Our man in Georgia South

Vladimir Papitashvili

It was nice to see my old colleague Vladimir Papitashvili interviewed in New Scientist last week. This native of Georgia is a space physicist with a string of affiliations that include the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen. Papitashvili was recently appointed head scientist at the Amundsen-Scott base at the geographic South Pole.

I know of Papitashvili as an expert in ionospheric physics. He has strong ties to Europe, but it was in Ann Arbor that we first met when I paid a visit in late 1999 to arrange a research fellowship following my postdoc years in Southampton.

Much to my regret now, I declined the job offer from Michigan. It’s a shame, as I would have liked to work with Papitashvili. The space science community contains many interesting characters, but few are as universally liked as Vladimir Papitashvili.