Oxford physicist dies, lecturer under arrest

Oxford physicist dies, lecturer under arrest

LONDON - Reuters
Oxford physicist dies, lecturer under arrest

Scientist and Oxford Professor Steven Rawlings was found death on Jan 11.

An Oxford lecturer was being questioned by police on Jan. 13 on suspicion of murdering a prominent astrophysics professor from the venerable university.

Police said the body of Professor Steven Rawlings, 50, was found on the night of Jan. 11 night at the home of Dr Devinder Sivia, 49, after a neighbour reported an incident.

Sivia, a lecturer in mathematics for the sciences, was arrested the same night. An autopsy conducted on Rawlings’ body on Thursday was inconclusive, Thames Valley Police said in a statement.

A police spokeswoman declined to comment on British newspaper reports that the two scientists had been friends for many years.

“The college is shocked and distressed by this tragic event,” said Sir Michael Scholar, president of Saint John’s College, where Sivia lectures.

Rawlings was based at another of the university’s 38 colleges, Saint Peter’s. He lectured on vector calculus to first-year undergraduates and had been head of Oxford’s astrophysics department from 2006 to 2010.

“He was a much liked and admired tutor and colleague within the college and will be greatly missed,” said Mark Damazer, master of Saint Peter’s, in a statement.

Rawlings was one of the lead scientists in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), an international project to create the world’s largest radio telescope.

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