People in the News: Rieder Retires

Journal Editor Retires: Professor Milan Rieder

Prof. Milan Rieder

For those of us who have sat in rooms where a society council or a governing body meets, there are many heroes, people who take the time to ensure that societies can function. Societies’ have to organise or administer journals, books, conferences, membership, awards, student grants, outreach, and more.

Sometimes, the work of the most committed is sometimes overlooked, or at least understated. Journal editors, in general, are incredibly hard-working. Journal publishing is an unrelenting source of things to do! Manuscripts are always being submitted, reviewed, revised, edited, prepared, typeset, proofed, published, and promoted. Behind the scenes, the editor might have two or three issues in various stages of preparation, dozens of manuscripts at various stages of submission and, oh yes, a day job to do also. Professor Milan Rieder is one of those tireless heroes of the publishing world. Since 1977, Milan has been Editor of Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, published by Springer Nature, and now, in 2021, he has finally decided to retire.

Milan Rieder was born in 1940, did his undergraduate studies 1957–1965 at Charles University (Czech Republic), his graduate studies 1965–1968 at Johns Hopkins University (Maryland, USA), became a candidate for Doctorate of Sciences in crystallography at Leningrad State University (USSR) between 1987 and 1989, and was named a full Professor of Mineralogy in 1992.

He has held the following positions (all in what is now called the Czech Republic):

  • Researcher at the Geological Survey of Czechoslovakia, now called the Czech Geological Survey (1962–1965, 1968, 2010)
  • Researcher and professor at Charles University, Faculty of Science (1968–2004)
  • Researcher and professor at VŠB-Technical University Ostrava (2004–2010)
  • Teacher of select courses at Masaryk University Brno (since 2010)

With regards teaching, he was responsible for courses on phase equilibria, crystallography, and X-ray powder diffraction. In addition, he tutored students, including Lukas Palatinus, who went on to become a world-leading scientist on structure solution from electron diffraction, and he ran the X-ray laboratory, getting excellent data from ancient instruments (including a precession camera that used traditional film). Milan is a rare example of a researcher who can do excellent research without the need for state-of-the-art instrumentation, largely because of his knowledge and passion for thorough data analysis. Milan submitted his first paper in 1960 (Čech and Rieder 1960) and his most recent offering appeared in 2020 (Rieder 2020), a 60-year publishing career that included many publications on his beloved micas (e.g., Rieder 1968; Zdenèk et al. 1992) and on X-ray diffraction instrumentation (Rieder 1980).

His interest and proficiency in micas qualified Milan to serve as the chair of the important Mica Subcommittee of the International Mineralogical Association (1976–1998), resulting in the new nomenclature of micas published in several journals ( e.g., Rieder et al. 1998).

To honour Milan’s contribution to mineralogy, in 2018 a new mineral was named after him: milanriederite (IMA2018-041), which is a vesuvianite-group mineral discovered in Namibia (Chukanov et al. 2019).
Like so many journal editors, Milan operates quietly in the background, claiming little credit for the work that he does. He is neither dramatic nor flamboyant but prefers to take the subtle, quiet approach. He has more than earned his retirement.

Thank you, Milan, for your enormous contribution to our science.

Kevin Murphy
Mineralogical Society
Mariana Klementov
FZU - Institute of Physics of the CAS, Czech Republic

Chukanov NV and 7 coauthors (2019) Milanriederite, (Ca,REE)19Fe3+Al4(Mg,Al,Fe3+)8Si18O68(OH,O)10, a new vesuvianite-group mineral from the Kombat Mine, Namibia. European Journal of Mineralogy 31: 637-646

Rieder M (1960) O krystalech apatitu z Krásného u Sobotína (Sev. Morava). Časopis Moravského musea. 45: 45–52

Rieder M (1968) Zinnwaldite: octahedral ordering in lithium-iron micas, Science 160: 1338-1340, doi: 10.1126/science.160.3834.1338

Rieder M (1980) Back-reflection precession camera, a new instrument in reciprocal-lattice photography. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie 151: 153–168

Rieder M and 14 coauthors (1998) Nomenclature of the micas. Canadian Mineralogist 36: 905-912

Rieder M (2020) Variation of physical properties across the mineralogical system. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 47: 19, doi: 10.1007/s00269-020-01087-6

Zdenèk W, Rieder M, Chmielovà M (1992) Deformation of coordination polyhedra and their sheets in phyllosilicates. European Journal of Mineralogy 4: 665-682, doi: 10.1127/ejm/4/4/0665

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