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Chandra Wickramasinghe

Chandra Wickramasinghe
Chandra Wickramasinghe at the University of Buckingham
Born Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe
(1939-01-20) 20 January 1939
Colombo, British Ceylon
Citizenship British
Fields Astrobiology
Institutions Cambridge University
University College Cardiff
University of Cardiff
University of Buckingham
Alma mater Royal College, Colombo
University of Ceylon (BSc)
Cambridge University (PhD, ScD)
Doctoral advisor Fred Hoyle
Known for cosmic dust
Notable awards Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge University (1963–1973)
Vidya Jyothi (1992)

Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe (born 20 January 1939) is a Sri Lankan-born British mathematician, astronomer[1] and astrobiologist. He is currently Visiting By-Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge, England 2015/16;[2] Professor and Director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham, a post he has held since 2011;[3] Affiliated Visiting Professor, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka;[4] and a Board Member and Research Director at the Institute for the Study of Panspermia and Astroeconomics, Ogaki-City, Gifu, Japan.[5] Chandra Wickramasinghe has written 24 books about astrophysics and related topics; he has made frequent appearances on radio, television and film, and he writes extensive online blogs and articles.

His research interests include the

  • Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology (BCAB)
  • Space and Eternal LifeReview of
  • A panspermic view of life Interview with N. Chandra Wickramasinghe
  • Star treatment for astronomer
  • Professor Wickramasinghe Bio
  • 'Life from space' expert loses funding
  • Professor Wickramasinghe's profile at the University of Buckingham
  • Debrett's People of TodayBiography in
  • Scintilla Issue 1(1997) ‘Speech’; ‘Monsoon’; ‘The Chase’; ‘Evening’
  • Interviews
  • Publication List Chandra Wickramasinghe@ Astrophysics Data System

