I’ve gotta be driftin’ along


[Posted  by Nigel’s family.  The additional texts mentioned by Nigel below will be added in the next few days.  Please check back for these updates. If, Gentle Reader, you have a particular memory of Nigel to share, please comment on this post.]

… as Pete Seeger sang, in ‘So Long, It’s Been Good To Know You.’ Cancer experts have given me a short time to live. We all have to die of something, and I’ve had a particularly exciting life, so I’m not at all worried about it. What’s more, after 60 years together, my wife Lizzie and I have recently celebrated our Diamond Wedding, with our wonderful family pictured above, and even received a personal message from Queen Elizabeth.

Until today, this blog has been largely idle since 2012, when Lizzie had a stroke and I became her full-time carer. Apart from dealing with comments and warding off spam, I’ve added nothing since a post in April 2012 about Henrik Svensmark’s paper on supernovae and life. By the way, Lizzie did explanatory diagrams for that post.

Then I started writing a book based on Henrik’s paper, to be called Supernova! But lack of time has prevented me from finishing it, even though Lizzie is now much better.

So I’m going to start a new part of the blog, Would-be Books, containing what parts of the book already written, chapter by chapter as new posts. The plural comes about because, when Supernova!was finished, I meant to write another book called The Physics of Love. Now I hope to add at least an outline of that book too. We’ll see, anyway. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, to all of you who have read and commented on my blog, and still visit it daily, let me offer a big Thank-you.

My family will take over as webmasters to deal with incoming comments, obituaries, etc.



22 Responses to I’ve gotta be driftin’ along

  1. […] I’ve gotta be driftin’ along […]

  2. Richard J says:

    Nigel Calder has passed away, but in the annuls of Earth and Planetary Science is destined for immortality for his uncompromising challenge to the politicised climate orthodoxy. His profound embrace of the spectrum of science was in the tradition of celebrated British amateurs of the last two centuries . Most recently I would consider the late Sir Patrick Moore, also an AGW climate sceptic, as a confederate of the same mould who also brought the wonders of science to life with so much infectious enthusism to so many people.

    I am humbled and honoured to have previously exchanged comments on a few threads with Nigel on his blog, and send my respects to his family.

    An obituary has been published today (link below) which someone has already put on Nigel’s Wiki bio page.


  3. Peter Hood says:

    I had wondered for a while and was about to check when the email arrived. Thank you so much for everything. I will miss you.

  4. alexjc38 says:

    Sad news – Nigel Calder was one of the greats, and will be missed.

  5. […] note was added to Nigel’s Calder’s Updates blog by his […]

  6. Corlyss Drinkard says:

    Mr. Calder’s writings had a great impact on me 45 years ago and inspired me to continue my layman’s interest in science and its handmaiden technologies. There’s no way to thank him for such a gift, but his influence is undimmed by either the passage of years or his passing on to his next exciting adventure, whatever it is.

  7. lapogus says:

    Sincere condolences to the family. I never met Nigel, and despite living for quite a few years in Stockbridge in the 90s, had no idea he lived just along the road from my partner’s family house (at No 46) until my mother-in-law mentioned his name a few years ago. Up to then I only knew of Nigel from his work on Horizon and his classic book, Einstein’s Universe. His programme inspired me to buy when I was 15. His ability to explain complex physics to a wider audience (without dumbing it down as is the norm now) was unparalleled. It was great to come across Nigel’s blog and his astute enthusiasm and support for Svensmark and Shaviv’s research in recent years. So long Nigel, and thanks for all the thinking.

  8. Frederick Davies says:

    The worlds of Science and Writing are sadder places with the passing of Mr Calder. He did more than most to enliven them, and he should be rightly remembered as one of the great science writers of the XX century just for that.
    Rest In Peace.


  9. alexjc38 says:

    On my bookshelf is a copy of his book “The Comet is Coming!”, about the reappearance of Halley’s Comet and published back in 1980. The book is informative, very lucid and enjoyable to read – like James Burke, Nigel Calder was one of the great popularisers of science, and made this subject, that might otherwise have seemed rather dry to some, come alive.

  10. charles nelson says:

    Dear Calder Family, I have been following Nigel work for thirty years or more and I know you all understand how widely he is admired and respected. Please give him best wishes from another anonymous ‘fan’ on the far side of the world. Best wishes to you all. Charlie Nelson.

  11. omnologos says:

    Arrivederci Nigel!!

  12. G. Watkins says:

    I’d like to add my condolences for the passing of a true scientist and gentleman. I have several of his books from which I learned so much.

  13. I am deeply sorry to hear about the death of Nigel. His voice will be missed in the climate debate – and in many other places.

  14. Philip Neal says:

    I was so sad to see this, though I only knew him from his books and the television documentaries.I am looking forward to the Would-be books. May he rest in peace.

  15. Richard Bartlett says:

    Love to you all.


  16. Sherry Moore says:

    I am very sorry to hear of Nigel’s passing. He was a brilliant man and this is a great loss to Science. I do hope that the family will post the parts of Supernovae which he recently described.

    He will be sorely missed.

  17. So sorry we never met. One of my climate sceptic heroes from:

    The great global warming swindle – Full version

  18. Orson Olson says:

    I’m another man, tutored in my youth by Nigel’s memorable erudition and incisiveness. The www re-united us, and sent me seeking out his newer books.

    As a teenager in the 1970s, he helped inspire the founding of the (eventually renamed) Minnesota Astronomical Society. http://oldsite.mnastro.org/about/history.htm

    While only one of us actually became an astrophysicist (who’s still educating amateurs, I must add), many of us entered technical and scientific fields like information science, materials sciences, biometry and environmental science.

    I think of Nigel as the model science writer. To my mind, only Timothy Ferris competes for his style, catholic interests, and depth. But Nigel exceded him in breathtaking activity.

    He will be much missed and my admiration for his achievements rises

  19. Heber Rizzo says:

    A great man. He will be remembered and missed. Mi sentido pésame a todos sus familiares.

  20. Henk Kraa says:

    I am a great admirer and read his books, dating back from the seventies until recent, over and over again. Sorry to react this late, I only heard from his passing late night. My condolences to the family.

  21. Lawrence13 says:

    I found it hard to come back here when I heard Nigel had passed away , as I’m a sentimental bugger nowadays . I only knew Nigel through his books which I still have, Yes eventually we all have to face this day but its still so sad the passing of time , youth, vibrancy and vitality.

    Goodbye Nigel and my late condolences to your wife and family.

  22. Mervyn says:

    I especially admire Nigel for his bravery in appearing in The Great Global Warming Swindle. A great man and a sad loss.

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