David Block (Prof) – Astronomer, The Power of Vision
Professor David Block was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London at age of 19. His first research paper, on relativistic astrophysics, was published in London, by the Royal Astronomical Society, at age 20.
He serves as Director of the Cosmic Dust Laboratory at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he is Professor in the School of Computational and Applied Mathematics. He holds a Master of Science degree in relativistic astrophysics and a PhD specializing in the morphology of spiral galaxies.
Professor Block has been a visiting research scientist at the Australian National University, the European Southern Observatory in Germany, Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology and the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, amongst others.
Professor Block is the only scientist on the continent of Africa whose research work has *twice* been featured on the cover of the world's most prestigious scientific journal "NATURE'. In 2006, Professor Block received the University of the Witwatersrand's highest research accolade: the Vice-Chancellor's Research Award.
"Prof Block's presentation was the crescendo of our conference which attracted around 1200 attendees. His unique ability to help people understand how their potential is reflected in the stars is enlightening. The standing ovation he received was well deserved".
"David Block is to South Africa what Carl Sagan was to American astronomy – his pioneering discoveries are reshaping astronomical paradigms, and his imprint on human culture is a legacy to all South Africans as you build your future in the technological 21st century."