I am very sorry to report that our colleague Pat Thaddeus passed away this morning.
Pat was a highly influential teacher and astronomer for over 50 years, including the past 30 at the CfA. His interests were extremely broad, including pioneering work on the cosmic microwave background radiation, planetary atmospheres, and large-scale studies of star formation and galactic structure. He was one of the founders of the now flourishing field of astrochemistry. His elegant laboratory spectroscopy provided ironclad identifications of many new molecules of astronomical interest, and his observational program was responsible for the discovery of more than one-quarter of the 150 molecules known to exist in space.
Pat was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Physical Society. His many honors include the Herschel Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society, the Sir Harold Thompson Memorial Award, and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Chicago.
A fuller account of Pat’s life and work will appear shortly in the New York Times and a memorial service will be organized at a later date.
With best regards,