External links

  1. ^ Chown, Marcus (9 April 2005). "The Scientific Legacy of Fred Hoyle". NewScientist. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Caulfield, Noelle. "Fellowship Secretary". Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill College, Cambridge. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  3. ^ BCAB. "The Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology (BCAB)". Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Senaratne, Atula. "Prof." (PDF). Abrecon 2015. University of Peradeniya. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Tokoro, Gensuke. "Professor". Institute for the Study of Panspermia and Astroeconomics. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Wickramasinghe, Chandra (2013). A Journey with Fred Hoyle. New York: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.  
  7. ^ Napier, W.M. (2007). "Pollination of exoplanets by nebulae". Int.J.Astrobiol 6 (3): 223–228.  
  8. ^ Line, M.A. (2007). "Panspermia in the context of the timing of the origin of life and microbial phylogeny". Int. J. Astrobiol. 3 6: 249–254.  
  9. ^ Wickramasinghe, D. T. & Allen, D. A. The 3.4-µm interstellar absorption feature. Nature 287, 518−519 (1980).
  10. ^ Allen, D. A. & Wickramasinghe, D. T. Diffuse interstellar absorption bands between 2.9 and 4.0 µm. Nature 294, 239−240 (1981).
  11. ^ Wickramasinghe, D. T. & Allen, D. A. Three components of 3–4 μm absorption bands. Astrophys. Space Sci. 97, 369−378 (1983).
  12. ^ "SARS—a clue to its origins?". The Lancet 361: 1832. May 2003.  
  13. ^ a b c Wickramasinghe, Chandra; Wallis, J.; Wallis, D.H.; Samaranayake, Anil (10 January 2013). "Fossil Diatoms in a New Carbonaceous Meteorite" (PDF).  
  14. ^ Wickramasinghe, C. (2010). "Bacterial morphologies supporting cometary panspermia: A reappraisal". International Journal of Astrobiology 10: 25–30.  
  15. ^ Lovgren, Stefan. National Geographic News. National Geographic Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Altimatrix Consulting". Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  17. ^ Connor, Steve (2011-03-01). "We're all aliens... how humans began life in outer space".  
  18. ^ Ikeda, Daisaku (1998). Space and Eternal Life: A Dialogue Between Chandra Wickramasinghe and Daisaku Ikeda. Journeyman Press.  
  19. ^ "Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe — University of Buckingham". Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  20. ^ "BBC News". UK National News Service. 7 September 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  21. ^ ISPA - About us.
  22. ^ "Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach". Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach. OMICS Publishing Group. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "This Week’s Citation Classic" (PDF). ISI Current Contents. 1986-06-02. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  24. ^ a b "Archive of key historical publications — University of Buckingham". 1980-04-03. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  25. ^ a b "Interstellar grains (Book, 1967)". [] . Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  26. ^ Nature, vol: 252, 462, 1974; and Nature,Vol 268, 610, 1977.
  27. ^ Wickramasinghe, D. T. & Allen, D. A. The 3.4-µm interstellar absorption feature. Nature 287, 518−519 (1980). Allen, D. A. & Wickramasinghe, D. T. Diffuse interstellar absorption bands between 2.9 and 4.0 µm. Nature 294, 239−240 (1981). Wickramasinghe, D. T. & Allen, D. A. Three components of 3–4 μm absorption bands. Astrophys. Space Sci. 97, 369−378 (1983).
  28. ^ Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe and John Watson (1986). Viruses from Space and Related Matters. University College Cardiff Press. 
  29. ^ a b Wickramasinghe, Chandra; Tokoro, Gensuke (June 27, 2014). "Life as a Cosmic Phenomenon: The Socio-Economic Control of a Scientific Paradigm". Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach 2 (2).  
  30. ^ Rauf, K; Wickramasinghe, C (2010). "Evidence for biodegradation products in the interstellar medium". Int.J.Astrobiol 9 (1): 29–34.  
  31. ^ Wickramasinghe, C. (2010). "The astrobiological case for our cosmic ancestry". International Journal of Astrobiology 9 (2): 119–129.  
  32. ^ Wickramasinghe, C. (2011). "Bacterial morphologies supporting cometary panspermia: a reappraisal". International Journal of Astrobiology 10 (1): 25–30.  
  33. ^ Secker, Jeff; Paul S. Wesson; James R. Lepock (26 Jul 1996). "Astrophysical and Biological Constraints on Radiopanspermia" (PDF). 90 (4): 184–92.  
  34. ^ a b Hoyle, Fred (1985). Living Comets. Cardiff: University College, Cardiff Press. 
  35. ^ a b Wickramasinghe, Chandra (June 2011). "Viva Panspermia". The Observatory. 
