Sir Patrick Moore, R.I.P.

I want to add my small voice to those paying tribute to Sir Patrick Moore, who died yesterday. I won’t speak about the amateur astronomer whose lunar maps were used by NASA in preparing for the moon landings. I haven’t gone looking for videos of his xylophone playing. I won’t comment on the allegations that he was a racist. Nor will I even make anything of the fact that he celebrated a particularly fine day of the year as his birthday.

I simply want to retell one story.

My father has been a member of the British Astronomical Association for all my life and longer. When I was a child, he took me to London one day to hear a lecture by Patrick Moore. It went above my head, but clearly inspired many adults and children who were present.

Afterwards, a long queue formed of people who wanted to ask Moore questions. I noticed how he took the children as seriously as the adults. Adults were not more important; they had to wait while he gave children’s questions his full attention.

It is an example more churches need to emulate.

2 comments

  1. It was one of Patrick Moore’s books that really awakened my interest in astronomy in the 1950s. And the TV programme “The Sky at Night” was a wonderful example of how technical information could be presented to the general audience without dumbing it down: it was only the choice of language that was changed for the audience – the content was always the same.
    In the Christian church we often have that difficulty of choice of language – it is all too easy to confuse the language with the message.

    Like

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