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Thread: Bad news - Jean Tate

  1. #1
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    Bad news - Jean Tate

    I just received word from his wife of the death of Jean Tate on November 6. Jean was a long-time presence on Cosmoquest and its predecessor, the Bad Astronomy Bulletin Board (IIRC originally posting as Nereid). Poorly expressed ideas often felt the clarity of his logic, and a wide variety of threads felt his range of knowledge.

    Jean was usually dedicated to as much privacy as one can preserve while being active in online fora and projects (to the point that many colleagues were unaware of his gender until now). This led to subterfuges such as being listed in NASA proposals as part of the Oxford astronomy department on the theory that it was the nominal home of Galaxy Zoo. Jean was one of the "supervolunteers" in Galaxy Zoo and particularly Radio Galaxy Zoo, effectively leading two major initiatives in RGZ. He did 1/3 of the work collecting public input and selecting targets to be observed in the Gems of the Galaxy Zoos Hubble program. Several of us hope to make sure that as much as possible of his research results from these programs are published in full. Even in his earlier interactions in Galaxy Zoo, he consistently pushed the science team to do our best work. He taught himself to use some of the software tools normally employed by professional astronomers, and was a full colleague in some of the Galaxy Zoo research projects.

    Jean was married for 27 years, and had family scattered in both hemispheres with whom he enjoyed fairly recent visits. Mentions in email over the years had made me aware that he had a protracted struggle with cancer, to the extent that someday his case may be eventually identifiable in medical research. He tracked his mental processes, knowing how to time research tasks in the chemotherapy cycle to use his best days for various kinds of thinking. Emails had gone unanswered long enough that I was beginning to worry, and the worst was eventually confirmed.

    To the memory of Jean Tate. Honored Member.

  2. #2
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    Oh, that is sad news. I liked many of his informative posts, and greatly enjoyed many of the threads we both participated in. He was very knowledgeable and his sense of humor was also often on display. I realized years ago that Jean Tate was Nereid, due to extreme similarity in subject knowledge and posting style, but never mentioned it even to him. It was clear he was tired of his experience as a moderator and apparently had even been threatened by some of the ATMers, so I didnít want to call attention to it.

    I will miss him.

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  3. #3
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    Sad news, indeed. I've updated Jean's user title accordingly.
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  4. #4
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    That is indeed sad. I had not realized that Nereid and Jean Tate were the same person, so it almost seems a double loss.
    Last edited by Grey; 2020-Nov-13 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Removed extra apostrophe.
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  5. #5
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    Very sad. My thoughts are with his family.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngc3314 View Post
    To the memory of Jean Tate. Honored Member.
    Hear, hear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    That is indeed sad. I had not realized that Nereid and Jean Tate we're the same person, so it almost seems a double loss.
    It is.
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  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    RIP Jean.

  8. #8
    Rip Jean Tate.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
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  9. #9
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    Oh wow, that's awful. Oddly, I thought Jean Tate was female. And I am really surprised to hear that he was also Nereid, who, oddly, I also thought was female. Nereid was a forum superstar, from my perspective. Very sorry to hear this news.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  10. #10
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    One of the first people I was able to communicate with here

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    That is indeed sad. I had not realized that Nereid and Jean Tate were the same person, so it almost seems a double loss.
    Yes, sad, and I also didn't realize they were the same person.

  12. #12
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    That is very sad news and a great loss in the anti-pseudoscience community. I will miss Nereid/JT very much.

    I had several PM conversations with Nereid, during which certain confidential information was cautiously exchanged, where we had to respect eachother's trust in not making disclosures.
    Via that experience, Nereid revealed to me, by way of demonstration, that he/she(?) was a very honourable and honest person and generated my deep respect for him/her(?).


    On a slightly lighter side, I was once accused of actually being Nereid by one of her main adversaries during the infamous witch-hunt to discover Nereid's true indentity. I felt honored, but immediately denied the accusation out of respect for Nereid's extensive skills/achievements/knowledge (and because it most certainly wasn't true).

    Nereid will remain in a place of honour in my memories, as one of the first posters to have been perma-banned from the EU website, merely for presenting mainstream science and declining an EU hosted formal debate with David Talbott.

    RIP - Jean Tate/Nereid - Much respect.

  13. #13
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    I think I knew they were the same person, and I don't know why. But I do know that I liked him quite a lot.
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  14. #14
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    I am very sad to hear of this passing. Nereid (and later Jean Tate) was a very positive influence in me, and also made the forum a better place all around.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  15. #15
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    With the loss of Jean Tate (and Neried, deirendopa) a very clever mind will be dearly missed. (s)he was someone to reckon with when physics nonsense was claimed. Most of my interactions were in the debunking of all things electric (universe, sun, comet), with never a bad word, something I cannot say I always managed.
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  16. #16
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    Very sad. I have a number of his posts bookmarked, both here and elsewhere.

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