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A not-so-tired retiree

By Johan Pauw, Managing Director, SAEON
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During his term as SAEON's Chief Scientist, William was elected a foreign associate of the United States' National Academy of Sciences, an honour conferred on the world's best scientists by their peers

After four years of a post-retirement appointment as Chief Scientist of SAEON, we say goodbye to Emeritus Professor William J. Bond.

It was SAEON's great privilege to share four short years with William as Chief Scientist.

In that time his international status provided a substantial boost to SAEON's reputation merely by association and publication.

Immense legacy

We are also indebted to him for the numerous national initiatives and remarkable outputs that will remain part of his immense legacy in South Africa's environmental science history. Some of those are the science plans for the individual nodes; the node websites; our research reports, high-level scientific papers and talks; focused workshops with stakeholders; comment and advice on government’s and SAEON's documents, processes and thinking; excellent students; and the recent drought report compiled for the Department of Environmental Affairs.

His pleasure in reaching out to the public was obvious while he planned and executed an awareness campaign on the impact of rising carbon levels in the atmosphere by publishing the booklet and video, "Change is in the Air", which were launched at the Science Forum of South Africa in 2015.

We have experienced William as a humble and considerate person despite being an eminent scientist. He clearly demonstrated an ethos that all people are talented and make critical contributions in their own right.

This experience has been refreshing and highly motivational to SAEON staff, who regularly benefited from his insightful commentary and advice. We are looking forward to him continuing to pass his wisdom on to us - both formally and informally - but from now on at his leisure.


William with members of the SAEON Team

Successful ‘sabbatical’

On behalf of SAEON I wish him a successful 'sabbatical', knowing that post his formal employment he will continue to question, discover and contribute to ecological theory and human capacity for the benefit of all life on Earth, because, as he once said to me, "that is what defines me".

With our very best wishes, admiration and appreciation from all in SAEON: Cheers!

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