  36. ^ a b Wesson, P (2010). "Panspermia, Past and Present: Astrophysical and Biophysical Conditions for the Dissemination of Life in Space". Sp. Sci.Rev. 1-4 156: 239–252.  
  37. ^ a b Hoyle, Fred; Wickramasinghe, N.C. (1982). "Proofs that Life is Cosmic" (PDF). Mem. Inst. Fund. Studies Sri Lanka. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  38. ^ Hoyle, Fred; Wickramasinghe, C. (1986). "The case for life as a cosmic phenomenon". Nature 322: 509–511.  
  39. ^ a b Napier, W.M. (2004). "A mechanism for interstellar panspermia". Mon. Not.R. astr. Soc. 348: 46–51.  
  40. ^ Hoyle, Fred (1981). Evolution from Space. London: J.M. Dent & Sons. 
  41. ^ Hoyle, Fred (1981). Comets - a vehicle for panspermia. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co. p. 227. 
  42. ^ a b Wallis, M.K.; Wickramasinghe N.C. (2004). "Interstellar transfer of planetary microbiota". Mon. Not.R. astr. Soc. 348: 52–57.  
  43. ^ Hoyle, Fred (1979). Diseases from Space. London: J.M. Dent & Sons. 
  44. ^ Hoyle, Fred; Wickramasinghe, N.C (1990). "Influenza – evidence against contagion".  
  45. ^ Hoyle, Fred (2000). Astronomical Origins of Life: Steps towards Panspermia. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Press. 
  46. ^ Wickramasinghe, Chandra; Hoyle, Fred (1998). "Miller-Urey Synthesis in the Nuclei of Galaxies". Astrophys. Space Sci. 259: 99–103. 
  47. ^ Hoyle, Fred (1999). Astronomical Origins of Life; Steps Towards Panspermia. Kluwer Academic Press.  
  48. ^ Tepfer, David Tepfer (December 2008). "The origin of life, panspermia and a proposal to seed the Universe". Plant Science 175 (6): 756–760.  
  49. ^ "Exobiology and Radiation Assembly (ERA)".  
  50. ^ "BIOPAN Pan for exposure to space environment". Kayser Italia. 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  51. ^ De La Torre Noetzel, Rosa (2008). "Experiment lithopanspermia: Test of interplanetary transfer and re-entry process of epi- and endolithic microbial communities in the FOTON-M3 Mission". 37th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 13–20 July 2008 37: 660.  
  52. ^ "Life in Space for Life ion Earth - Biosatelite Foton M3". June 26, 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  53. ^ de Vera; J.P.P.; et al. (2010). "COSPAR 2010 Conference". Research Gate. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  54. ^ "LIFE Experiment". Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  55. ^ "Living interplanetary flight experiment: an experiment on survivability of microorganisms during interplanetary transfer" (PDF). Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  56. ^ "Projects: LIFE Experiment: Phobos".  
  57. ^ Zak, Anatoly (1 September 2008). "Mission Possible".  
  58. ^ Olsson-Francis, Karen; Cockell, Charles S. (2010). "Experimental methods for studying microbial survival in extraterrestrial environments". Journal of Microbiological Methods 80 (1): 1–13.  
  59. ^ Wickramasinghe, Chandra; Tokoro, Gensuke; Wainwright, Milton (2015). "The Transition from Earth-centred Biology to Cosmic Life". Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach 3 (1).  
  60. ^ Harris, Melanie J.; Wickramasinghe, N.C.; Lloyd, David; et al. Proc SPIE 4495: 192. 
  61. ^ Shivaji, S.; Chaturvedi, P.; Begum, Z.; et al. (2009). "Janibacter hoylei sp.nov., Bacillus isronensis sp.nov. and Bacillus aryabhattai sp.nov. isolated from cryotubes used for collecting air from the upper atmosphere". Int.J.Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 59: 2977–2986.  
  62. ^ Yang, Y., Yokobori, S., Kawaguchi, J., et al., 2005. Investigation of cultivable microorganisms in the stratosphere collected by using a balloon in 2005, JAXA Research Development Report, JAXA-RR-08-001, 35-42
  63. ^ Yang, Y.; Yokobori, S.; Yamagishi, A. (2009). "Assessing panspermia hypothesis by microorganisms collected in the high altitude atmosphere" (PDF). Biol. Sci. Space 23 (3): 151–163.  
  64. ^ Red rain in Kerala
  65. ^ a b Joseph Patrick Byrne (2008). Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues. ABC-CLIO. pp. 454–455.  
  66. ^ Wickramasinghe, C; Wainwright, M; Narlikar, J (May 24, 2003). "SARS—a clue to its origins?". Lancet 361 (9371): 1832.  
  67. ^ Willerslev, E; Hansen, AJ; Rønn, R; Nielsen, OJ (Aug 2, 2003). "Panspermia--true or false?". Lancet 362 (9381): 406; author reply 407–8.  
  68. ^ Bhargava, PM (Aug 2, 2003). "Panspermia--true or false?". Lancet 362 (9381): 407; author reply 407–8.  
  69. ^ Ponce de Leon, S; Lazcano, A (Aug 2, 2003). "Panspermia--true or false?". Lancet 362 (9381): 406–7; author reply 407–8.  
  70. ^ Segura, M.D., Gabriela (7 May 2011). "New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection". The Dot Connector Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  71. ^ Wickramasinghe, Chandra; Wallis, J.; Wallis, D.H.; Wallis, M.K.; Al-Mufti, S.; Wickramasinghe, J.T.; Samaranayake, Anil; Wickramarathne, K. (13 January 2013). "On the cometary origin of the Polonnaruwa meteorite" (PDF).  
