Astronomer Tõnu Viik won the Estonian Science Popularisation Life Achievement Award
Astronomer Tõnu Viik was awarded the Estonian Science Popularisation Life Achievement Award for his long-term work in systematically popularising science and technology. Viik is Tartu Observatory's counsellor, long-time researcher and previous director.
Tõnu Viik was described as a long-term prolific science populariser who will always stand up for science. His major contribution to astronomy is especially appreciated.
Viik, who has been working in astronomy for nearly 60 years, has been a top researcher as well as actively worked towards making the observatory known in both Estonia and abroad, and showing how knowledge about astronomy can help us better understand our life here on Earth.
The main focus of Viik's research has been the theoretical questions of radiation transfer in the atmospheres of stars and planets. His work of teaching young physicists and astronomers at the University of Tartu can be considered invaluable.
Viik has also contributed greatly into organizing Estonian research. Viik was the director of Tartu Observatory from 1985 to 1999. He was an active member of the Scientific Competence Council and the Estonian Science Foundation Council as well as represented Estonian astronomers in the International Astronomical Union. From 2008 to 2014, Viik was the president of Estonian Naturalists' Society, and starting from 2015, he is an honorary member of the society.
Estonian Science Popularisation Awards are handed out every year to recongnise outstanding science popularisers and encourage society to talk and write more about science. All the winners of this year's awards can be seen on the webpage of the Estonian Research Council.
The awards are funded by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. The ceremony is organised by the Estonian Research Council and Estonian Academy of Sciences.