Elected FRS 1959
Hermann Bondi was an applied mathematician of distinction who will be remembered by fellow scientists for his outstanding contributions to astronomy, cosmology and General Relativity, and particularly for his pioneering contributions to our understanding of gravitational waves, his foundational work on accretion, and as co–creator with Tommy Gold and Fred Hoyle of the steady state theory of cosmology. But Hermann had an equally important second career in scientific administration: advising the UK Government on the Thames Barrier, as Director General of the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO; now the European Space Agency (ESA)), as Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on Defence and then on Energy, as Chairman of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and finally as Master of Churchill College, Cambridge. He was knighted in 1973. He continued his research on gravitational radiation throughout his administrative career and published his 16th paper in the series on gravitational waves in 2004. Hermann will be remembered not only for his contributions to science and administration but also for his outstanding communication skills and as a charismatic, warm, and stimulating person.