Former Daily Mail science editor Michael Hanlon has died from a heart attack aged 51.
He left journalism three years ago to found the Jurassica project, a scheme to build an underground geological park in a quarry in Portland.
Tracey Brown of Sense About Science, a group which promotes the public understanding of science, said he was a "true friend to scientific discovery, a true friend to inquiring minds, a true friend".
She added: “He was the right sort of awkward journalist, he asked the awkward questions and was always willing to really pursue difficult subjects.”
Former Daily Mail environment editor David Derbyshire said: “Michael had huge enthusiasm for life and for science. He was a fantastic writer who brought science to life for readers but had immense integrity as a journalist.
“He connected science with a mass audience brilliantly.”
Sir David Attenborough, a patron for Jurassica, said: "Michael was a great visionary with a wonderful idea to bring the past to life, an idea without parallel.”
Michael Hanlon's funeral is being held in Camberwell on 27 February at 9.30am and a celebration of his life is being held at the Wellcome Trust on 11 March at 6pm (more details here).