R. S. “Bas” Pease, former Director of UKAEA Culham for 20 years, died aged 81 on 17 October 2004 after a short illness. After obtaining a wartime Honours degree in Physics at Trinity College, Cambridge, he joined AERE Harwell in 1947, specialising in solid state physics and producing some of the classic work on radiation damage and neutron diffraction.

In 1955 he began his long career in fusion research and became leader of the ZETA Team, coming into the public eye in 1958 when worldwide coverage was given to the results obtained on this machine.

In 1964 he moved to the newly-built Culham Laboratory and became Director in 1968. He played a leading role in worldwide collaboration in fusion research, playing a key role in both bringing JET to Culham and in the early planning of the next international device INTOR – later to become ITER.

Following his retirement in 1987 he took on an active role in Pugwash, an international organisation of influential scholars and public figures concerned with nuclear disarmament.

Among his many awards and honours, he was President of the Institute of Physics from 1978-80 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1977 for “his distinguished contributions to the experimental study of behaviour or dense plasmas in strong magnetic fields with particular reference to nuclear fusion”. Former colleague Dr.M. Forrest recalls his “ebullient personality and an almost overpowering enthusiasm for the topics and projects he became involved in.” For his friend Dr. D. Palumbo, Bas Pease was quite simply “the British representative in the world of the Fusion Programme.”