By: Rachel Galun and Onesmo K. ole-MoiYoi


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Thomas R. Odhiambo died of liver cancer in Nairobi, Kenya, on 26 May this year. His legacy lies not only in his work as an entomologist, but in the enduring achievements that stemmed from his promotion of scientific development across Africa.

Rachel Galun and Onesmo K. ole-MoiYoi pay tribute to Odhiambo, noting that since his student days in Makerere University in Uganda, he continually agonised over the status of science in Africa. Odhiambo believed that scientists such as himself could be instrumental in changing the scientific conditions across the continent.

To this end, he launched — together with Carl Djerassi in the United States — the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Endocrinology (later changed to Ecology), ICIPE, in Nairobi, Kenya. Today, ICIPE remains a centre of scientific excellence and training, a testament to Odhiambo's vision and dedication.

Link to full obituary in Nature

Reference: Nature 425, 142 (2003)