I’ve had the privilege of being in regular touch with Chandra Wickramasinghe this year. Daily emails and regular Skype and Zoom calls have become a wonderful (wonder-full) intellectual dialogue. I am amazed at his ability to stay inspirational and continue to contribute despite his ostracism from the field HE founded: Astrobiology.
There is simply no question that Chandra and Fred Hoyle were the fathers of Astrobiology. There is also no mention among “astrobiologists” of this role. No awards. No privileged papers. No lectures. Sir Fred got a statue, but you can’t trust those anymore.
This is a queer circumstance (unless you share the cynical nature of the Tusk). Astrobiology today is a timid creature, only brave enough to speculate, but never prove their proposition. If they were to do the right thing and acknowledge, re-address, and incorporate the work of H-W into their studies, they might have a productive field of inquiry.
But, as it is, astrobiologists remind me of an arrogant ball team that burn the game tapes of their sport’s greatest players, rather than reveal they suck at their sport and have been playing it poorly for decades.
These questions can be answered — and indeed the planet forewarned of the next pandemic — if Astrobiology were to embrace Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, rather than shun them. To do otherwise is a deadly form of willful ignorance.
In any case, Chandra has another admirer in California who has produced these profound interviews. Please have a taste of what the Tusk has been enjoying — in person.