R.I.P. Richard Bower

I was shocked and saddened this weekend to hear of the death from cancer of Professor Richard Bower of Durham University. Richard was a leading light in the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) at Durham, though his research interests spanned observational and theoretical studies of galaxy and cluster formation as well as numerical studies. 

I heard the sad news via social media and there have many tributes to and personal reminiscences of Richard have been circulated from friends, colleagues and former students, including this lovely one by Josh Borrow. I’m sure there will be official obituaries in due course that do justice to Richards personality and achievements in teaching and research; I’ll add links when I see them.

If I can add a personal note, I only worked on one project with Richard, about thirty years ago while I was still at Queen Mary & Westfield College in London. Doing the project was tremendous fun – so much so that the paper we ended up writing bears little relation to what we thought it would be like when we started. We were both young then – I think Richard was about a year younger than me – and both had a tendency to fly off at tangents, but fortunately we were working with two responsible adults (Carlos Frenk and Simon White) who kept us in order. I think the paper we wrote is a nice one, but the real point is that the whole experience was so enjoyable that it was not only formative experience for me from an intellectual point of view but also left me with very fond memories. Whenever we met subsequently, which happened fairly frequently and conferences and on panels and the like, we always talked about what a great time that was. It’s hard to accept we’ll never have that conversation again.

I send heartfelt condolences to Richard’s family, friends and colleagues, both past and present, and in Durham and elsewhere. was an irrepressible and irreplaceable character who will be greatly missed by the entire cosmological community.

Rest in peace, Richard Bower.

One Response to “R.I.P. Richard Bower”

  1. I am very sorry to hear this. I loved his conversations about 13th century cosmology. A big loss for his family and for our community.

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