  72. ^ Walter Jayawardhana (13 January 2013). "Polonnaruwa meteorite with evidence of life from outer space described the most important find in 500 years". LankaWeb. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  73. ^ Wickramasinghe, N.C.; Wallis, J.; Miyake, N.; Oldroyd, Anthony; Wallis, D.H.; Samaranayake, Anil; Wickramarathne, K.; Hoover, Richard B.; Wallis, M.K. (4 February 2013). "Authenticity of the life-bearing Polonnaruwa meteorite" (PDF).  
  74. ^ a b  
  75. ^ "Meteors from outer space made definitive land fall in Aralaganwila says Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe". Hiru News. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-30. When our news team contacted Professor of Geology Athula Senarathna of University of Peradeniya who carried out a research on the meteorite fall in Aralaganvila, said that there could not be any truth in Prof.Chandra Wickramasinghe claim. 
  76. ^ a b "Aralaganwila stones are not meteors; says Peradeniya University". Hiru News. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  77. ^ Wallis, Jamie; Miyake, Nori; Hoover, Richard B.; Oldroyd, Andrew; Wallis, Darryl H.; Samaranayake, Anil; Wickramasinghe, K.; Wallis, M.K.; Gibson, Carl H.; Wickramasinghe, N.C. (5 March 2013). "The Polonnaruwa Meteorite - Oxygen Isotope, Crystalline and Biological Composition" (PDF). Journal of Cosmology 22 (2). Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  78. ^ Wallis, Jamie; Miyake, Nori; Hoover, Richard B.; Oldroyd, Andrew; Wallis, Daryl H.; Samaranayake, Anil; Wickramarathne, K.; Wallis, M.K.; Gibson, Carl H.; Wickramasinghe, N. C. (5 March 2013). "The Polonnaruwa Meteorite : Oxygen Isotope, Crystalline and Biological Composition". Journal of Cosmology 22 (2). 
  79. ^ Creationism versus Darwinism. Published in Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, Michigan State University Press, 2003 ISBN 978-0870136757
  80. ^ Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe. Evolution from Space: A Theory of Cosmic Creationism, Touchstone, 1984 ISBN 0-671-49263-2
  81. ^ Wickramasinghe and Hoyle, Our Place in the Cosmos: The Unfinished Revolution, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1993 ISBN 978-0460860840
  82. ^ Fred Hoyle, Evolution From Space (The Omni Lecture) and Other Papers on the Origin of Life, (Enslow; Hillside, NJ; 1982 ISBN 978-0894900839
  83. ^ Figures don't Lie but Creationists Figure. By Alec Grynspan ( 9 November 1997)
  84. ^ Gangappa, Rajkumar; Wickramasinghe, Chandra; Wainwright, Milton; Kumar, A. Santhosh; Louis, Godfrey (29 Aug 2010). Hoover, Richard B; Levin, Gilbert V; Rozanov, Alexei Y; Davies, Paul C. W., eds. "Growth and replication of red rain cells at 121°C and their red fluorescence" (PDF). Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIII 7819: 18.  
  85. ^ a b Fred Hoyle; Chandra Wickramasinghe (1986). Archaeopteryx, the Primordial Bird: A Case of Fossil Forgery. Christopher Davies. p. 135.  
  86. ^ Fry, Iris, Emergence of Life on Earth: A Historical and Scientific Overview, Rutgers University Press, 2000 ISBN 978-0813527406
  87. ^ Phy-Olsen, Allene, Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design, Greenwood, 2010, pp 74-75 ISBN 978-0313378416
  88. ^  
  89. ^ "A Case of Fossil Forgery?". AskWhy. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  90. ^ "Light scattering functions for small particles, with applications in astronomy (Book, 1973)". [] . Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  91. ^ "Interstellar matter (Book, 1972)". [] . Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  92. ^ "The cosmic laboratory (Book, 1975)". [] . 1975-05-20. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  93. ^ "Diseases from space (Book, 1980)". [] . Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  94. ^ "The origin of life (Book, 1980)". [] . Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  95. ^ "Proofs that life is Cosmic (Book, 1982)". [] . Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  96. ^ a b Wickramasinghe, N. C. "Formaldehyde polymers in interstellar Space" (PDF). Cosmology Science Publishers. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  97. ^ F., Hoyle; N. C., Wickramasinghe (1977-08-18). "Polysaccharides and infrared spectra of galactic sources" (PDF). Nature (Nature Publishing Group) 268: 610–612.  
  98. ^ F., Hoyle; N. C., Wickramasinghe (1986-08-07). "The case for life as a cosmic phenomenon" (PDF). Nature (Nature Publishing Group) 322: 509–511.  
  99. ^ Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N. C. (April 1990). "Influenza-evidence against contagion: discussion paper". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (Royal Society of Medicine) 83 (4): 258–261.  


