John Caldecott Honoured
University of Kerala pays tribute to the Founder Director of Trivandrum Observatory, the late John Caldecott | By Yentha
On Apr 03, 2012


Trivandrum: University of Kerala conducted a meeting on April 2 to honour the memory of the late John Caldecott, Founder Director of Trivandrum Observatory, established in 1837 by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal.

Nick Caldecott, British actor and sixth generation descendent of John Caldecott was the Chief Guest at the function held in the University Senate Chamber.


Vice Chancellor Dr. A Jayakrishnan presenting the memento to Nick Caldecott


“I could not believe initially that one of my ancestors is being honoured and remembered in a faraway place like Kerala. Now I am proud of being John Caldecott’s descendent,” said Nick while addressing the gathering.

Vice Chancellor Dr. A Jayakrishnan said that everyone should take the responsibility to generate awareness among children about people who worked behind great scientific inventions. “Even though we use all the advanced technologies, we hardly remember the ones behind them,” he added.

Members of the Syndicate Dr. P S Sreekala and Dr. Jolly Jacob, Registrar Dr. K S Chandrashekhar, Head of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Dr. Achuth Sankar S Nair and Director in Charge of Observatory Dr. V Biju also spoke at the occasion.

John Caldecott, a Fellow of the Royal Society was invited by King Swathi Thirunal in 1834 to set up the Trivandrum Observatory opposite Kanakakunnu. Caldecott was the publisher of the first modern scientific paper from Kerala in the Madras Journal of Science and Literature. He was buried at the English Church, near the University Stadium in 1849.

The Trivandrum Observatory, which commenced its operations in 1837, is one of the oldest of its kind in modern India and functions today as part of the Department of Physics, University of Kerala. It owes its origin to the initiative and vision of Sri Swati Thirunal a keen student of Astronomy who used to discuss the different aspects of astronomy with John Caldecott.
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