Senior Earthtrust Advisor

Sir Arthur C. Clarke 1918-2008
A remembrance: Our friend and supporter Sir Arthur C. Clarke passed away in 2008 at age 90. His support of ET was long-running and deep, and he personally funded several of our initiatives. The visionary inventor of geosynchronous communications satellites was prolific as an author, TV producer, and professional prognosticator. Fascinated by outer space, he was also drawn powerfully to the sea. His longtime status as the Senior member on Earthtrust's Advisory Board speaks volumes about his priorities - and Earthtrust's - as '2001' passed into history and the rest of the century looms.

 

We were privileged to share many of his goals and his good humor. He is greatly missed.

 

His last video message to the world can be seen here:


Biography

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation

On Earthtrust programs

Clarke's Laws


"Fishermen sometimes amuse themselves by spearing mantas and

letting the terrified beasts tow their boats - often for miles -

before they are exhausted. Why quite decent men will perpetrate

on sea creatures atrocities which they would instantly condemn if

inflicted upon land animals (has anyone ever harpooned a horse to

make it tow his car?) is a question not hard to answer. Fish live

in an alien element, and many of them have outlandish shapes;

therefore we feel none of the sympathy , none of the kinship, for

them which often links us to the creatures of the land. Few of us

ever overcome the reaction that classes anything strange as

automatically dangerous.

 

Let us hope that we will not always retain this primitive

behaviour, and will ultimately learn to base our judgments on

something more than mere appearance. For one day, when the

frontiers of space are down, we may meet creatures who are much

more hideous than the manta - and much more intelligent than Man."


ABOUT ARTHUR C. CLARKE :Born at Minehead, Somerset in 1917: educated at Huish's Grammar School, Taunton. Entered H.M. Exchequer & Audit Department in 1936, then served in the RAF. While running the prototype GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) radar, he developed the basic theory of Communications Satellites, and published it in 1945.

After demobilization, he took First Class Honours in Physics and Mathematics at King's College, London, which later elected him Fellow. From 1948 to 1950 he was Assistant Editor of Physics Abstracts at the Institution of Electrical Engineers. he was Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society 1946/7, 1950/3.

Since 1954 his interest in underwater exploration has taken him to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and the Indian Ocean, and he is now a director of the Colombo-based Underwater Safaris.

He has published more than seventy books and made many appearances on Radio and TV, most notably with Walter Cronkite on CBS during the Apollo missions. His 13-part "Mysterious World" and "Strange Powers" TV programmes have been seen worldwide.

He is a Council Member of the Society of Authors, A Vice-President of the H.G. Wells Society and a member of many other Scientific and Literary Organizations. His honours include several Doctorates in science and literature, a Franklin Institute Award, the UNESCO-Kalinga prize, and an Oscar Nomination for the Screenplay of 200l: A Space Odyssey. In 1987 he was invited to New Delhi to deliver the Nehru Memorial lecture, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He has also been Vikram Sarabhai Professor at the Physical Research Laboratories, Ahmedabad. In 1989 the astronauts' and cosmonauts' exclusive organization, the Association of Space Explorers, awarded him their Special Achievement medal at a ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

His recreations include observing the Equatorial skies with a 14" telescope, table-tennis (despite Post-Polio Syndrome) and playing with his Rhodesian Ridgeback and his six computers.

He has lived in Sri Lanka for the past 30 years, and in 1979 President Jayewardene appointed him Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, near Colombo, which is the location of the government-established Arthur Clarke Centre for Modern Technologies, specializing in communications and computers. he is also Chancellor of the International Space University, and Master of Richard Huish College, Taunton.

In 1989 H.M. the Queen awarded him a CBE for "services to British cultural interests in Sri Lanka." On returning to UK in 1992 for his 75th birthday celebrations, he was made the first Freeman of his home town, Minehead. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

(information from Random House Publishers)


"I now realise that it was my interest in astronautics that led me to the ocean. Both involve exploration, of course - but that's not the only reason. When the first skin-diving equipment started to appear in the late 1940s, I suddenly realized that here was a cheap and simple way of imitating one of the most magical aspects of spaceflight - weightessness."

Arthur C. Clarke's Laws

Clarke's First Law:

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

Clarke's Second Law:

"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."

Clarke's Third Law:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


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