See also

  • Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, N.C., 1962. On graphite particles as interstellar grains, Mon.Not.Roy.Astr.Soc. 124, 417-433[23]
  • Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N.C. (1969). "Interstellar Grains". Nature 223: 450–462.  
  • Wickramasinghe, N.C., 1974. Formaldehyde polymers in interstellar space, Nature 252, 462-463[96]
  • Wickramasinghe, N.C.; Hoyle, F.; Brooks, J.; Shaw, G. (1977). "Prebiotic polymers and infrared spectra of galactic sources". Nature 269: 674–676.  
  • Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, N.C., 1977. Identification of the λ2,200A interstellar absorption feature, Nature 270, 323-324[96]
  • F., Hoyle; N. C., Wickramasinghe (1976-11-04). "Primitive grain clumps and organic compounds in carbonaceous chondrites" (PDF).  
  • Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, N.C., 1977. Polysaccharides and infrared spectra of galactic sources, Nature 268, 610-612[97]
  • Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N.C. (1979). "On the nature of interstellar grains". Astrophysics and Space Science 66: 77–90.  
  • Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N.C. (1979). "Biochemical chromophores and the interstellar extinction at ultraviolet wavelengths". Astrophysics and Space Science 65: 241–244.  
  • Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N.C.; Al-Mufti, S.; et al. (1982). "Infrared spectroscopy over the 2.9-3.9μm waveband in biochemistry and astronomy". Astrophysics and Space Science 83: 405–409.   Category:CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al.)
  • Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N.C.; Al-Mufti, S. (1982). "Organo-siliceous biomolecules and the infrared spectrum of the Trapezium nebula". Astrophysics and Space Science 86: 63–69.  
  • Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N.C. (1983). "Bacterial life in space". Nature 306: 420.  
  • Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, N.C., 1986. The case for life as a cosmic phenomenon, Nature 322, 509-511[98]
  • Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, N.C., 1990. Influenza – evidence against contagion, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 83. 258-261[99]
  • Napier, W.M.; Wickramasinghe, J.T; Wickramasinghe, N.C. (2007). "The origin of life in comets". International Journal of Astrobiology 6 (4): 321–323.  
  • Rauf, K.; Wickramasinghe, C. (2010). "Evidence for biodegradation products in the interstellar medium". International Journal of Astrobiology 9 (1): 29–34.  
  • Wickramasinghe, N. C. (2010). "The astrobiological case for our cosmic ancestry". International Journal of Astrobiology 9 (2): 119–129.  
  • Wickramasinghe, N.C.; Wallis, J.; Wallis, D.H.; Schild, R.E.; Gibson, C.H. (2012). "Life-bearing planets in the solar vicinity". Astrophysics and Space Science 341 (2): 295–9.  
  • Chandra Wickramasinghe, A Journey with Fred Hoyle: The Search for Cosmic Life, World Scientific Publishing, 2005, ISBN 981-238-912-1
  • Janaki Wickramasinghe, Chandra Wickramasinghe and William Napier, Comets and the Origin of Life, World Scientific Publishing, 2009, ISBN 981-256-635-X
  • Chandra Wickramasinghe and Daisaku Ikeda, Space and Eternal Life, Journeyman Press, 1998, ISBN 1-85172-060-X


