Remarks preceding the award to Lev S. Gandin, by George V. Gruza (Institute for Global Climate and Ecology, Moscow, Russia)

Excerpts from (Murphy and Zwiers 1993):

"Dear colleagues and friends, eyewitnessing my problems with the English language, it is evident that only a very important reason could force me to brace myself and take the floor on this occasion.

Indeed, there is such a reason; namely, it is impossible not to say a few words about a remarkable scientist and person, present here, Lev S. Gandin.

All scientific activities of Lev Gandin up to 1981 were connected with the Main Geophysical Observatory in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg. His research began just after the Second World War and was related at that time to problems of the physics of the surface air layer and vertical turbulent exchange. Later, however, all of his fruitful activity was in the area of the study of meteorological data and meteorological processes with the use of statistical methods of interpretation. I think that his most significant and widely known results were obtained at the beginning of the 1960s in solving the problem of objective analysis (OA) of meteorological fields. It was a necessary step toward practical realization of numerical weather prediction. Gandin developed the theoretical basis of OA and practical methods of optimum interpolation and optimum differentiation. Large labors and time-consuming work were carried out on the investigation of the statistical structure and correlation functions of real meteorological fields.

Another important area of Gandin's work related to data quality control and the planning of observational networks.

It is also justifiable to mention his works on applied climatology-for instance, his work on the heat balance in buildings.

In addition, Lev published several very good handbooks and monographs for students, graduates, and postgraduates, he was an excellent lecturer, and he wrote some popular scientific books.

During this short talk it is impossible to enumerate everything. Most recently, in addition to quality control, Gandin has been working on the problem of determining the value of climatic information and meteorological forecasts.

It can be stated with confidence that if only a small portion of the royalties due to the use of Lev's ideas in the development of observational networks, data quality control, saving of heating fuel, etc., were at his disposal, he would be a very rich man!

Now a few personal impressions. Lev and I have lived in different cities and have worked in different research groups. At the beginning of my career, Lev was already a well-known scientist. Between you and me, when I sent my first paper to a meteorological journal it was Gandin who signed a critical review. At that time I imagined him as an old bearded person wearing a pince-nez. Sometime afterwards I was present at a conference and was surprised to learn that he was very young, very clever, and a very cheerful fellow! I have always liked his endless jokes and sharp remarks. (Unfortunately, not everybody was of the same opinion!)

During later years I have discovered for myself new dimensions of his personality. He was a very strong Ping-Pong, player as well as a leading chess player. He also played bridge skillfully, and at some time even tried to teach me but without any success (but of course that's only my fault). In addition to all that he plays the piano beautifully.

Many of the most respected scientists in Russia were and are among his friends. But power is not always in the hands of the best people. Because of their interference, Gandin always had the problem of an insufficient number of associates. He was always harassed and experienced difficulties. He had a lot of disciples, but very often they were somebody else's postgraduates. At present, in the Main Geophysical Observatory, Gandin's true colleagues and disciples experience hardships. A reevaluation of values is taking place (not the meteorological values that Lev investigates). But I also know that with the increased distance in space and time, the value of a researcher such as Lev Gandin with his Russian colleagues grows higher and higher.

Thank you all very much. I am pleased to have this opportunity to present this outstanding achievement award to Lev Gandin."


Murphy, A.H., and F.W. Zwiers, 1993: International Meetings on Statistical Climatology, meeting review. BAMS, 79, 1721-1727.