Top New Zealand scientist Paul Callaghan dies

By the Associated Press | March 24, 2012 | 2:06 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Sir Paul Callaghan, a top New Zealand scientist who gained international recognition for his work in molecular physics, has died after a long battle with bowel cancer. He was 64.

His death was announced Saturday in Wellington.

Callaghan was best known for his work with magnetic resonance. An outspoken public intellectual, Callaghan argued in favor of commercializing science. In 2004, he founded Magritek, a Wellington-based company that used magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance for industrial and research applications.

Callaghan won numerous accolades over his career, and was elected a Fellow to the Royal Society of London. In 2009, he was honored with a knighthood and in 2011 was named New Zealander of the Year.