  • Interstellar Grains (Chapman & Hall, London, 1967)[25]
  • Light Scattering Functions for Small Particles with Applications in Astronomy (Wiley, New York, 1973)[90]
  • Solid-State Astrophysics (ed. with D.J. Morgan) (D. Reidel, Boston, 1975)
  • Interstellar Matter (with F.D. Khan & P.G. Mezger) (Swiss Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1974)[91]
  • The Cosmic Laboratory (University College of Cardiff, 1975)[92]
  • Lifecloud: The Origin of Life in the Universe (with Fred Hoyle) (J.M. Dent, London, 1978)
  • Diseases from Space (with Fred Hoyle) (J.M. Dent, London, 1979)[93]
  • Origin of Life (with Fred Hoyle) (University College Cardiff Press, 1979)[94]
  • Space Travellers: The Bringers of Life (with Fred Hoyle) (University College Cardiff Press, 1981)
  • Evolution from Space (with Fred Hoyle) (J.M. Dent, London, 1981) ISBN 978-0-460-04535-3
  • Is Life an Astronomical Phenomenon? (University College Cardiff Press, 1982) ISBN 9780906449493
  • Why Neo-Darwinism Does Not Work (with Fred Hoyle) (University College Cardiff Press, 1982) ISBN 9780906449509
  • Proofs that Life is Cosmic (with Fred Hoyle) (Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka, Memoirs no.1, 1982)[95]
  • From Grains to Bacteria (with Fred Hoyle) (University College Cardiff Press, 1984) ISBN 9780906449646
  • Fundamental Studies and the Future of Science (ed.) (University College Cardiff Press, 1984) ISBN 9780906449578
  • Living Comets (with Fred Hoyle) (University College Cardiff Press, 1985) ISBN 9780906449790
  • Archaeopteryx, the Primordial Bird (with Fred Hoyle) (Christopher Davies, Swansea, 1986) ISBN 9780715406656
  • The Theory of Cosmic Grains (with Fred Hoyle) (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1991) ISBN 9780792311898
  • Life on Mars? The Case for a Cosmic Heritage (with Fred Hoyle) (Clinical Press, Bristol, 1997) ISBN 9781854570413
  • Astronomical Origins of Life: Steps towards Panspermia (with Fred Hoyle) (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2000) ISBN 9780792360810
  • Cosmic Dragons: Life and Death on Our Planet (Souvenir Press, London, 2001) ISBN 9780285636064
  • Fred Hoyle’s Universe (ed. with G. Burbidge and J. Narlikar) (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2003) ISBN 9781402014154
  • A Journey with Fred Hoyle (World Scientific, Singapore, 2005) ISBN 9789812565792
  • Comets and the Origin of Life (with J. Wickramasinghe and W. Napier) (World Scientific, Hackensack NJ, 2010) ISBN 9789812814005
  • A Journey with Fred Hoyle, Second Edition (World Scientific, Singapore, April 2013) ISBN 9789814436120
  • The search for our cosmic ancestry, World Scientific, New Jersey 2015, ISBN 978-981-461696-6.


Honours and awards

During the 1981 scientific [88][89]

Wickramasinghe attempts to present scientific evidence to support the notion of cosmic ancestry and "the possibility of high intelligence in the Universe and of many increasing levels of intelligence converging toward a God as an ideal limit."[86]

Wickramasinghe and his mentor Fred Hoyle have also used their data to argue in favor of cosmic ancestry,[79][80][81][82][83][84] and against the idea of life emerging from inanimate objects by evolution.[85]

Participation in the creation-evolution debate

Wickramasinghe and collaborators responded, using X-ray diffraction, oxygen isotope analysis, and scanning electron microscope observations, in a March 2013 paper asserting that the rocks they found were indeed meteorites,[77] instead of being created by lightning strikes on Earth as stated by scientists from the University of Peradeniya.[76][78]

[74] The rocks were subsequently sent to the University of Cardiff in Wales for analysis, where Chandra Wickramasinghe's team analyzed the object and claimed that they contained extraterrestrial

On December 29, 2012, several eyewitnesses saw a fireball[13][71] in Polonnaruwa Province, Sri Lanka at 18:30 on December 29, 2012. The green fireball was observed to disintegrate into fragments that fell to the earth near the villages of Aralaganwila and Dimbulagala and in a rice field near Dalukkane. The inferred northeast to southwest trajectory was determined from eyewitness observations and a distribution of stones recovered from a strewn field of >10 km. Police records indicate "reports of low level burn injuries from immediate contact with the fallen stones and subsequent reports of a strong aroma".[13] Witnesses reported that the newly fallen stones had a strong odour of tar. Local police officials immediately collected samples and submitted them to the Medical Research Institute of the Ministry of Health in Colombo.


