Thursday, 1 April 2010

Bristol's Cabinet backs further recognition for Dirac

I'm really pleased to get support from Bristol City Council's Cabinet, following my question/suggestions to Cllr Simon Cook & Cllr Clare Campion-Smith about the city doing more to mark the work of Paul Dirac and at the same time promote science here (see their response below). The Cabinet and Council will now be exploring the possibility of: an annual Dirac science lecture as part of the Festival of Ideas; an innovation award named after Dirac; closer liaison with the University of Bristol; making contact with Graham Farmelo following his recent book on Dirac. All excellent ideas. I'll keep an eye on developments and will be following up my question/suggestions with further campaigning on the issue (have to get both local and general elections done and dusted first)!

Answer

Thank you for bringing this situation to our attention. We are aware that both Cotham School and Bishop Road School do have some form of recognition. In addition, Dirac appeared in “The Bristol Story”, the 2008 Great Reading Adventure book, and will be included in the new painting commissioned by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, 'Some more who have made Bristol famous' which will be unveiled in June. There will be a small book published alongside the unveiling of the painting, which will cover Dirac, and associated education and media activity which will also cover him.

However, we agree that it would be beneficial to use the achievements of Dirac to raise further the profile of science and innovation in Bristol. We will therefore explore the following possibilities:

1. An annual Dirac science lecture as part of the Festival of Ideas
2. An innovation award named after him
3. Closer liaison with the University of Bristol
4. Making contact with Graham Farmelo, who has written a recent book on Dirac. This was designated as one of the books of 2009 by The Economist and put forward for the Costa Book Prize. We will speak to him to seek further ideas as to how we could benefit in Bristol from Dirac's reputation.

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