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Mother mourns science journalist son who grew up in Richmond
A distinguished science journalist who grew up in Richmond has died.
David Dickson, the founding director of the science news service for the developing world, SciDev.Net, died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 65.
The former pupil of King’s House School in Richmond set up SciDev.Net in 2001 to report on and analyse the role of science and technology in global development.
His vision and editorial leadership made the website the leading source in its field.
Mr Dickson retired last year when he was also honoured by his colleagues when he received the lifetime achievement award from the Association of British Science Writers.
Before founding SciDev.Net Mr Dickson worked as the Washington correspondent and later the news editor for Nature.
He also worked on Science, New Scientist and the Times Higher Education Supplement, specialising in reporting on science policy.
Mr Dickson started a career in journalism as a sub-editor following a degree in mathematics and physics at Cambridge University.
His 93-year-old mother, Rachel Dickson, who lives in Richmond said he leaves behind a son, daughter and former wife.
She said: “He was very bright and was great at his job. He was always bright but very unassuming.”
Mr Dickson was a long-standing supporter of the British Science Association, where he was an elected member since 2008 and was also part of the general section for the British Science Festival.
Imran Khan, chief executive of the British Science Association, said: “David’s death is extremely sad news for the science communication community, of which he has been a deeply respected member for many years.
“He has been a valued member of the association, playing an important role both on council, and in programming the British Science Festival.
“David will be remembered by the many who knew and worked with him at the association as a skilled communicator, passionate about science in the developing world, extremely generous with his time and effort, and as a well-liked, well-trusted friend.
“The success of SciDev.Net will be an ongoing testament to the time, energy and passion he put in to further the cause of science being a powerful force for good in the world.”
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