On May 24, 2003 The Lancet published a letter from Wickramasinghe,[66] jointly signed by Milton Wainwright and Jayant Narlikar, in which they hypothesized that the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) could be extraterrestrial in origin instead of originating from chickens. The Lancet subsequently published three responses to this letter, showing that the hypothesis was not evidence-based, and casting doubts on the quality of the experiments referenced by Wickramasinghe in his letter.[67][68][69] A 2008 encyclopedia notes that "Like other claims linking terrestrial disease to extraterrestrial pathogens, this proposal was rejected by the greater research community.".[65] In a comprehensive review of the subject Gabriela Segura commented that[70] "the concept of astral bodies grazing the Earth's atmosphere or impacting Earth directly, depositing microbes and viruses on Earth which may combine with Earthly microbes producing new strains of viruses and contributing to evolution and diseases, is daunting to say the least."

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have advanced the argument that various outbreaks of illnesses on Earth are of extraterrestrial origins, including the 1918 flu pandemic and certain outbreaks of polio and mad cow disease. For the 1918 flu pandemic they hypothesized that cometary dust brought the virus to Earth simultaneously at multiple locations—a view almost universally dismissed by external experts on this pandemic.[65]

Extraterrestrial pathogens

In 2005 the ISRO group carried out a second stratospheric sampling experiment from 41 km altitude and reported the isolation of three new species of bacteria including one that they named Janibacter hoylei sp.nov. in honour of Fred Hoyle.[61] However, these facts do not prove that bacteria on Earth originated in the cosmic environment. Samplings of the stratosphere have also been carried out by Yang et al. (2005,[62] 2009[63]). During the experiment strains of highly radiation-resistant Deinococcus bacterium were detected at heights up to 35 km. Nevertheless, these authors have abstained from linking these discoveries to panspermia. Wickramasinghe was also involved in coordinating analyses of the red rain in Kerala in collaborations with Godfrey Louis.[64]

However, the experiment did not present evidence as to whether the findings are incoming microbes from space rather than microbes carried up to 41 km from the surface of the Earth. [60] On the 20 January 2001 the

An image of a clump of microorganisms from 41 km fluorescing on application of a carbocyanine dye (indicating viability) is shown in the left panel, and scanning electron microscope image of a similar clump is shown on the right panel.

Detection of living cells in the stratosphere

Although scientists in North America, Europe and Russia are now testing many aspects of panspermia,[48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58] Wickramasinghe stated that evidence on the existence of extraterrestrial life is overwhelming,[59] and that "The fact that this conclusion is not widely known or publicised is entirely a function of state control of scientific paradigms, of a kind reminiscent of the behaviour of totalitarian political regimes."[29]

Towards the end of their collaboration, Wickramasinghe and Hoyle hypothesized that abiogenesis occurred close to the Galactic Center before panspermia carried life throughout that galaxy,[46] and stated a belief that such a process could occur in many galaxies throughout the Universe.[47]

Throughout his career, Wickramasinghe, along with his collaborator Fred Hoyle, has advanced panspermia, the belief that life on Earth is, at least in part, of extraterrestrial origin.[29] The basic propositions[30][31][32] of the Hoyle–Wickramasinghe model of panspermia include the assumptions that dormant viruses and desiccated DNA and RNA can survive unprotected in space;[33] that small bodies such as asteroids and comets can protect the "seeds of life", including DNA and RNA,[34][35][36] living, fossilized, or dormant life, cellular[37][38] or non-cellular;[34][35][36][37][39][40][41][42] and that the collisions of asteroids, comets, and moons have the potential to spread these "seeds of life" throughout an individual star system and then onward to others.[39][42] The most contentious issue around the Hoyle–Wickramasinghe model of the panspermia hypothesis is the corollary of their first two propositions that viruses and bacteria continue to enter the Earth's atmosphere from space, and are hence responsible for many major epidemics throughout history.[43][44][45]

Hoyle–Wickramasinghe model of panspermia

My most significant astronomical contribution was to develop the theory of organic grains in comets and in the interstellar medium. This was done during the 1970s and 1980s, and it is now accepted by everyone almost without remembering its origins! I feel I also played a part in the birth of the science of astrobiology.

