On Monday, July 14, 2008, Pavel Machonin passed away in Prague at 81 years of age.
Pavel Machonin, Associate Professor and one of the most prominent Czech sociologists ever, was one of the founding fathers in sociology who in the 1960s succeeded in re-establishing Czech sociology and helped the Czech social sciences re-gain a solid reputation within Europe. He led a number of important research studies, but during the normalization period he was prohibited from working in science. He immediately returned to intensive research work after 1989, focusing particularly on the study of social inequalities, elites, and social cohesion, and on comparative studies of the transformation processes in post-communist countries. He was a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, where he was a leading personality of the Department of Social Structure Studies. After retirement he continued to work with the Institute of Sociology, and throughout he guided the next generation of scientists in their work, while simultaneously serving as an inspiration to them, for his intellect and the breadth of his sociological knowledge.
Pavel Machonin was a recognized scholar around the world. He took part in many international congresses and published several books and dozens of articles. He was a brilliant organizer of research work and a tireless and diligent man with a remarkable sense of scientific responsibility and human rectitude. He received several awards from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and from the Foundation “Nadání Josefa, Marie a Zdeňky Hlávkových”.
The Czech sociological community has lost a figure of outstanding scientific and human qualities, and those close to him a noble and reliable partner, friend, colleague, and teacher.