Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has written to the ACT Place Names Committee requesting that a bridge over Sullivan’s Creek on Parkes Way be named after Australian nuclear physicist and founder of the ANU Research School of Physical Sciences, Sir Mark Oliphant.
Mr Stanhope said he had recently received the proposal to commemorate Sir Oliphant from ANU Vice Chancellor, Professor Ian Chubb AC.
“Individuals who have made a notable contribution to Canberra’s establishment and community life are under-represented in our city’s street and place names,” Mr Stanhope said. “I am grateful to Professor Chubb for his proposal to commemorate Sir Oliphant, which if agreed to will go some way to addressing this issue.
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One of the driving forces behind nuclear weapons (which he would later be highly critical of) Sir Mark spent 50 years living in Canberra (aside from a stint as the Governor of South Australia). This from wikipedia on his post-war life:
In 1950, Oliphant returned to Australia as first director of the Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the new Australian National University, where he initiated the design and construction of the world’s largest (500MJ) homopolar generator. This machine was used to power the large-scale railgun which was used as a scientific instrument. He established the Australian Academy of Science in 1954 and was its first president until 1956. After retiring from the university in 1967, Oliphant was invited to become state governor of South Australia, a position he held from 1971 to 1976. During this period he caused great concern to premier Don Dunstan when he strongly supported the decision of the governor-general, Sir John Kerr in the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. Oliphant was knighted in 1959 and was made a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) in 1977.
Late in life he watched his wife, Rosa, suffer before her death in 1987 and became an advocate for voluntary euthanasia.
On 14 July 2000, Oliphant died in Canberra, aged 98.