Monday, 1 July 2013

Tribute to Margherita Hack 1922 - 2013

I've been pretty busy lately, so I've only had a chance to write/draw about this now.
One of my heroes, Italian astrophysicist Margherita Hack, died yesterday. As you'll read in the news article linked, she was a plain-speaking, brilliant and incredibly principled woman, who loved life, science and sharing knowledge. She always swum against the current, not because it was cool, but because she campaigned for what she thought was right, and the current in Italy seems to inevitably flow the wrong way. I tried to come up with a form of fitting tribute, and - realising that Margherita never lost her sense of childlike enthusiasm and wonder - I decided to depict her (along with another wonderful astrophysicist who is sadly no longer with us) as a child. She's holding a telescope to symbolise, amongst other things, her role as first female director of an astronomical observatory in Italy, and the muddy tracksuit and shirt relate to her youth, when apparently she would regularly return home from school covered in mud, having had several adventures. 
"I'm only concerned with life, not with the afterlife. I don't mind at all if people don't remember me after I'm gone"
I'll always remember you, Margherita.
TF

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