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Fellows Directory

Bernard Fanaroff

Bernard Fanaroff

Dr Bernard Fanaroff FRS


Elected: 2019


Bernard Fanaroff was the director of the Square Kilometre Array South Africa and the MeerKAT radio telescope from its inception in 2003 until 2015. The project also established a large programme to develop young astronomers and engineers in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

He was originally a radio astronomer and co-author of the Fanaroff-Riley classification of radio galaxies and quasars. He was then successively a metal industry union organizer, Head of the Office for the Reconstruction and Development Programme and Deputy Director General in President Mandela’s Office of the President, and chaired the Integrated Justice System Board and the Inter-departmental committee on border control. He left government in 2000.

He has been awarded the Order of Mapungubwe, the Karl G Jansky Lectureship, Lifetime Achievement award of the National Research Foundation, Academy of Science of South Africa Science-for-Society Gold Medal, award for Science Diplomacy from the Minister for Science and Technology and the President’s Award of the SA Institute of Electrical Engineers. Manchester University inaugurated the Fanaroff Lecture series.

Professional positions

Special Advisor to the Managing Director, South African Radio Astronomy Observatory and Square Kilometre Array South Africa

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Astronomy
  • Other
    • Science policy
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