Sussex University Memories – MAPS in 1989

I was at a meeting this afternoon doing some planning for a nice event coming up next month – of which more anon – when I was reminded of this photograph, taken one sunny day on the University of Sussex campus way back in 1989. It shows staff of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences which was MAPS, acronymically speaking, in those days; now it is MPS. The picture is taken from a very interesting website of the history of physics at Sussex.


I was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Astronomy Centre in those days. I wonder who can spot me in the picture?

15 Responses to “Sussex University Memories – MAPS in 1989”

  1. Phillip Helbig Says:

    At first I thought front row, fourth from the right, but now I’m rather sure that you are at the top right of the picture.

    Is the fourth from the right in the front row a rare bearded example of the Famous Writer?

    • telescoper Says:

      No, that’s not me. There is a famous writer just behind Roger Tayler.

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        Is Tayler (whom I never met, nor, presumably, seen a picture of) fifth from the left in the front row? In any case, that chap looks like a cross between Sjur Refsdal and Bengt Gustafsson.

        White T-shirt with something red on it, shades?

      • Bryn Jones Says:

        Yes, the fifth from the left in the front row is Roger Tayler. In contrast, I’ve never seen Sjur Refsdal or Bengt Gustafsson, although at the time the photograph was taken I was very familiar with Gustafsson’s work.

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        So you’re not the one with the red and white T-shirt and shades?

      • Phillip Helbig Says:

        Sjur Refsdal

      • Bryn Jones Says:

        Thanks. I think I’d seen a picture of Bengt Gustafsson somewhere before. My knowledge of UK astronomers is better because of RAS meetings.

  2. Adrian Burd Says:

    I was wondering if there were any photos like this from earlier? I seem to recall standing around in order to have one taken on at least one occasion, but memory might be playing tricks on me. Nice shades by the way! And is that a “famous writer” or “infamous writer”?

  3. telescoper Says:

    Incidentally, seated on the far left next to the porter is Sir William McCrea, who essentially created the Astronomy Centre at Sussex, in 1965. Bill passed away in 1999, at the age of 94.

    • Bryn Jones Says:

      I thought it was. I remember him as one of a few very distinguished figures who would sit in the front row at RAS meetings in the 1980s and 1990s.

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