Chandra Wickramasinghe had the longest-running collaboration with Fred Hoyle. Their publications on books and papers[24] arguing for panspermia and a cosmic hypothesis of life are controversial and, in particular detail, essentially contra the scientific consensus in both astrophysics and biology. Summarizing his career, Wickramasinghe stated:

[28].macroevolution that included the claim that extraterrestrial life forms enter the Earth's atmosphere and were possibly responsible for epidemic outbreaks, new diseases, and genetic novelty that Hoyle and Wickramasinghe contended was necessary for panspermia Hoyle and Wickramasinghe further proposed a radical kind of [27] and followed this up with other Nature papers attempting to confirm the hypothesis.[26] He has made many contributions to this field, publishing over 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals, over 75 of which are in [25] in 1967.Interstellar Grains Wickramasinghe published the first definitive book on

In 1960 he commenced work in Cambridge on his PhD degree under the supervision of the late Sir Fred Hoyle, and published his first scientific paper "On Graphite Particles as Interstellar Grains” in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1962.[23] He was awarded a PhD degree in Mathematics in 1963 and was elected a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge in the same year. In the following year he was appointed a Staff Member of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. Here he continued to work on the nature of interstellar dust, publishing many papers in this field,[24] that led to a consideration of carbon-containing grains as well as the older silicate models.


He is a co-founder and Board member of the Institute for the Study of Panspermia and Astroeconomics, set up in Japan in 2014,[21] and the Editor-in-Chief of a publication they produce, the Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach.[22]

After fifteen years at University College Cardiff, Wickramasinghe took an equivalent position in the University of Cardiff, a post he held from 1990 until 2006.[20] After retirement in 2006, he incubated the Cardiff Center for Astrobiology as a special project reporting to the President of the University. In 2011 the project closed down, losing its funding in a series of UK educational cut backs. After this event Wickramasinghe was offered the opportunity to move to the University of Buckingham as Director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, University of Buckingham where he has been since 2011. He maintains his part-time position as a UK Professor at Cardiff University. In 2015 he was elected Visiting scholar, Churchill College, Cambridge, England 2015/16.[2]

Wickramasinghe studied at Royal College, Colombo, the University of Ceylon (where he graduated in 1960 with a BSc First Class Honours in mathematics), and at Trinity College and Jesus College, Cambridge, where he obtained his PhD and ScD degrees.[19] Following his education, Wickramasinghe was a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge from 1963 to 1973, until he became professor of applied mathematics and astronomy at University College Cardiff. Wickramasinghe was a consultant and advisor to the President of Sri Lanka from 1982 to 1984, and played a key role in founding the Institute of Fundamental Studies in Sri Lanka.

Education and career


  • Education and career 1
  • Research 2
    • Hoyle–Wickramasinghe model of panspermia 2.1
    • Detection of living cells in the stratosphere 2.2
    • Extraterrestrial pathogens 2.3
    • Polonnaruwa 2.4
  • Participation in the creation-evolution debate 3
  • Honours and awards 4
  • Books 5
  • 6 Articles
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

He has appeared on BBC Horizon, UK Channel 5 and the History Channel. He was featured on the 2013 Discovery Channel program "Red Rain".[16][17] He has a long association with Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Buddhist sect Soka Gakkai International, that led to the publication of a best-selling dialogue with him, first in Japanese and later in English, on the topic of Space and Eternal Life.[18]

In 2003, in a letter to lichen-forming alga spores present in the red rain in Kerala are of extraterrestrial origin,[13] and that pathogens such as the SARS virus arrived on Earth from deep space carried by asteroids and comets.[14][15] Wickramasinghe was subject to considerable attack in The Lancet letters in subsequent editions.


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