Professor David Block was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London at age of 19.
His first research paper, on relativistic astrophysics, was published in London, by the Royal Astronomical Society, at age 20.
Professor Block has been a visiting research scientist at the Australian National University (ANU),
the European Southern Observatory in Germany,the California Institute of Technology, and Harvard University, amongst others.
David Block serves as a Professor in the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics
at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Professor Block’s received the NSTF-BHP Billiton Award recognizing him as one of South Africa’s foremost Communicators in Science.
Professor Block is the only scientist on the continent of Africa whose research work has twice been featured on the cover of ‘Nature’.
In 2006, Professor Block received the University of the Witwatersrand's highest research accolade:
the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award.
Professor Block accompanied the world's most famous living scientist,
Stephen Hawking, to meet former President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg.
The 60th birthday of David Block was celebrated by holding an international conference in the Seychelles,
organized by one of Australia’s greatest scientists, Professor K.C. Freeman.
Scientists flew in to the Seychelles from around the globe for his 60th birthday – from Harvard University to the Far East.
A book celebrating the career of Professor Block has been published by Springer in New York -
In May 2017, Professor Block was privileged to be allowed to hold the original manuscript of
‘De revolutionibus orbium coelestium’
by Nicolas Copernicus.
This is the book (1543) which changed the world of astronomy, forever.
Professor Block is married to Elizabeth, a lecturer in Geography at the University of Johannesburg.
They have three sons: Aaron (born in 1991)and twin boys Nathanael Khethile & Tevye Nkwenkewzi, born in 1998.
(Their Xhosa names were given to them by Nelson Mandela, after a visit to him shortly before their birth).
David Block is one of South Africa’s greatest jewels, an ambassador for astronomy”
pens the former President of the American Astronomical Society, Debra Elmegreen.
This is how world-renowned US astronomer John Kormendy describes the career of Professor Block:
“David Block is to South Africa what Carl Sagan was to American astronomy
– his pioneering discoveries are reshaping astronomical paradigms, and his imprint on human culture is a legacy to all South Africans
as you build your future in the technological 21st century.”