Vladislav Babu?ka (1937 – 2021)
On Tuesday of the Holy Week, 30 March 2021, our colleague Vladislav Babu?ka passed away. Vladislav, born 12 April 1937, spent more than 50 years in the seismology department of the Institute of Geophysics. He was a leading personality highly recognized in both domestic and international community in the field of research of deep Earth structure, petrophysics and seismology. During his career he had accomplished extraordinary results in solving a wide range of scientific problems and has directly influenced corresponding research and shaped the present views on creation and development of the system of continental lithosphere and asthenosphere. His pioneering role in the study of seismic anisotropy, from laboratory experiments of elastic anisotropy of rock samples through seismic anisotropy of the Earth’s crustal and mantle structures on continental and global scales, is recognized world-wide. Along with his co-workers, he developed the concept of three-dimensional oriented elastic anisotropy of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle. In many published works he convincingly proved the principal role of seismic anisotropy in modelling geodynamic systems. Thanks to the efforts of Vladislav and his co-workers, this idea, although initially overlooked and considered by many a marginal and useless complication of the convenient concept of isotropic Earth, became one of the methodological pillars of the study of structure and dynamics of the Earth’s lithosphere. Vladislav was a highly visible personality also in the scientific diplomacy. As a top scientific and organizational authority who understood the need for multidisciplinary approach in Earth sciences, he served as Secretary of the UNESCO International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) in Paris in 1992-1998. At home he had served as the Chair of the Czech National Committee for Geology, and several terms as a member of the Scientific Board of the Institute of Geophysics and of the Institute of Geology. Vladislav was very friendly, always willing to help either by advice, or by deed. He knew how to enjoy life – from art through good food and wine. As a big admirer of France, he loved above all the good wine from Burgundy. Dear Vladislav, we will miss you a lot.
Jan ?íleny, Institute of Geophysics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechia