth as he perceived it. May his example of courage resonate with and strengthen the sinews of some key readers.

  21. Gail Combs says:

    OH NO! This is very sad and a great loss to science education. My heart goes out to his family.

    I hope that like John Daley, his website lives on so his wisdom is available to the young.

  22. […] Sad news: Nigel Calder, 1931-2014, Tallbloke’s talkshop, 27 June 2014 […]

  23. JoNova says:

    I am really sorry to hear this news. It is a sad day indeed. Calder is one of the best science communicators there has ever been and we need him more than ever. I shall miss him.

    The best thing we can do for him is to make sure his insights are not lost. A whole generation of up and coming science communicators could still learn so much from his work.

  24. Orson Olson says:

    Nigel has been in my thoughts each spring these past three years – ever since his blog went almost inactive.

    In my youth, Nigel’s writing and books kept my mind alive and science-focused and filled with provocation. He inspired me to reach and learn. In my oen middle age, the elderly Nigel was no different to me.

    He was a voice of reason and reasonableness, afflicted with what he called Protestant drive to work, and thus made him seemingly indefatigable.

    I admired the man from across the pond in so many ways. I shall long be guided by his example, I hope. We ought to all hope much the same for ourselves – and are fortunate if our wishes are granted. Thank you.